Up to the 1960s, these islands were inhabited by Raizal, white and mulatto. With the development of the free port of San Andrés Island, the composition of the population changed because of massive migration of foreigners and Colombians from the mainland who arrived for commercial activities. Providencia and Santa Catalina islands did not receive the impact that San Andrés did: Nevertheless, in later years and for economic reasons, many people have established themselves in Providencia and Santa Catalina looking for new ways to make a living. Because of these waves of migration, the Raizal population has searched for spaces of political participation and to vindicate their culture and their native language called San Andrés-Providencia Creole.

Raizal Ethnic Group

The islands of Providencia and Santa Catalina have an approximate population of 5,000 inhabitants the majority of which are Raizal, the ethnic group of these islands who descended from English Protestants and African slaves. This small archipelago has rich cultural wealth and the island’s architecture stands out because of its beauty and vivid colors. It is also rich in gastronomy, music and dance. The local economy is based on tourism, fishing and agriculture.