The town of San Juan Bautista was founded by the Spaniards in 1750, and it is named in honor of Saint John the Baptist. It is the only stable, permanent town in the archipelago.
According to current records, there are 700 inhabitants of the Juan Fernández Archipelago. They live most of the time on Robinson Crusoe Island, specifically in San Juan Bautista.
However, the number of residents fluctuates throughout the year. Between October and May, some people live on Alejandro Selkirk Island, catching lobsters during the season for that activity.
From March to December, most of the young islanders attend school on the Chilean mainland. During the summer months, the population swells with tourists and those who live on the mainland during the winter.
The island’s economy is mostly based on the capture and sale of lobster and fish. In recent years, the locals have also caught golden crabs.
Tourism is another source of income, mainly in the summer. The only stable jobs here are in government; all the other jobs on the island are seasonal.