Saba s a Caribbean island and the smallest special municipality (officially public body) of the Netherlands. It consists largely of the potentially active volcano Mount Scenery, which at 887 metres (2,910 ft) is the highest point within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Saba, including the islet of Green Island, became a special municipality within the country of the Netherlands after the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles on 10 October 2010.
The island has a land area of 13 square kilometres (5.0 sq mi). As of January 2013, the population was 1,991 inhabitants, with a population density of 150 inhabitants per square kilometre (390/sq mi). Its current towns and major settlements are The Bottom (the capital), Windwardside, Hell's Gate and St. Johns.
As the island is part of the Netherlands, Dutch is the official language. Despite the island's Dutch affiliation, English is the principal language spoken on the island and has been used in its school system since the 19th century. English can therefore be used in communications of and to the government, although there is a local dialect. Since 1 January 2011, the U.S. dollar has been the official currency,replacing the Netherlands Antillean guilder.
Saba is home to the Saba University School of Medicine, which was established by American expatriates in coordination with the government of the Netherlands. The school adds over 400 residents when classes are in session, and it is the prime educational attraction. A.M. Edwards Medical Center is the major provider of healthcare for local residents.
Saba "lace", also known as "Spanish work", is actually drawn thread work, and as of 2013, it is still produced on the island. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Saba lace was a major export. In the 1870s, as a young lady, Mary Gertrude Hassell Johnson, was sent to a Caracas convent in Venezuela for study—where she learned the difficult craft. On her return, lacework spread through the island. The women of Saba began a mail-order business, and would copy addresses of businesses off shipping containers from the United States, and write to the employees. Often, they would get orders for the lacework, and it started a considerable cottage industry. By 1928, the women were exporting around $15,000 (USD) worth of lace products each year.
The island of Saba is relatively new to the tourism industry, with about 25,000 visitors each year. The island has a number of inns, hotels, rental cottages and restaurants. Saba is known as "The Unspoiled Queen" of the Caribbean. The island is especially known for itsecotourism, having exceptional scuba diving, climbing and hiking. A non-governmental conservation organization, Saba Conservation Foundation, helps protect the nature and culture of the island.