Cultural Experiences

Engage with locals, from fishermen to students

The intriguing human history of The Bahamas begins with its original inhabitants, the Lucayan people, and includes Columbus, pirates, pilgrims, merchants, invaders, colonial settlers, and enslaved people.

We’ll learn about the Lucayans on Mayaguana, where we meet locals in their fishing villages. Only 25 years after Columbus landed in The Bahamas in 1492, the Lucayan population was decimated by disease and slavery. We’ll see ruins of plantations on Crooked Island, Acklin Island, and Long Island, and learn about the slave trade.

Hear how English Puritans settled on Eleuthera in the 17th century followed by American Loyalists in the 18th century. On a visit to its Island School, meet high school students from around the world working on marine biology research, conservation, and sustainability engaged in cross-cultural dialogue with Bahamian students and residents.

Multiple islands claim landings by Columbus, and an active shipping channel drew privateers and pirates like Blackbeard and Calico Jack. Battles with France and Spain, rum running, and the changing fortunes of industries like cotton and sponges all contributed to the development of the multifaceted island nation of today, which gained independence in 1973.

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