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Aruba

Infrastructure

Government

Demographics

Geography

Move towards independence

History

Aruba

Aruba is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the southern Caribbean Sea, located about 1,600 kilometres (990 mi) west of the main part of the Lesser Antilles and 29 kilometres (18 mi)[5] north of the coast of Venezuela. It measures 32 kilometres (20 mi) long from its northwestern to its southeastern end and 10 kilometres (6 mi) across at its widest point.[5] Together with Bonaire and Curaçao, Aruba forms a group referred to as the ABC islands. Collectively, Aruba and the other Dutch islands in the Caribbean are often called the Dutch Caribbean.
Aruba is one of the four countries that form the Kingdom of the Netherlands, along with the Netherlands, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. The citizens of these countries all share a single nationality: Dutch. Aruba has no administrative subdivisions, but, for census purposes, is divided into eight regions. Its capital is Oranjestad.
Unlike much of the Caribbean region, Aruba has a dry climate and an arid, cactus-strewn landscape. This climate has helped tourism as visitors to the island can reliably expect warm, sunny weather. It has a land area of 179 km2 (69.1 sq mi) and is densely populated, with a total of 102,484 inhabitants at the 2010 Census. It lies outside Hurricane Alley.

Infrastructure

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Palm Beach Aruba's Queen Beatrix International Airport is located near Oranjestad. According to the Aruba Airport Authority, almost 1.7 million travelers used the airport in 2005, 61% of whom were Americans. Aruba has two ports, Barcadera and Playa, which are located in Oranjestad and Barcadera. The Port of Playa services all the cruise-ship lines, including Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Lines, NCL, Holland America Line, Disney Cruise Line and others. Nearly on

e million tourists enter this port per year. Aruba Ports Authority, owned and operated by the Aruban government, runs these seaports. Arubus is a government-owned bus company. Its buses operate from 3:30 a.m. until 12:30 a.m., 365 days a year. Small private vans also provide transportation services in certain areas such Hotel Area, San Nicolaas, Santa Cruz and Noord. A street car service runs on rails on the Mainstreet

Wi-Fi

The Aruba Tourism Authority provides free Wi-Fi zones in renowned areas around the island, in order to enhance our visitors' experience.

 

Utilities

Water-enEnergiebedrijf Aruba, N.V. (W.E.B.) produces potable industrial water at the world's third largest desalination plant.[28] Average daily consumption in Aruba is about 37,000 long tons (38,000 t).

Communications

 There are three telecommunications providers: Setar, a

government-based company, Mio Wireless and Digicel, both of which are privately owned. Setar is the provider of services such as internet, video conferencing, GSM wireless technology and land lines.[30]Digicel is Setar's competitor in wireless technology using the GSM platform, and Mio Wireless provides wireless technology and services using CDMA

Places of interest

800px CHAPEL OF OUR LADY OF ALTO VISTA ARUBA

Notable people

•    Maurice Bishop, Prime Minister of the People's Revolutionary Government of Grenada[33]
•    XanderBogaerts, MLB shortstop of the Boston Red Sox
•    BeticoCroes, political activist
•    Henny Eman, first prime minister of Aruba
•    Bobby Farrell, musician
•    Jossy Mansur, editor of the Papiamento language newspaper, Diario
•    Nelson Oduber, prime minister
•    Sidney Ponson, MLB pitcher
•    Michael Posner, international casino owner
•    FredisRefunjol, governor
•    Julia Renfro, newspaper editor and photographer

Alto Vista Chapel
Beaches

Government

EU OCT and OMR map en

Map of the European Union in the world with overseas countries and territories and outermost regions

502px Willem Alexander Prince of Orange

King Willem-Alexander is the head of state of Aruba

Gouverneur Aruba Refunjol bij Koenders cropped

 FredisRefunjol is the Governor of Aruba

Parlamentodiaruba

Parliament of Aruba in Oranjestad

As a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Aruba's politics take place within a framework of a 21-member Parliament and an eight-member Cabinet. The governor of Aruba is appointed for a six-year term by the monarch, and the prime minister and deputy prime minister are elected by the Staten (or "Parlamento") for four-year terms. The Staten is made up of 21 members elected by direct, popular vote to serve a four-year term.[15]
Together with the Netherlands, the countries of Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten form the Kingdom of the Netherlands. As they share the same Dutch citizenship, these four countries still also share the Dutch passport as the Kingdom of the Netherlands passport. As Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten have small populations, the three countries had to limit immigration. To protect their population, they have the right to control the admission and expulsion of people from the Netherlands.
Aruba is designated as a member of the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) and is thus officially not a part of the European Union, though Aruba can and does receive support from the European Development Fund

