[Oranjestad, Aruba NV] Many of you may have been familiar with the island called Aruba but more became familiar with the unfortunate Natalie Holloway saga of 2005.
Being from the west coast (Los Angeles) many visit or vacation in Hawaii but once we discovered Aruba and quickly discovered it was the “Hawaii” for those on the East Coast, even though our flight is nearly 12 hours (combined with the layover) we quickly made the commitment to travel across the U.S.A. and make Aruba our vacation destination instead of traveling the 3 hours to Hawaii. Ever since then we have not looked back and thoroughly enjoy the island as well as the extended family we have developed.
Aruba – a little history
Aruba is part of the Caribbean and is the farthest cluster of islands to the south. It is commonly known as part of the ABC islands. A=Aruba, B=Bonaire and C=Curacao. Are three are governed by the Dutch. The southern tip of Aruba is approximately 20 miles away from Venezuela. On a clear day you can actually see it.
As the Caribbean was being colonized it was the slave trade used to provide labor which fueled development. Once slavery was abolished many, particularly those from the continent of Africa remained and became part of the respective countries. Even though Aruba used some slave labor, it was not to the extent of other countries. Thus, Aruba did not experience all of the negative consequences brought on by institutionalized slavery. Interestingly, this was not because leaders did not want to use slavery. More so, it was the reality of the topography which is different from many other tropical countries. Essentially, it is an island with a desert landscape. There are very little crops or agriculture or the need for livestock, or the mining of resources which are more abundant in other countries.
Even today, some might classify Aruba as a European outpost, ruled by the Dutch. That is only part of the story and even though the population is a tad over 100,000, it is very diverse.
The Iguana going into the Lazy Pool at the Marriott Surf Club