Vagabond Cheat Sheet: Timor-Leste

Flag of Timor-Leste
Timor-Leste (aka East Timor) is the youngest nation in the world since gaining it’s independence from Indonesia in 2002. Originally settled by Portugal, Timor-Leste first declared its independence from Portugal in 1975 only to be invaded and occupied by Indonesia nine days later.

Geography and Economy

Geography: Timor-Leste shares an Island with Indonesia in Southeast Asia
Capital: Dili
Language(s): Tetum, Portuguese
Population: 1,154,625 (60% under the age of 18)
Population in Poverty: 484,943 (42%)
Religion: Roman Catholic 98%, Muslim 1%, Protestant 1% (One of two Roman Catholic countries in Southeast Asia)
Currency: US Dollar
Exchange Rates:

  • US Dollar: 1
  • Euro: 0.79
  • British Pound: 0.69

International Affairs and Tourism

Colonized by: Portugal
Independence: From Portugal in 1975 and from Indonesia in 2002
Genocide: Some consider the deaths of the people of Timor-Leste during Indonesian occupation from 1975-1999 a Genocide (approximately 100,000 deaths)
Recent Armed Conflicts: Independence from Indonesia in 2002 aided by the UN
Tourism Information: Trekking, Snorkeling, Scuba Diving, Green / Eco Tourism
Visa: 30-Day Tourist/Business Visa on Arrival (US$30)
Internet: Limited

International Organizations

UNICEF: Many humanitarian efforts are currently taking place in Timor-Leste under UNCEF. They include improvements to education systems, deployment of vaccinations, deworming treatments, training of medical personel
UNESCO: Currently, Timor-Leste does not have any properties within the World Heritage List
International Red Cross / Crescent: The Timor-Leste Red Cross was established in 2005. They are working towards improving water/sanitation, health education and disaster management amongst others.
Habitat for Humanity: Began operations in 2002. Various programs to renovate existing homes. Ran a poverty index survey to provide information and monitoring to the government.
CARE: Has worked to deliver rice to 70,000 people. Distributing materials for temporary shelters, cooking utensils. Trained nutritionists working with families to make sure that children eat well.
Doctors without Borders: No current programs
Oxfam: Working with local farmers to support sustainable farming, improving essential services, empowering women, disaster preparedness
MercyCorps: Working to improve food and crop production for 4,500 farmer families


3 Responses to “ “Vagabond Cheat Sheet: Timor-Leste”

  1. Elyssa says:


    This article is awesome! I can’t wait for your future entries so I can learn more!!


  2. Jess DaSilva says:

    thats cool 🙂 i would love to see pictures of country here 🙂

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