Politics

The Aruban legal system is based on the Dutch model. In Aruba, legal jurisdiction lies with the Gerecht in EersteAanleg (Court of First Instance) on Aruba, the Gemeenschappelijk Hof van Justitie van Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten en van Bonaire, Sint Eustatius en Saba (Joint Court of Justice of Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, and of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba) and the HogeRaad der Nederlanden (Supreme Court of Justice of the Netherlands).[18] The KorpsPolitie Aruba (Aruba Police Force) is the island's law enforcement agency and operates district precincts in Oranjestad, Noord, San Nicolaas, and Santa Cruz, where it is headquartered.[19]
Deficit spending has been a staple in Aruba's history, and modestly high inflation has been present as well. By 2006, the government's debt had grown to 1.883 billion Aruban florins.[20] Aruba received some development aid from the Dutch government each year through 2009, as part of a deal (signed as "Aruba's Financial Independence") in which the Netherlands gradually reduced its financial help to the island each successive year.
In 2006, the Aruban government changed several tax laws to reduce the deficit. Direct taxes have been converted to indirect taxes as proposed by the IMF. A 3% tax has been introduced on sales and services, while income taxes have been lowered and revenue taxes for business reduced by 20%. The government compensated workers with 3.1% for the effect that the B.B.O. would have on the inflation for 2007.

 Education

Aruba's educational system is patterned after the Dutch system of education.
The Government of Aruba finances the public national education system.
There are private schools including the International School of Aruba and Schakel College.
There are two medical schoolsAureus University School of Medicine and Xavier University School of Medicine, as well as its own national university, the University of Aruba.

 Economy

Aruba has one of the highest standards of living in the Caribbean region. There is a low unemployment rate.[
The GDP per capita for Aruba was estimated to be $28,924 in 2014; among the highest in the Caribbean and the Americas. Its main trading partners are Colombia, the United States, Venezuela, and the Netherlands.

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A graphical breakdown of Aruba's economy by exports The island's economy has been dominated by three main industries: tourism, aloe export, and petroleum refining (The Lago Oil and Transport Company and the Arend Petroleum Maatschappij Shell Co.).[citation needed] Before the "Status Aparte" (a separate completely autonomous country/state within the Kingdom), oil processing was the dominant industry in Aruba despite expansion of the tourism sector. Today, the influence of the oil processing business is minimal. The size of the agriculture and manufacturing sectors also remains minimal. The official exchange rate of the Aruban florin is pegged to the US dollar at 1.79 florins to 1 USD.[23][24] Because of this fact, and due to a large number of American tourists, many businesses operate using US dollars instead of florins, especially in the hotel and resort districts.

 Tourism

About three quarters of the Aruban gross national product is earned through tourism or related activities.[25] Most tourists are from the United States (predominantly from the north-east US), the Netherlands and South America, mainly Venezuela and Colombia.[citation needed]
As part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, citizens of the Netherlands can travel with relative ease to Aruba and other islands of the Dutch Antilles. No visas are needed for Dutch citizens, only a passport, and although the currency used in Aruba is different (the Netherlands uses the Euro), money can be easily exchanged at a local bank for Aruban Florins.
For the facilitation of the passengers whose destination is the United States, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) full pre-clearance facility in Aruba has been in effect since 1 February 2001 with the expansion in the Queen Beatrix Airport. United States and Aruba have had the agreement since 1986. It began as a USDA and Customs post. Since 2008, Aruba has been the only island to have this service for private flights

 Military

In 1999, the U.S. Department of Defense established a Forward Operating Location (FOL) at the airport.[26]
There is also a small Dutch marines base by Savaneta containing approximately 120 Dutch Marines and about 100 AruMil forces..

 

Culture

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Ornate buildings in Oranjestad, Aruba On 18 March, Aruba celebrates its National Day. In 1976, Aruba presented its National Anthem (Aruba Dushi Tera) and Flag. Aruba has a varied culture. According to the Bureau Burgelijke Stand enBevolkingsregister (BBSB), in 2005 there were ninety-two different nationalities living on the island. Dutch influence can still be seen, as in the celebration of "Sinterklaas" on 5 and 6 December and other national holidays like 27 April, when in Aruba and the rest of the Kingdom of the Netherlands the King's birthday or "Dia di Rey" (Koningsdag) is celebrated.

