History & Fun Facts
California Lighthouse Image Circa 1930
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The amazing Island of Aruba is located just 15 miles north of Venezuela. Aruba is surrounded with the warm and welcoming waters of the Caribbean. The weather is perfect and typically stays the same year round, averaging 83 degrees with rarely any rainy days.
The entire island of Aruba is just under 20 miles in length and about 6 miles wide. Happily, Aruba is also located just outside of the hurricane belt.
The capital city of Aruba is Oranjestad. This beautiful and quaint city is a blend of Old and New. Colorful Dutch colonial facade's reside next to modern structures in perfect harmony. The Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA) is also located within the city limits of Oranjestad.
One of the very interesting features of the Island is that you can enjoy areas that are gentle white sand beaches with lush and green and thick with vegetation, and you can drive a few minutes away and find the desert like Arikok National Park, with it's abundance of cacti, dramatic rock formations, and rugged coastline.
The constant trade winds (which are a blessing for Aruba), are also the reason for the distinctively sculpted trees around the Island.
While the official languages of Aruba are Dutch and Papiamento, you will find that the majority of most Aruban's speak a minimum of four languages. This includes English and Spanish.
Papiamento which is Aruba's native language has many unique saying's in it. It is a friendly language blending Dutch, English, Portuguese, Spanish and African. It is known as Afro-Portuguese Creole and is completely unique to the ABC islands. The ABC Islands are comprised of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao.
The first Papiamento-language newspaper began in 1871. Although Papiamento was the native language for well over 300 years, it was not declared the "Official Language of Aruba" until 2003.
Handy Phrases in Papiamento
Bon Bini _ Welcome
Bon tardi _ Good Afternoon
Bon nochi _ Good evening
Bon dia _ Good morning
Pasa Bon dia! __ Have a nice day!
Por fabor Please
Con ta bai? _ How are you?
Mi ta bon I am fine
Hopi bon _ Very good
Mi nomber ta... My name is...
Con jamabo? _ What is your name?
Unda bo ta bai? __ Where are you going?
Tur cos ta suave Everything is allright
Di nada You are welcome
Mi tin sed I am thirsty
Mi tin hamber _ I am hungry
Mi por a hanja un cerbes? __ Can I have a beer?
Mi por a hanja un glas di awa? __ Can I have a glass of water?
Con e tempo ta bai bira? __ What is the weather forecast?
Ta bai hasi solo _ It will be sunny
Awa ta jobe It's raining
Con mi ta jega...? How do I get to ...(place)
Unda e bus ta bai? _ Where is the bus going?
Cuant'or tin? What time is it?
Mi dushi My darling (sweety)
Un sunchi A kiss
Un braza A hug
Mi amor My love
Mi ta stimabo! _ I love you!
The people that make-up Aruba has a sincerity and a warmth unlike anywhere else. They have an overall friendly and welcoming demeanor. This is believed to be one of the main reasons that so many guests of Aruba return again and again. It's not uncommon to pick up conversations with locals and upon returning at a later date, be welcomed with smiles, hugs, and a welcome back home attitude.
There are a broad and International mixture people that live on the Island. Over the years, a significant number of people from all over the globe have made their way to Aruba and now call it home. It is said that there are more than 90 different nationalities making up the Island's Inhabitants. A good many of these Immigrants hail from the Netherlands and from South America, but also as far away as China.
The Aruban people share a strong national identity to Aruba, no matter where they or their ancestor's originally hailed from.