Discovered by Christopher Columbus on his fourth voyage to America, the Cayman Islands were the definitive centre of pirate activity in the Caribbean Sea during the seventeenth century.
Located northwest of Jamaica, between Cuba and Honduras, uninhabited and outside of the active control by the Spanish crown, the islands quickly became an ideal sanctuary for the development of piracy. The famous British buccaneer Francis Drake gave the islands their current name and frequently used them as a base to attack Spanish galleons carrying precious metals to Europe.
Today, this nation of fifty thousand people has become the world’s fifth largest financial center, after London, New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong. There are approximately five hundred banking institutions operating on the island, and a hundred thousand registered companies. Some 2.1 trillion dollars, enough money to satisfy the health and nutrition needs of the entire planet, is deposited within its jurisdiction.
The islands have an atmosphere of mystery throughout, most financial institutions are nameless, not advertised or camouflaged behind mirrored facades surrounded by tight security. A stream of elegant lawyers, economists, brokers, accountants, auditors and tax advisors scurry in and out, coming and going. Double-parked armored vehicles mix with the limousines with tinted windows against a backdrop of sun, sea and a swashbuckling history.
Federico Estol (1981).
Uruguayan photographer, graduated from the Politechnic University of Cataluña (Barcelona). He specializes in field work in rural areas. He is currently working on social projects with the Programa Uruguay Integra and as a freelance photojournalist for local media. He has participated in exhibitions and festivals in Uruguay, Argentina, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States. The Treasure Island (2014) is his third published photobook after Fiestas del Uruguay (2009) and Hello Montevideo (2011). He has received several awards, grants and scholarships and was recently honoured with the first place in the rural-urban category at the Latin American Photography Award 2013 curated by René Burri (Magnum Photos).