Summer Academy 2007

Cabo Verde

Experiencing Cabo Verde

Visitors on vacation in a Cabo Verde holiday resort will return home with experiences comparable to such they had in other resorts. Next time they possibly will decide on a destination less remote and possibly less expensive.

Visitors who have chosen Cabo Verde because of the steady breeze of wind will be fond of experiencing surfing and in particular kite surfing at Sal Island - but do they experience Cabo Verde? To really experience Cabo Verde, to meet its inhabitants and to see the unique landscape of those regions with rugged shores and steep mountains visitors may decide for hiking tours. Hiking tours with a highlight in addition to natural wonders: Cabo Verde music.

Hiking and music makes it worth travelling the long and pricy way to Cabo Verde.

Note: Cabo Verde is a rapidly developing archipelago with nine inhabited islands. Strong and successful efforts are made to find investors to build shopping centers, housing blocks and holiday resorts. Cities like Praia (more than 100,000 inhabitants) and Mindelo profit and even more so regions suitable for sun and beach tourism. Rural areas of Santiago Island and others, especially those with many families living in their houses high up in the mountains, have a hard time catching up.

Tourist development in rural areas of Cabo Verde, in particular on Santiago Island

"In Santiago the black and the white ingredients of the archipelago's past are at their most vivid. On the southern shore is the old capital of Cape Verde - Ribeira Grande - the first European city in the tropics. But up in the mountains the people are as African as Cape Verdeans can be - their ancestors were escaped slaves from the city below."
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Cobbled driveways enable the people in the mountains to reach the next market place and school, but there are also people living in remote places reachable by footpaths only.

Most families raise a few animals (chickens, little pigs, goats, maybe a donkey and a cow) and, in case they own some land, grow corn. In good years it's raining in the "rain season", on a few days only but occasionally in daunting quantities. However, there are also years without any rain at all.

Women fetch water from wells and carry the filled containers on their heads back home, sometimes up steep hills.

Waste is "consumed" by the animals, they even eat cardboard boxes. But as they cannot eat glass and plastic bags such litter is accumulating everywhere.

Education is in high demand. But what should school leavers do with their education? There is hardly any industry to be found. It is difficult to imagine that the craftsmen and the owners of the few little shops earn enough money to pay tax. Public services (e.g. the post office), supermarkets, hotels, etc. exist but are difficult to find. Locals know them, hardly anybody else is around. What's the use to display a big logo and to advertise commodities for sale? The only business that possibly earns money is the bank: Many locals are supported financially by emigrated family members.