Tropico's Coat of Arms

The Republic of Tropico is a fictional Caribbean nation in the Tropico game series and serves as the main setting of the game.


Ancient ruins give evidence that aboriginal people (most likely the Mayans) were the first inhabitants of the Tropican islands. The Mayans established an offshore colony on Tropico around 1000 AD, and succeeded in building a small settlement complete with a pyramid temple dedicated to their god Imizu. The colony was short lived and abandoned after a few decades, possibly due to crop failures, and a small population of Arawak and Taino Indians established small settlements some years afterwards.

The Island was discovered by Christopher Columbus in March 1493, and the first contact did not go well, ending in intense warfare between the Natives and the Spanish conquistadores in the following years. This resulted in the majority of the Native population getting wiped out by Spanish, and the survivors were turned into slaves to work for the Spaniards, most notably in agriculture. The Natives intermarried with the Spanish colonists, and their descendants are the Mestizo Tropicans who came to predominate the population of the island. The island colony served mainly as a naval base for Spain in the Caribbean over the next 200 years, and was noted for having an extensive agrarian economy.

in 1712, the English Buccaneer, Edward Teach (aka Blackbeard) invaded the Island with a small flotilla of pirate ships, and killed the Spanish governor, Eduardo Valdez. Blackbeard then proclaimed himself to be "Lord Protector" of the island, and began to systematically enslave and terrorize the population in order to help support his pirate activities. Blackbeard used the island as a base from which to commit piracy against Spanish and French merchant ships, with the full patronage of England. Various shipyards and other production and defensive facilities were built to support Blackbeard's pirate fleet. This period was infamous in Tropican history as being one of complete anarchy and terror, with the pirates randomly killing and terrorizing people in order to keep them in submission. Torture and various other atrocities were carried out on the population. Captives were also brought in from other ships and Caribbean settlements as slave labor for the pirates, and any rich nobles who were captured were held for huge ransoms. Some Tropicans managed to escape the island on makeshift rafts, risking summary execution by the pirates if they were caught.

The Spanish finally sailed a large fleet under Admiral Juan Rodriguez to liberate the island from the pirates in 1714. A fierce battle between the Spanish frigates and Blackbeard's pirate fleet erupted just outside the main harbor on May 13th, leading to heavy losses on both sides. The Spanish fleet prevailed over the pirate ships, and the small pirate fortress defending the island was destroyed from Spanish bombardment an hour later. The Spanish the landed troops on the beach shore, and intense fighting between the Spanish and pirate troops ended in a Spanish victory, reclaiming the main port of San Lopez and forcing Blackbeard to flee the island. Most of the colonists captured by the Pirates were returned to their original settlements, and most of the local Tropicans, so traumatized by the horrible events of the previous two years, opted to leave the island for good, mostly to Mexico. Only about a third of the original population stayed, and the small island remained severely underpopulated in the following years.

Some Tropicans and their descendants decided to return to the island over the following decades, and colonists started arriving gain from Spain and other Latin American locales in the early 1800's, helping to bolster the population of the floundering island colony. Governor Raymundo Guzman had been tasked in 1875 to establish the basic infrastructure prior to the appointment of Luis Santiago.

Shortly after the appointment of the new Governor, the settlement experienced a sudden productive, population, infrastructural and societal boom on the few following years prior to it developing its own national identity. Agricultural, mining, forestry and other basic primary industries were greatly developed and expanded in the following decades, as well as the development of infrastructure, public services, education, industry, religion and culture.

The independence of Tropico allowed the Governor Rafael Santiago to become their first President, solidifying the establishment of a dynasty that continues to influence the country to this day. The Spanish-American war had enabled the Island to break ties with Spain, along with Cuba and Puerto Rico. The United States sent in its Marines to free the island from Spanish rule, enabling it to declare independence.

Although Tropico had gained its independence from Spain following the Spanish-American War of 1898, with the recognition and support of the United States, Mexico has long claimed the island as part of its territory. This is due in part because the island was part of the Vice Royalty of New Spain from the 1500's to the early 1800's, when Mexico had declared its independence. Although Spain had granted independence to Mexico, and various other Latin American nations, it refused to give up the small island, due in part to the desire of the islanders to not want to fall under the domination of mainland Mexico. Mexico has also claimed the island due to the extensive Mayan ruins found on it, thus having historical ties to the mainland, and the close geographical proximity to the Mayan peninsula, 108 miles due east from the coastline. Tropicans, however, have long felt a nationalist desire to be Tropicanos, not Mexicanos, having a distinct culture and identity. Although Mexico maintains the territorial claim to the island even today, and has often made political overtures to bring the island back into the fold, Tropico fiercely refuses to give up its independence.