 

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Iguanas on a rooftop in Aruba Christmas and New Year's Eve are celebrated with the typical music and songs for gaitas for Christmas and the Dande[clarification needed] for New Year, and ayaca, ponche crema, ham, and other typical foods and drinks. Millions of florins worth of fireworks are burnt at midnight on New Year's Eve. On 25 January, BeticoCroes' birthday is celebrated. Dia di San Juan is celebrated on 24 June. Besides Christmas, the religious holy days of the Feast of the Ascension and Good Friday are holidays on the island. The holiday of Carnaval is also an important one in Aruba, as it is in many Caribbean and Latin American countries, and, like Mardi Gras, that goes on for weeks. Its celebration in Aruba started, around the 1950s, influenced by the inhabitants from Venezuela and the nearby islands (Curaçao, St. Vincent, Trinidad, Barbados, St. Maarten and Anguilla) who came to work for the Oil refinery. Over the years the Carnival Celebration has changed and now starts from the beginning of January till the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday with a large parade on the last Sunday of the festivities (Sunday before Ash Wednesday). Tourism from the United States has recently increased the visibility of American culture on the island, with such celebrations as Halloween and Thanksgiving Day in November.

Demographics

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Population of Aruba 1961–2003, according to the FAO in 2005; number of inhabitants given in thousands The population is estimated to be 75% mixed European/Amerindian, 15% Black and 10% other ethnicities. The Arawak heritage is stronger on Aruba than on most Caribbean islands. Although no full-blooded Aboriginals remain, the features of the islanders clearly indicate their genetic Arawak heritage. Most of the population is descended from Caquetio Indians and Dutch and to a lesser extent of Africans, Spanish, Portuguese, English, French, and Sephardic Jewish ancestors. Recently, there has been substantial immigration to the island from neighboring American and Caribbean nations, possibly attracted by the higher paid jobs. In 2007, new immigration laws were introduced to help control the growth of the population by restricting foreign workers to a maximum of three years residency on the island. Demographically, Aruba has felt the impact of its proximity to Venezuela. Many of Aruba's families are descended from Venezuelan immigrants. There is a seasonal increase of Venezuelans living in second homes.

Languages

The official languages are Dutch and – since 2003 – Papiamento. Papiamento is the predominant language on Aruba. It is a creole language, spoken on Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao, that incorporates words from Portuguese, West African languages, Dutch, and Spanish. English is known by many; its usage has grown due to tourism. Other common languages spoken, based on the size of their community, are Portuguese, Chinese, German, Spanish, and French.
In recent years, the government of Aruba has shown an increased interest in acknowledging the cultural and historical importance of its native language. Although spoken Papiamento is fairly similar among the several Papiamento-speaking islands, there is a big difference in written Papiamento. The orthography differs per island and even per group of people. Some are more oriented towards Portuguese and use the equivalent spelling (e.g. "y" instead of "j"), where others are more oriented towards Dutch.
The book The Buccaneers of America, first published in 1678, states through eyewitness account that the natives on Aruba spoke "Spanish". The oldest government official statement written in Papiamento dates from 1803. Around 12.6% of the population today speaks Spanish.[14]
Aruba has four newspapers published in Papiamento: Diario, Bon Dia, Solo di Pueblo and Awe Mainta; and three in English: Aruba Daily, Aruba Today and The News. Amigoe is a newspaper published in Dutch. Aruba also has 18 radio stations (two AM and 16 FM) and three local television stations (Telearuba, Aruba Broadcast Company and Channel 22).

Regions

For census purposes, Aruba is divided into eight regions, which have no administrative functions:

Name Area (km²) Population
1991 Census
Population
2000 Census
Population
2010 Census
Noord / TankiLeendert 34.62 10,056 16,944 21,495
Oranjestad West 9.29 8,779 12,131 13,976
Oranjestad Oost 12.88 11,266 14,224 14,318
Paradera 20.49 6,189 9,037 12,024
San Nicolas Noord 23.19 8,206 10,118 10,433
San Nicolas Zuid 9.64 5,304 5,730 4,850
Santa Cruz 41.04 9,587 12,326 12,870
Savaneta 27.76 7,273 9,996 11,518
Total Aruba 178.91 66,687 90,506 101,484

Geography

 

Aruba Encyclopaedie van Nederlandsch West Indië Antilles part 1 right

Fauna

The island of Aruba, being isolated from the main land of South America, has helped the evolution of multiple endemic animals. The island provides a habitat for the endemic Aruban Whiptail and Aruba Rattlesnake, as well as endemic subspecies of Burrowing Owl and Brown-throated Parakeet.
The rattlesnake and the owl are printed on the Aruban currency

Flora

The flora of Aruba differs from the typical tropical island vegetation. Xeric scrublands are common, with various forms of cacti, thorny shrubs and evergreens. With the most known plant being the Aloe vera, which has a place on the Coat of Arms of Aruba.

