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Another explanation is that it is derived from the Portuguese word for heart (coração), referring to the island as a centre in trade.
An unstressed o in Continental Portuguese is usually pronounced [u], so the Portuguese word for heart, coração, is actually pronounced [kurɐsãw].
Although a few plantations were established on the island by the Dutch, the first profitable industry established on Curaçao was salt mining.
Sephardic Jews with ancestors from the Iberian Peninsula settled here with the Dutch and in then-Dutch Brazil; they have had a significant influence on the culture and economy of the island.
The wide range of historic buildings in and around Willemstad has resulted in the capital being designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.