Between it's independence and the beginning of the 20th century, not much is known about Tropico's progress. The only known advancements are minor infrastructure modernization through limited road paving, and the introduction of cars and trucks by private import. In the early 1900's, President Joaquin Marcos established close ties with the United States. Tropico aided President Woodrow Wilson and the Allies by allowing the establishment of a naval base in Tropico during the First World War (while maintaining some contacts with the Central Powers) and during the Great Depression. A civil war erupted in Tropico in 1937, in which a small Fascist group tried to separate and establish a new regime in Islas Rojas. Inspired by the new Fascist regimes in Europe, the movement threatened to overthrow the semi-democratic regime in Tropico, but was put down by government forces.

During World War 2, Tropico remained officially neutral, selling foodstuffs and war materials to both the Axis and Allied countries. While walking a thin line between the two factions, Tropicans were for the most part more inclined towards the Western Allies, believing in the fight against Nazi tyranny. Tropico, however, made a secret deal with the Nazis in 1943. They agreed to take in Nazi refugees should Germany be defeated by the Allies in the war. In return, the Nazis would agree not to continue funding and arming the Fascist movement in the country, and thus launching a proxy invasion by having them overthrow Tropico's government. Tropico, along with many other Latin American countries, finally declared war on Nazi Germany in 1945, at least on paper. Many Nazi refugees and war criminals arrived in the post war years however, causing a diplomatic rift with both the US and the Soviet Union.

It is also during this era that the country experienced it's second and definitive growth spurt, in the form of more advanced industrialization, the introduction of electricity, advanced public services and military advancements.

At the beginning of the Cold War, Tropico became a strategic nation in the Caribbean zone. It maintained a non-aligned foreign policy, and attempted to maintain good relationships with both the USA and USSR. Both countries sent huge amounts of foreign aid to the country, but Tropico would not allow either nation to develop military bases on its soil. Tropico also established good relationships with European countries, China and the Middle East. These various countries helped to spur even more development in Tropico, due in no small part to their own self interests in the resources of the country.

During the 1950s, Tropico became a tourist paradise, starting the development of hotels and other tourist amenities. A new airport was constructed in 1962, and expanded with modern additions in 1983. Today, it is one of the more popular "Spring Break" destinations for college tourists, as well as for eco-tourists.

Also during this time the country continues with it's growth in the form of advanced public services, military additions, the growth of entertainment services (mostly due to tourism) and modernized expansion of industry.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and subsequent end of the Cold War, Tropico has developed stronger ties with the US. It supported the War on Terror following the 9/11 attacks.


Tropico's government is largely autocratic. Almost since its foundation, the country has been in almost total control of a Ruling Dynasty, with it's head bearing the title of El Presidente. Depending on certain principles the Head of the Dynasty can rotate among the different members and assume the country's presidency, or stay in power unopposed permanently.

Since it's independence, Tropico has had a written Constitution, which is often amended and altered by the Ruling Dynasty as it sees fit. The Constitution regulated the state system (religion, army, economy and environment) and some rights (elections, labor, media and private life).

In 1950, the country has developed a Ministry, with five ministers (Defense, Interior, Education, Economy, Foreign Affairs) and also a Foreign Office to assist the Minister of Foreign Affairs, that the President appoints. However, these positions don't debate over, choose, or pass laws themselves so much as they assist the president in passing laws they want enacted.

Tropico, being officially a republic, holds elections to elect its head of state, at least in theory. Depending on constitutional principles elections, are either held at varying times, Sometimes a successful President can have long mandates without it's people demanding elections- if held at all, or held systematically every four years.

Electoral candidates are always composed by one member of the Ruling Dynasty and a single opposing member of the public. The political system is put in place in such way that if the Dynasty candidate loses the elections the whole family loses power, and is ousted from national politics permanently. There are no term limits on being President, so a very successful (or corrupt) leader can technically remain in power for life.

Tropico is a non-partisan state, with the politics organized in several factions, that operates as heterogeneous platform. The factions have a leader and a spokesperson to the government. The oldest factions are the Communists, Militarists, Religious and Capitalists.

