People of the Islands

While there are some 40 plus cays that make up the Turks and Caicos Islands, only eight of them are inhabited by people. The Turks and Caicos natives are called “Belongers” or “Turks and Caicos Islanders”, and are either descendants from African slaves who were originally brought over to grow cotton and work in the salt industry, or have immigrated here from the neighboring countries. The local population mixes harmoniously with a large expatriate community of British, American, French, Canadian, Haitians, Dominicans and Scandinavians, giving the islands an international influence and unique culture.

The people here – both Expats and Belongers –are relaxed and friendly and generally operate on “island time”, resulting in a low-key, slow-paced environment.

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