THE CANARY ISLANDS
Las Islas Canarias
The Canary Islands, are Spanish islands just off the southwest coast of Morocco. These islands became part of the Spanish Empire in 1496, when Christopher Columbus' ships stopped here on their trip to the New World. They are about 62 miles (100 km) west of the southern border of Morocco. The Islands are located at 28. 100°N 15.400°W
There are 7 large/main islands: Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro, and some smaller islands that are also included with the group (Alegranza, Graciosa, Montaña Clara, Roque del Este, Roque del Oeste and Lobos)
People of Las Islas Canarias
The total population of the islands is 2,117,519 (as of 2011). The islands' original population, commonly called Guanches, is tall and of white skin. Most people are Roman Catholics, with some Protestants but there is a small unofficial minority of Jews, Muslims and Hindus.
- Gran Canaria- 845,753
- Lanzarote- 139,506
- Tenerife- 906,854
- La Palma- 86,528
- La Gomera- 22,622
- El Hierro- 10,753
- Chinijo Archipelago- 658
The currency used in the Canary Islands is the same as in Spain, the Euro. Currently 1 Euro is equivalent to $1.43 (CAD). Many of the aspects in the islands are similar to Spain, and there is a great Spanish influence on the culture. But because of the geographical location, many of the cultural aspects of life have been drastically changed. Due to heavy Canarian immigration to the Caribbean Islands in the colonial times, Canarian Spanish is very similar to Caribbean Spanish. The noticeable language change about this is the way that people in the Canary Islands have different pronunciations and uses for certain words. For example: hoy visité a Juan ('today I visited John') instead of hoy he visitado a Juan ('today I have visited John')".
The Canary Islands were incorporated into the Crown of Castile during the time of King Henry III and it ended with the Catholic Monarchs. The important colonizing contigent was from the Portuguese, with Castilians and Andalusians from mainlalnd Spain a major part of the early conquest of the Canaries. The Spanish settlement in the islands heavily effected the Guanches (the native people's language) which almost completely disappeared. The culture of the islands was changed very rapidly after the settlements, which enforced Spanish culture and Catholicism.
The most notable influence of the Guanche in the Canarian language is in the names of plants, and animals. The official symbols affiliated with the islands is the CANARY bird. Overall, the wildlife has a mix of European and African background.
The National Anthem
The Canary Islands economy is based mainly on tourism because of the exotic location. Most of the tourists in the Islands are from Nordic countries (located in Northern Europe and North Atlantic). Other common tourists are from Germany, Austria, The United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain and "others" includes people from Asia, Africa and the Americas.
The Canary Islands are looked at as tourist destinations because of the exotic location and breathtaking beaches and mountain views.
Famous People from The Canary Islands
Soccer (or football) is a very common sport in the Islands. Here are some notable athletes from Las Islas Canarias...