Tropico has no regulations about politicians being natural-born Tropican citizens, so even first-generation immigrants and foreign experts can become ministers, or even run for the presidency.

Tropico has become more of a democratic government in recent years, holding regular elections and monitored to be clear of any electoral fraud.


Most culture in Tropico is imported and appropriated from Latin American, North American or European sources. It's hard to tell whether the island's "natives" are actually representing indigenous Tropican culture, or merely putting on a show for tourists. However, some purely Tropican cultural artifacts and events do exist. Tropican-made art is sometimes displayed in museums and the island has been known to celebrate a national independence day, and it's not unusual for fireworks to be set off by patriotic Tropicans weeks before or after the actual day of celebration. Tropico does have its own local brands of music (like Baja Bachata) and cuisine, however.


During colonial times Tropico has a majorly agrarian economy, with varied plantations and ranchs forming the bulk of the settlement's employment, though mining and logging operations are also performed. Industry is very basic.

During both World Wars, Tropico began rapid industrialization, allowing the establishment of a more advanced economy, and during the Cold War the Tourist Sector expanded, along with the modernization of the Entertainment Sector, allowing the country to experience relatively massive income for the first time. The banking, commercial and service sectors all greatly expanded, as well as the development of on and off shore oil drilling. Telecommunications and media also has seen strong development. High rise office and residential towers are now commonplace.

The Tropican economy is largely export driven, and is generally a free market economy, with socialist features like free education at all levels, health care and generous social security benefits.

Nonetheless, the country often receives external aid from the developed world, be it the United States, the Russian Federation, the European Union, the Arab World and the People's Republic of China, among others.

Tropico's exports include
  • Advanced industry goods like canned goods, cheese, attires, furniture, pharmaceuticals, chocolate, cigars, electronics, jewelry, automobiles and rum.
  • Basic industry goods like clothes, planks, and steel.
  • Raw resources like bananas, cocoa, coffee, corn, cotton, pineapple, sugar, tobacco, meat, milk, wool, logs, pearls, oil, natural gas, fish, coal, bauxite, iron, gold and uranium.


Education in Tropico is free, available to the public, and backed by the State, but non-compulsory.

High School education instructs the people with vocational subjects:

  • Basic aestethic design (fashion company)
  • Botany (hydroponic farm)
  • Carpentry (furniture factory)
  • Commerce, Mathematics (grocery, supermarket)
  • Computing (casino, cinema)
  • Military doctrine, Military history (professional army)
  • National history (ruins)
  • Religion (church, mission)
  • Teaching (high school)
  • Technical education (general industries)

University education offers a wide variety of careers:

  • Accounting, Economic sciences (bank)
  • Astronomy (observatory)
  • Audiovisual careers (TV station)
  • Aviation (airport, aerodrome)
  • Bibliography, Literature (library)
  • Biology (dolphinarium)
  • Electronic engineering (electronics factory)
  • Energy engineering (power plants: geothermal, tidal, solar, wind, oil refinery)
  • Fashion design (fashion company)
  • Geology (geothermal PP, tidal PP)
  • Goldsmithing (jewelry workshop)
  • History (museums)
  • Law (legalese technology)
  • Medicine (clinic, hospital)
  • Military engineering (nuclear submarine)
  • Nuclear engineering, Nuclear physics (Nuclear PP, nuclear program)
  • Periodism (newspaper)
  • Pharmacology, Chemistry (pharmaceutical company)
  • Professorship (college)
  • Psychology, Psychiatry (asylum)
  • Applied science careers (science lab)
  • Space engineering (space program)
  • Theater (opera house)
  • Theology (cathedral, inquisition)
  • Military Tactics (More trained soldiers)

However, Tropican standards often lag behind those of developed nations; there exists some evidence of academic dishonesty and nepotism.


While Tropicans used to use traditional folk methods of curing illness, Tropico has a long history of providing universal healthcare since the times of the Great War in the form of small Clinics. From the half of the 20th century onward reforms are carried out to establish modern and qualified facilities with capacitated personnel on the cities.

Tropico has recently been experimenting with for-profit healthcare and reforms.


The official language of Tropico is Spanish, which is spoken by most inhabitants of the island. English is a secondary language, with immigrants coming in from the UK and a few English speaking islands in the Caribbean. Many American tourists also visit the country, so English is widely spoken in the island. There are also French, German, Italian and Chinese minority communities. Many immigrants have also come in from Spanish speaking countries in Latin America, keeping the country a predominantly Latin one.


