The ancestors of the modern Yainu first settled Victoria Island and Isla Hermosa 6,000 to 7,000 years ago, but only established large permanent settlements in the 5th century BCE. The Spanish arrived in the early 16th century. At the end of that century, the Spanish began to bring enslaved African and Epheronian peoples to the islands. Intermarriage between the indigenous peoples and the Spanish, and eventually between the Spanish and indigenous peoples and those of African and Epheronian descent resulted in a majority that is of mixed ethnicity – about 46% of the total populations.
Among the Spanish immigrants were a small number of conversos – Spanish Jews who had adopted Christianity in the 14th and 15th centuries to avoid persecution and expulsion. Many of these began to revert to Judaism in the 18th century. In the 20th century, more Jewish immigrants began to arrive from Arabic countries. In general, these two groups maintain separate religious congregations and practices. However, the two groups have intermarried with each other and with other ethnic groups in Providencia. The Jewish community is considered generally well-integrated with Providencian society in general.
A majority of Providencians are Roman Catholics – about 62% of the total population. However, a far small percentage regularly attend religious services. About 6% of the population are Jewish and about 15% belong to various Protestant Christian denominations. Other religions, including indigenous religions, Mormonism and Humanism claim 6% of the population and 11% have no religious affiliation.
Providencian society is still strongly rooted in a class system based on the Spanish castas system that blended class and ethnicity. At the top of the system are the Royal Family and nobility, who are generally of exclusively European descent. Most of the rest of the elite, comprised of the business elite, wealthy landowners and bankers, are also of entirely or mostly European descent. In recent years, there has been a greater measure of social mobility for those who are able to obtain a tertiary education and enter the professional or business middle class. Many of those in the middle class are of mixed ethnicity. Meanwhile, with a few notable exceptions, most people of indigenous or Afro-Epheronian ethnicities work in manual labor or in the countryside.
The King/El Rey
The Queen/La Reina
The Prince (Heir to the Throne)/El Principe
The Consort of the The Prince
Infantes, Infantas, The Children of the King
Dons, Doñas The Grandchildren of the King
Infantes or Infantas, The Siblings of the King
The Prime Minister/Primer Ministro and spouse
The Duke of Providencia and Consort
The Duke of San Andres and Consort
The Marquis of Puerto Antiguo Libertad and Consort
The Count of Santa Tecla and spouse
The Count of Isla Hermosa and spouse
The Count of Villa del Carmen and spouse
The Mayordomo Mayor and spouse
The Sumiller de Corps and spouse
The Camerera Mayor del Palacio and spouse
Other member of the Royal Court and spouses
Peers and spouses
Ministers of the Cabinet and spouses
The General Staff and spouses
Justices of the Supreme Court and spouses
Members of Parliament and spouses
Spanish is the state language and first language for 94% of the population. Some people in rural areas of speak various indigenous languages. More recent immigrants may speak their native languages at home. Many Providencians, especially those in the cities and who work in the tourism, banking or other service sectors, speak English or another major regional language.
Interactive Internet-based media is challenging the dominance of radio and television among in Providencia. Nevertheless, the main broadcast and cable networks remain the most influential media outlets in the nation. There is also a small but widely followed newspaper industry, despite recent declines in readership and a shift from print journalism to on-line publishing.
January 1 - New Year's Day
January 6 - Epiphany
Varies - Fat Tuesday (day before Ash Wednesday)
Varies - Good Friday
Varies - Easter Monday
May 1 – Labor Day
October 12 – Dia de la Raza
October 23 – Independence Day
November 1 – All Souls Day
December 8 - Feast of the Immaculate Conception
December 24 - Christmas Eve
December 25 - Christmas Day
Education in Providencia is compulsory through 10th grade or until the age of 16. Primary education typically begins with Kindergarten at the age of five and proceeds from First grade through 10th grade. After 10th grade, Providencian student who wish to continue their education do so in either trade schools or preparatory schools known as colleges.
Public education is funded and administered by the central government. A robust private and parochial school system, funded by tuitions, exists in parallel to the public system.
Higher education is offered by universities that confer a bachelor’s degree at the end of a four or five-year program. Universities may also offer post-bachelor’s graduate studies, which may confer either a master's degree - typically after two additional years and the defense of a written thesis - or doctor's degree - typically after four additional years and the defense of a written dissertation.
Public universities are tuition-free, but do charge for room and board, books and materials and other services. Private universities are tuition dependent. About 15% of Providencian students obtain at least one university degree.
Universidad Real de Providencia (public)
Universidad Nacional de San Andrés (public)
Universidad Autónoma de Antiguo Puerto Libertad (public)
Instituto Tecnológico de Santa Tecla (private)
Universidad de Artes y Ciencias de San Andrés (private)
Universidad de San Tomas de Aquino de Providencia (Catholic)
The most popular team sport in Providencia is football (soccer). Football is the only sport with a professional league. There are also a semi-professional leagues for baseball, basketball and “flag gridiron” (a non-tackle version of Excalbian football played mostly by women in Providencia). Football, baseball, basketball, and flag gridiron are also played by youth club teams and at the university level. Popular individual sports, include tennis, golf, swimming, and surfing.