With over 1,200 residents living in 97 houses, in a size of land twice as the football pitch, that is how the island of Santa Cruz del Islote exists.
The area of an average football field is about 7,500 square meters, but the island of Santa Cruz del Islote is approximately equal to two football fields. At the same time, more than 1,200 inhabitants live on the island in 97 houses. It is difficult to imagine how a hundred houses can be placed in such a small space, but this is not a fantasy. Such an island exists.
Moreover, this unusual island of Colombia is about 20 kilometers to the mainland of the state. This distance can only be overcome by water; of course, there is no airfield on the island. As there is no car either: the entire island can be walked around in a few minutes. According to residents, their ancestors appeared on the island about 150 years ago: several fishers stopped here for the night and were amazed that they were not disturbed by mosquitoes all night, which is a rarity for these places.
The fishermen decided that this was a great place to live and built the first houses on the island. For a long time, the island was nameless. Until the waves nailed a large cross of cement to its coast, how it got here remains a mystery, but it was installed in the center of the island, Santa Cruz del Islote, which means the Island of the Holy Cross in Russian.
The island has its school with about 170 students. The school building has three floors, making it the tallest building on the island. Some students come here even from the neighboring islands of the San Bernardo archipelago. The island of Santa Cruz del Islote can be called the most populated and one of the youngest.
Most of its inhabitants are young people. Perhaps the most excellent value for the residents of Santa Cruz del Islote is freshwater. There are simply no sources of it on the island; a ship from Colombia delivers water here three times a week. There is also no sewage system here.
Garbage disposal is another serious problem. It is taken to the neighboring island of Tintipan. True, a significant part of the waste is dumped into the ocean. The local population is also not pampered with electricity – it is served only five hours a day: from 17 to 22 hours.
It often happens that at other times an exciting program is shown on television. In this case, residents have to buy gasoline and start the generator. As mentioned above, the entire island could be located on two football fields. By the way, there is a football field here, but it is very tiny since a standard-size area is not an allowable luxury for a small island. Locals never close the doors of their houses since there is practically no crime here; all the islanders know each other very well. Naturally, there are no police on the island either. In addition, there is no hospital or cemetery here.
Finding a job on the island is not easy. Tourists help out by offering fishing, diving, and boat rental. Many men make a living by selling fish to restaurants in Colombia. And some residents of Santa Cruz del Islote have to look for work on neighboring islands or the mainland.