Introduction / History Cape Verde is a group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean approximately 250 miles off the coast of northwest Africa. These active volcanic islands sit in a strategic location near major north-south sea routes and serve as important communications stations as well as sea and air refueling sites.
This group of then-uninhabited islands were discovered and colonized by the Portuguese in the 15th century. Cape Verde subsequently became a trading center for African slaves and later an important coaling and resupply stop for whaling and transatlantic shipping. Following independence in 1975, and a tentative interest in unification with Guinea-Bissau, a one-party system was established and maintained until multi-party elections were held in 1990. Cape Verde continues to exhibit one of Africa's most stable democratic governments. Repeated droughts during the second half of the 20th century caused significant hardship and prompted heavy emigration. As a result, Cape Verde's expatriate population is greater than its domestic one. Most Cape Verdeans have both African and Portuguese ancestry.
Where are they located? Cape Verde is a group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean approximately 250 miles off the coast of northwest Africa. The geographic coordinates are 16 North and 24 West.
What are their lives like? Western civilization heavily influences the cultural mindset of the islands. With that said, there is also an obvious tie to the history of the islands found in the art, music, drama, and literature found there. The weather allows virtually unlimited access to outside activities including many water sports and opens up many tourism possibilities for the islands.
The Cape Verde islands are volcanic islands where the land elevation varies from 0 feet at the ocean shore to approximately 9000 feet in the mountains. The islands are inhabited by people of Creole ancestry (71%), African ancestry (28%), and European ancestry (1%). Portuguese is the official language and Crioulo, a combination of Portuguese and West African words and phrases, is also spoken.
516,000 Cape Verdeans populate the islands with 60% living in urban areas. The capital city of Praia, located on the island called Sao Tiago in the southeast of the chain, is home to 125,000. The vast majority of the population of Cape Verde are under 60 years old and the average life expectancy is 70 years.
Clean drinking water is available to most of the islands and sanitary facilities are available in most of the urban areas and some of the rural areas. Healthcare practicioners and facilities are sparce in Cape Verde. The HIV/AIDS prevalence rates are high as compared to the rest of the world. In addition to lagging the world in healthcare and despite considerable spending on education, Cape Verde struggles with literacy and general education for its citizens. Only 76% of people over the age of 15 are literate.
Cape Verde's climate is temperate with warm and dry summers. Precipitation is light and erratic. Drought conditions can prevail for several years at a time. Dust storms are produced by seasonal winds and several volcanoes are active in the islands. Cape Verde's major environmental challenges include soil erosion, deforestation due to demand for wood used as fuel, water shortages, desertification, and overfishing.
Cape Verde's economy suffers from a poor natural resource base including serious water shortages exacerbated by cycles of long-term drought and poor soil for agriculture on several of the islands. The economy is service oriented with commerce, transport, tourism, and public services accounting for about three-fourths of GDP. Although about 40% of the population lives in rural areas, the share of food production in GDP is low. About 82% of food must be imported. The fishing potential, mostly lobster and tuna, is not fully utilized.
Cape Verde runs a high trade deficit financed by foreign aid and remittances from its large pool of emigrants. Despite the lack of resources, sound economic management has produced steadily improving incomes. Continued economic reforms are aimed at developing the private sector and attracting foreign investment to diversify the economy and mitigate high unemployment.
Cape Verde has modern communications services available in the urban areas. As many as half the population have mobile telephones and one fourth have internet access. All islands are connected via fiber optics network rings. Several state-run and an increasing number of private radio and television stations are in operation.
Nine airports with paved runways are located in different locations on the islands. Roadways are also located on several islands.
A standing army populated by draftees protect the islands mainly from drug smugglers. Currently, Cape Verde has no military or political disagreements with anyone.
What are their beliefs? The islands are dominated from a religious perspective by Roman Catholic and Church of the Nazarene belief systems. Also, like any other location in the world, there is a likelihood that other beliefs have been incorporated into the religious practices of the people.
Every location throughout the world needs clear and concise expositional teaching from the Bible. Any people, nation, or belief system can drift from the true teaching of the Bible over time. Cape Verde will benefit from persistent Bible teaching reminding them of the true message from scripture as it was originally recorded. Another helpful practice is to train the trainers where missionaries can supplement the knowledge and materials used by local believers to teach their countrymen. It should also be kept in mind that learning from the locals is also a great opportunity for the missionaries.
What are their needs? Bibles, teaching materials, and raw material supplies can be valuable gifts for people in remote areas since access to these supplies can be limited. These need to be provided judiciously, however.
Prayer Points * Pray for God to call this people group to Himself
* Pray for God to invigorate His people on the islands to accomplish His work
* Pray for the opportunity to reach out to other islands in the region
* Pray for access for God's people to evangelize the lost
* Pray for safety and provision for all who labor for God's kingdom * Pray for completion of Bible translation in this people group's primary language.
References All information was obtained with permission from http://goo.gl/JFTrh and