Main article: National Police

Policia Nacional Republica

Tropico's judicial system is very streamlined. El Presidente can put arrest warrants out on anyone they wish and the police will capture and detain the person without a trial, sometimes in labor camps. Once in prison, El Presidente is unable to pardon or free a prisoner until his sentence is over.

Police don't necessarily need an order to capture anyone they actually see committing a crime, such as known criminals, crime lords and resistance leaders. Though Tropico lacks facilities for capital punishment, El Presidente can have anyone they wish executed by the military.

Tropico also has a national Intelligence Service that uses Police Stations as bases, the agency reveals information about rebel activities, active crime lords, political leaders, and who they all are. Their activities can be expanded by establishing a Secret Police and putting hidden cameras.

Tropican police officers are armed and will handle violent situations such as uprisings with Tropico's SWAT teams.

In recent years, labor camps have been closed down, and now the country leans more towards providing due process for people who have been accused of crimes. Summary executions have been abolished.


Tropico's Media is often factional and biased, though there are cases of specific stations being truly unbiased. Access is free and backed by the State.

Since colonial times Tropico has it's own Newspaper called "El Correo Tropical" with branches varying in factionalization and education requirements, granting relative freedom of opinion and liberty.

There are also Radio Stations and TV Stations, both with high requirements to work in and are introduced to Tropico through the Cold War. Radio also tends to be factionalized like the newspaper. TV signals are not as biased as the other media, instead focusing on telemarketing and entertainment channels.

Notably, every island has a 24 hour radio station either run out of the palace called Tropico News Today (or TNT) or out of a specific tabern called "The Jolly Roger" (hosted by Lulu).

On the turn of the 21st Century the Internet is brought to the country, though acces is often limited to the urban areas. There is the possibility of a Free Wi-Fi network being in the works.


Main article: Armed Forces of Tropico

Military Combat
Tropico's military is a self-defense force intended to protect the island from the threat of rebels and foreign invasion. The military consists of an army of infantry, tanks, a nuclear submarine and a small air force stationed on an aircraft carrier. Typically, Tropican soldiers are paid professionals, though the country sometimes conscripts civilians or allows them to organize into reserves of militias.

The structure of the military is very simple, with soldiers being lead by generals (or SWAT members, who are given the same power) who take orders from the presidente. No other military ranks are known, though El Presidente occasionally awards military officers with medals. These medals are largely meaningless and meant just to boost military morale.

There are rumors that Tropico has or is developing nuclear weapons as a deterrent against foreign invasion.


Trough the ages Tropico's international connections vary greatly, it's first contact being The Crown until gaining independence, then establishing formal diplomatic relations with both the Allies and the Axis. Then most of the Cold War is spent with international connections with the USA and the USSR, both of whom hotly contest the nation for its resources and location. In the turn of the 21th century Tropico maintains formal ties with the United States, along with Russia, with the addition of the European Union, the Middle East and China. Tropico also has good relations with Mexico, the neighbouring Caribbean islands and the various nations of Central and South America.

Society Edit

Tropico's society is a unique case:

On the one hand the population in general has always followed lazy, non-serious work ethics and is fairly destigmatisized on corruption and/or petty crimes (like pickpocketing).

But on the other hand it's been historicaly recorded that since Colonial Times equal work access to both sexes in all areas of work was and is still second nature to Tropico (something most of the world would not apply until a century later). Also, since early 20th century Tropican society has enjoyed an openness on sexuality and sexual matters that would not come to the Developed World until half a century later.

Climate Edit

The Tropican islands enjoy tropical weather, warm temperatures are present all year, but usually not so extreme as to experience scorching hot weather. Precipitations are common enough to ensure good productivity for crops and fertile pastures for livestock.

Still, there are also times where precipitations slow down enough to permit very hot temperatures, leading to droughts.

The territory is also located in a zone where tornadoes are likely to occur.


Tropico's official religion is Roman Catholic Christianity: catholic missions, churches and cathedrals attest to this. Whatever socio-political ideologies they may have, all Tropicans are united as a fiercely religious people who demand a place of worship to achieve happiness. Consequently, religious faction leaders who represents them are highly influential. On one occasion when the Pope visited Tropico, he liked it there so much he refused to leave! Tropican Catholicism is unique in that the Catholic Church has a special ruling that allows Tropican clergy to marry.

According to references to local shamans and buildings, Voodoo is also a minor faith in Tropico.

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