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Luxury Townhouses in 2009

NEWS ALERT: Exclusive Luxury Townhouses are soon to be built with the most stunning ocean views in Sao Vicente. Spacious 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms with 2 En-suite and infinity pool. Be sure to complete the Property Form for more details and read more on Sao Vicente. These Townhouses are believed to double in value by 2011 when the International Airport will be open. Alternatively, you can request a property pack by calling our UK Office on 0208 517 8856.

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SAO VICENTE - (San Vicente)

São Vicente (Portuguese for "Saint Vincent"), also Son Visent or Son Sent in Cape Verdean Creole (written in ALUPEC), is one of the Barlavento islands of Cape Verde. It is located between the islands of Santo Antão and São Nicolau, with the Canal de São Vicente separating it from Santo Antão. The island has a population of around 70,000 concentrated in its main town of Mindelo, long a British refuelling port. It is the second most populous island of Cape Verde. As the island is generally arid, its main industries are now fishing and tourism, along with its military base. It is known for the Baía das Gatas Music Festival and for its cricket team. It also has a small airport and a desalinisation plant.

São Vicente’s Characteristics - 'What a Stunning Island'

The island is roughly rectangular in shape with a surface area of ca. 227 km². From east to west it measures 24 km and from north to south no more than 16 km. The terrain includes mountains in the west, the southwest, the south, the east-central and the north. The area is flat in the north-central, the central part, the eastern part south of Calhau and the northern part in the Baía das Gatas area. The urban area of Mindelo is in the northern part. Much of the island is deforested.

Climate

The climate is mainly tropical and dry with the temperature around 24 °C (75 °F) all year round. The ocean water temperature every year is between 12 °C (54 °F) and 25 °C (77 °F). There are two seasons: November through July are mainly dry, while August through October is the known as the "rainy season" however only a day or two of can rain is known during this period. The Island is mainly dry all year round offering all round sunshine. See the Climate of all of Cape Verde's Islands. Sao Vicente is one of Cape Verde's most attractive Islands with all year round good weather. Certainly a winter get away from northern European countries.

History

São Vicente was discovered on Saint Vincent's Day (January 22) in 1462. Due to its lack of water, the island was initially used only as a cattle pasture by some proprietors of the neighboring island of Santo Antão. The island remained practically uninhabited until the middle of the 19th century. It was only in 1838, when a coal deposit was established in Porto Grande to supply ships on Atlantic routes, that the population started to grow rapidly. Due to the lack of rain and consequent lack of natural resources, the economy of São Vicente is based mainly on commerce and services. See more on Cape Verde's history.

Population

The population of São Vicente in the 2000 census was 67,163 of which 4,174 are rural. The annual population growth is around 2.7% (higher than the state (national) level of 2.4%). 94% of the population live in urban areas, higher than the Cape Verde's level of 54% and is the highest in all of Cape Verde. The life expectancy is 62 for males and 65 for females, higher than other parts of Africa. The birth and mortality rates are high.

The majority of the population are young; 66% of the population are under the age of 30, and 8.6% of the population are over the age of 60. The island has 16,000 families, of which there are an average of 4 persons per household, lower than Cape Verde's level of 5 persons per household. 56% of the families live in houses, the other 30% live in poorly-built houses. About only 11% of the families own automobiles, which is 7.4% of Cape Verde's level.

Economy

The economy of the island was always based almost exclusively on commerce and services. Porto Grande is the main port of Cape Verde, through which passes much of the country's imports. It has a terminal of containers, silos, and refrigeration units that make handling load overflow possible. There is also a modern seawater desalination plant, which provides water for public consumption and for naval shipyards. Sao Vicente main capital is Mindelo and is also the main port of the Island.

In the industrial sector, the island presents an abundance of manpower, even though unskilled, resulting from the exodus of inhabitants of other islands to São Vicente. About 27% of the employed population is unskilled. Highly-qualified employees — company executives, public administrators, and managers and directors — make up less than 2% of employees. It is distinguished, however, by a bigger participation of women in decision-making positions than the national average.

