Luz de Libertados - Factbook

  • Luz de Libertados - The beginnings - 1585-1673

    1585, 8th December - In 1585, 13th November, a ship, containing over 300 African slaves, mostly from modern day Nigeria, what is thought to be around 40 - 60 White Europeans (mostly British) and over $300,000 worth of goods, was heading towards modern day America. According to stories passed down from generation to generation in Luz de Libertados, the ship was hit by a huge storm in the Atlantic. The story then says that the ship hit a rock, badly damaging the ship, the goods and many people, both black and white, died. Eventually, the storm stopped and, what we now as the North Atlantic Current, carried the ship to an uninhabited island, Modern day Luz de Libertados. Jonathon Winters, an English sailor, said in his diary, "The island is beautiful; lush forests, clear streams are scattered around the island, diverse wildlife and a huge mountain which looms over the island. Almost like a haven sent from God." They called the island St. Esther, named after the captain of the ship who had passed away protecting the people on board the ship.

    Under 200 Africans and 30 Europeans survived. They ended up washed upon the rocky beaches on the North East of the island, where the Capital City of Ciuluz (St. George, named after another sailor who was killed) was built. The island is a natural haven, with lush forests, crops, diverse wildlife and a temperate enviroment with sufficient rain and weather. Being extremely religious, many of the survivors thought that God had punished them for participating in the slave trade, and that the island was a second chance at life and that they had to fix the mistakes that humans had made. This meant that, no matter the colour, sex or opinion, they had to work together to survive and lived as equals. A Spanish sailor once said that "I have never seen a community so close together and who works together as well. Especially between two races; it's as if they are colour blind." According to Winter's diary, "We all ate together, slept together, helped each other; it feels like one huge family. God has shown us that skin doesn't matter. Nor does sex. We are all human."

    The islanders were said to have taught each other their languages, cultures etc. and soon their cultures intertwined, becoming one big culture. They all believed in the same religion too, Protestant church of St. Esther, similar to Orthodox Protestantism, however more accepting and modern. However, African religions also influenced St. Esther. There was also a bible, held in the church which still is used by the priest even in 2018, written by the first inhabitants of Luz de Libertados. 

    Using the islands resources, the survivors built a small community. The houses were simple stick huts, but over time they evolved into more complex stone buildings, made of Libertese granite. They created cobblestone streets and small lanes, creating a network of pathways around the island. Along with that, they built they're first Parliament building and court. They also built a church here, named the Cathedral of St. Esther, with stain glass windows telling the story of how the island came to be. However, it was said to be a simple stone structure back in 1585. The grand structure you can see today was finished in 1782, yet the original still remains within the Cathedral.

    In 1586, an African named Ouadugu Melipalla apparently rose to power. He was said to have led the island, giving something to work for and organised the community. People were assigned jobs, and a currency, made from the island's abundance of Nickel and Iron. The islanders discovered and spread out across the archipelago, building villages and town, farms and houses. They discovered mines filled with coal and metals, animals which they documented and drew and they started a government. It was tough, but the islanders worked together, peacefully living together. Around this time, there was around 800 people living on St. Esther.

    For over 10 years, the islanders grew into a society, surviving against all odds, undisturbed by the outside world. The government grew larger and leaders came and went, voted by the public of St. Esther. They grew crops for food, which was plentiful thanks to the soft soil of the island, and they named themselves The Democratic Republic of St. Esther. However, their sovereignty was seen by no one, mainly because no other nation knew about it. 

    However, in 1599, disaster struck. Mt. Ouwagaya erupted, destroying half of Ciuluz and killing 180 people. The survivors had to rebuild their community. A stone, hidden in the undergrowth of Luz de Libertados' many forests, marking all the people who died. Unfortunately for them, this was just one of many eruptions. The resourceful islanders adapted to the eruptions quickly, and the eruptions became a part of life, giving the soil nutrition and improving the crops. Despite these difficulties, they lived peacefully for over 50 years. Over the next 50 years, the island became one of the most peaceful nations in Europe, with no records of murders and crime being minor. Racial tension was minimal due to their belief of 'equality' and the island had the highest amount of women in political jobs at that time. 

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  • Important Information:

    • Capital City: Ciuluz (St George)
    • Population: 126,400 
    • Ethnicities: Nigerian Libertese (48%), Spanish Libertese (32%), British Libertese (12%), Other (8%)
    • Official Languages: Libertese (99%), Spanish (92%), English (85%), Libertese Izon (62%)
    • Founded: 1938 (From Spain)
    • Religions: Church of St. Esther (82%), Protestant (6%), Islam (2%), Other (10%)

    Other Information:

    • Abbreviation: LLE
    • International Calling Code: +037
    • Time Zone: UTC -2