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2020-08-21 12:26:38

Santa Cruz - an overpopulated utopia

Santa Cruz - an overpopulated utopia

Santa Cruz is a small coral island off the coast of Colombia. This tiny piece of land is recognized as the most densely populated place in the world. There is no fresh water, sewerage, cars, and electricity is provided on a schedule. And also on Santa Cruz there is no crime and division into rich and poor, there are no wars. The population of 1,200 lives in 115 modest, if not poor, houses.

About the island

Santa Cruz is located between the islands of Tintipan and Mukuraego. The origin is coral, the area is 12,000 square meters, and the dimensions are 200 by 120 meters - this is slightly less than two standard football fields.

Locals keep a legend explaining the name of the island. 150 years ago, during a strong tide, a cement cross sailed to the shore. The first settlers (who, by the way, were fishermen who found this island while searching for new places for fishing and stayed here to live) decided that this was a sign. In Spanish, the cross is "cruz", which is why the area is called Santa Cruz.


Despite its small size, the population of the area is growing from year to year:

  • 2009 - 700 people in 90 houses
  • 2013 - 1247 people in 97 houses
  • 2018 - 1200 people in 97 houses, 150 roosters, 40 dogs.

Census data are different. Thus, in 2016 the population of the island was only 493 people. This is explained by the fact that during the previous census, many relatives of the indigenous people visited the island, who were included in the statistics.

How do the islanders live?

The fishermen did not stay in this place for nothing: there are a lot of fish here and there are no mosquitoes. The population gradually grew, so the island became smaller and smaller. Local residents took everything they found: sawdust, shells, fragments of coconuts, clay sand, garbage - everything was used to increase the area of the island, some of the houses are on stilts right in the water.

Living conditions on Santa Cruz are far from ideal:

  • Electricity is available from 7 pm to 11 pm thanks to the generator
  • There is no drinking water, fresh water is brought from the mainland once a month
  • When fresh water runs out, the locals collect rainwater.

Nevertheless, the island has:

  • Excellent fishing spots
  • Restaurant, small school, grocery stores and disco
  • First aid post.

Interesting Facts

  • The population density on this island is 4 times higher than in Manhattan
  • When football matches are broadcast on TV, the Santa Cruzians raise money for fuel to increase the efficiency of a generator that supplies electricity.
  • There is no place for a cemetery on the island: dead people go on their last journey to neighboring islands
  • The whole island is built up so that the apple has nowhere to fall. The only empty half-court area for tennis is often flooded by the sea and therefore remains untouched.
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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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