According to the 2000 census, the island of São Vicente has the largest unemployment rate of the country — 23% — while the national average is 17%. Unemployment affects women more than men. The industrial park of the island — the Industrial Zone of the Lazareto — concentrates diverse types of manufacturing, essentially due to foreign investment, in the activities of footwear, confections, and fish processing.

In recent years, the National Center of Workmanship of Mindelo supports local craftsmen in the production and commercialization of ceramic parts, articles made of coconut rinds,
and necklaces of shells and rocks.

Education

54% of the island's population receive education. Here are the schools and classrooms in São Vicente:

Preschool - 25 daycares, the majority with a particular character, about 2,600 attendees between the ages of 1 and 6 Primary Schools (1st year to 6th year) - 11,000 students in 225 classrooms with 379 teachers.

Secondary Education (7th year to 12th year) - 8,000 students in 146 classrooms with 384 professors
Post-Secondary Education - has a proportion of individual post-secondary schools (1.7, against 1.1% of Cape Verde's level) including ISEMAS and ISCEE.

Language

Other than Portuguese which is the primary language, Cape Verdean Creole is mainly spoken by the majority of the population. The São Vicente variant is known as Crioulo of São Vicente (in Portuguese) or Kriol d Sonsent (in Creole).

Tourist Activites

Sao Vicente has a great tradition in sports; from here many sports have spread to the remaining islands. The island boasts some of the best views and walks in the Cape Verde Islands with excellent night life in the main capital which is only 20 mins from Baia Das Gatas. Windsurfing, for example, relies on the excellent conditions here. The beach of São Pedro is considered one of the best for windsurfing, as shown by the many world-class champions of the sport. Cycling, walking trails and horseback riding are good ways to explore the island. The English influence on the island is still recognizable today in the golf: São Vicente has an excellent 18-hole golf course. Two more World Class Golf Courses are soon to be built including one to be owned by the famous Ernie Ells in Baia das Gatas. For these reasons, tourism has excellent potential growth on São Vicente and in the rest of the Cape Verde archipelago. Travel between the diverse localities of the island is provided by a system of public transportation operated by five private companies.

Sao Vicente is home to some of Cape Verde's greatest musicians, writers and thinkers including Cesaria Evora a famous Cape Verdean singer known as the barefoot diva.

Ii Generally considered the cultural hub of the island, Mindelo is proud of its rich tradition of music and art and has a vibrant nightlife with a lively buzz of music throughout the pubs, restaurants and nightclubs. If you're looking for culture and a traditional I experience then Sao Vicente will not disappoint.

Mindelo is full of architectural delights that reflect the early British influences and monuments thnt date back to colonial times and is well worth a visit. Alternatively the heach at tho Foyu Brancu Hotol il:l dofinitely tho bost on the island with crystal clear waters and shimmering white sands. A free shuttle bus takes visitors on the 15-minute journey to and from Foya Branca to Mindelo so visitors have the best of both the beach and the nightlife.

Beaches on Sao Vicente are not always the most aesthetically pleasing in comparison with other islands but are a real treat for windsurfers. Sao Pedro is arguably one the worlds finest for speed windsurfing. In fact, in 1997 Sandy Beach at Calhau was included in the European professional circuit. Baia das Gatas in the north of the island I which can be reached by four-wheel drive is great for swimming because of the natural lagoon. Many visitors to Sao Vicente choose to visit Santo Antao, the greenest island in · the archipelago. An hour-long ferry crossing will take you to this beautiful island with rugged mountains and green valleys, a popular choice for hikers and a recommended highlight of any stay.

Festivals

Sao Vicente hosts two of the most lavish festivals: a beach music festival during the full moon in August which attracts musicians and visitors from all over the archipelago and secondly, the exotic carnival with Brazilian influence~ in mid February.

Why go?

· Rich culture
· Fantastic windsurfing I
· Trips to Santo Antao
· Vibrant nightlife
· Fantastic Beaches