A few images of people and events in the TCI

People and Language

The residents of the Turks and Caicos are a population of about 25,000 and are dispersed throughout the islands, with the majority of the population based on Provo.  The indigenous people of the Turks and Caicos are referred to mostly as Turks Islanders or Belongers. They are mainly descendants from the early Bermudan, Loyalist and slave settlers who worked in the salt flats and cotton plantations, dating back 300 years.  The Turks Islanders are known for their friendliness throughout the islands.

The Turks and Caicos immigrant population is a rapidly expanding group of Haitians and Dominicans as well as many residents from all over the world. The "expat" community of British, American, French, Swiss and Canadian gives the islands some European and North American influence.  In true step with being part of the Caribbean, the people of the islands have a very relaxed attitude, which helps to create a perfect place to unwind.

The construction boom of a few years ago also brought workers from Mexico, China, Israel and the Philippines and a few from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. While most have returned to their homelands, many have settled here.

English is the official language of the islands, but with a British influence.  So Cheque, Honour, Colour, are all quite correct here!  You will hear lots of French, Creole and Spanish spoken as well, and if you hear some English that you don't quite understand, it is probably Aussie (Australian) or Kiwi (New Zealand).

The Department of Culture, under the direction of David Bowen is making a valiant effort to preserve the cultural heritage of the islands. However, the influence of western TV, movies and music has made the task very difficult. One of his most successful projects is to catalogue as many of the stories and songs from the older generations, including words, music and tablature, to ensure they are not lost and can be faithfully reproduced in the future.