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Natural bridge in Aruba (collapsed 2 September 2005) Aruba is a generally flat, riverless island in the Leeward Antilles island arc of the Lesser Antilles in the southern part of the Caribbean. It has white sandy beaches on the western and southern coasts of the island, relatively sheltered from fierce ocean currents.[11] This is where most tourist development has occurred.[11] The northern and eastern coasts, lacking this protection, are considerably more battered by the sea and have been left largely untouched by humans. The hinterland of the island features some rolling hills, the best known of which are called Hooiberg at 165 meters (541 ft) and Mount Jamanota, the highest on the island at 188 meters (617 ft) above sea level. Oranjestad, the capital, is located at 12°19′N70°1′W. To the east of Aruba are Bonaire and Curaçao, two island territories which once formed the southwest part of the Netherlands Antilles. This group of islands is sometimes called the ABC islands. They are located on the South American continental shelf and therefore geographically listed as part of South America. The Natural Bridge was a large, naturally formed limestone bridge on the island's north shore. It was a popular tourist destination until its collapse in 2005.

Cities and towns

The island, with a population of just over 100,000 inhabitants, does not have major cities. However, most of the island's population resides in or surrounding the two major city-like districts of Oranjestad (Capital) and San Nicolaas. Furthermore, the island is divided into six districts, which are:
•    Noord
•    Oranjestad (33,000 in 2006), divided in two districts
•    Paradera
•    San Nicolaas, divided in two districts
•    Santa Cruz
•    Savaneta

Climate

[hide]Climate data for Oranjestad, Aruba (1981–2010, extremes 1951–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 32.5
(90.5)
33.0
(91.4)
33.9
(93)
34.4
(93.9)
34.9
(94.8)
35.2
(95.4)
35.3
(95.5)
36.1
(97)
36.5
(97.7)
35.4
(95.7)
35.0
(95)
34.8
(94.6)
36.5
(97.7)
Average high °C (°F) 30.0
(86)
30.4
(86.7)
30.9
(87.6)
31.5
(88.7)
32.0
(89.6)
32.2
(90)
32.0
(89.6)
32.6
(90.7)
32.7
(90.9)
32.1
(89.8)
31.3
(88.3)
30.4
(86.7)
31.5
(88.7)
Daily mean °C (°F) 26.7
(80.1)
26.8
(80.2)
27.2
(81)
27.9
(82.2)
28.5
(83.3)
28.7
(83.7)
28.6
(83.5)
29.1
(84.4)
29.2
(84.6)
28.7
(83.7)
28.1
(82.6)
27.2
(81)
28.1
(82.6)
Average low °C (°F) 24.5
(76.1)
24.7
(76.5)
25.0
(77)
25.8
(78.4)
26.5
(79.7)
26.7
(80.1)
26.4
(79.5)
26.8
(80.2)
26.9
(80.4)
26.4
(79.5)
25.8
(78.4)
25.0
(77)
25.9
(78.6)
Record low °C (°F) 21.3
(70.3)
20.6
(69.1)
21.4
(70.5)
21.5
(70.7)
21.8
(71.2)
22.7
(72.9)
21.2
(70.2)
21.3
(70.3)
22.1
(71.8)
21.9
(71.4)
22.0
(71.6)
20.5
(68.9)
20.5
(68.9)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 39.3
(1.547)
20.6
(0.811)
8.7
(0.343)
11.6
(0.457)
16.3
(0.642)
18.7
(0.736)
31.7
(1.248)
25.8
(1.016)
45.5
(1.791)
77.8
(3.063)
94.0
(3.701)
81.8
(3.22)
471.8
(18.575)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 8.4 5.0 1.8 1.9 2.2 2.8 4.9 4.3 3.9 7.4 10.6 11.4 64.6
Average relative humidity (%) 77.5 76.1 75.7 77.1 77.9 77.4 77.8 76.2 76.8 78.6 79.1 78.4 77.4
Source: DEPARTAMENTO METEOROLOGICO ARUBA

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