Dialing code: +297
Currency: Aruban florin
Official languages: Dutch Language, Papiamento language
Continent: Americas, North America
- Conventional long form: none
- Conventional short form: Aruba
- Caquetios Amerindians from the Arawak tribe were the first to inhabit the island.
- They were migrants from Venezuela who had escaped the Carib attacks.
- The earliest known Indian settlement is known to have existed around 1000 AD.
- Residents of Aruba were more connected to South America than to other Caribbean islands due to proximity and easy accessibility.
- Europeans learnt of Aruba only after Amerigo Vespucci and Alonso de Ojeda discovered it in August 1499.
- The Spaniards ruled over Aruba for over a hundred years.
- Aruba is controlled by Dutch administration since 1636.
- Great Britain controlled Aruba between 1799 and 1802, and 1805 to 1816.
- In 1933 Aruba sent its first petition for independent status and autonomy.
- Aruba became a British protectorate from 1940 to 1942 and a US protectorate from 1942 to 1945, during World War II.
- On February 16, 1942, the island survived a German attack on its oil processing refinery.
- 80% of Aruba’s population is Mestizo in origin.
- The remaining 20% comprise of Spanish, Dutch, Italian, French and British.
- Majority of the population seems to have descended from the Arawaks.
- Pure-bred aborigines are no longer present on the island.
- Aruba is becoming increasingly popular among immigrants who come there in search of job prospects.
- The residency of foreign nationals has now been restricted to a maximum of 3 years.
Government and Politics:
- Aruba is a member country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
- Since its separation formthe Netherlands Antilles in 1986, it holds full autonomy in internal affairs.
- The Dutch Government holds responsibility for defense and foreign affairs.
- Aruba is run by a parliamentary democratic government.
- Since Aruba is part of the Kingdom of Netherlands, it has no administrative divisions.
- Flag Day (18 March, 1976) is observed as a national holiday.
- The Constitution came into effect on 1 January 1986.
- The Legal system is based on Dutch civil law system with some English common law influence.
- Queen BEATRIX of the Netherlands is the chief of state since 30 April 1980.
- She is represented by Governor General Fredis REFUNJOL since 11 May 2004.
- The Prime Minister is the head of government. The Council of Ministers is elected by the Staten. The monarch is hereditary.
- The governor general is appointed by the monarch for a six-year term.
- The prime minister and deputy prime minister are elected by the State for four-year terms.
- The Legislative branch is unicameral Legislature or Staten consisting of 21 seats.
- Members of the legislature are elected by direct popular vote to serve four-year terms.
- The Judicial branch is represented by the Common Court of Justice of Aruba.
- Judges are appointed by the monarch.
- March 18 is celebrated as National Day commemorating the introduction of the National Anthem and Aruban flag.
- Since Aruba has a mixed culture, Dutch festivals like "Sinterklaas" and the Queen's birthday or "Dia di La Reina" (Koninginnedag) are also celebrated.
- Christmas and New Year are celebrated with traditional songs and music.
- Betico's Croes birthday is celebrated on January 25.
- An annual Carnival is held every year since 1950.
- The Carnival is an important part of Aruban and Caribbean culture in general.
- In June there is the celebration of the "Dia di San Juan", with the song of "Dera Gai".
- Religious occasions like the days of Ascension and Good Friday are also observed as holidays.
- Aruban population is believed to be a mix of ninety-two different nationalities.
- Papiamento, a linguistically mixed language, is spoken by most Arubans.
- Dutch and Papiamento are the two official languages of Aruba.
- Papiamento has elements of Dutch, English, diverse African dialects, Portuguese and Spanish.
- Spanish is also spoken by a large number of people.
- Some communities speak Portuguese, Chinese, German and French.
- French is usually taught in schools.
- The script of Papiamento varies greatly from island to island.
- Tourism industry formsthe major part of the Aruban economy.
- Offshore banking and oil-refining also generate substantial incomes.
- Tourist activity has fuelled the growth of infrastructure including hotels and constructions.
- The government has made cuttingthe budget and trade deficits a high priority.
- The GDP (purchasing power parity) as calculated in 2005 was $2.258 billion.
- 6.9% of the Arubans are unemployed.
- Agricultural produce includes aloes, livestock and fish.
- The major industries are tourism, transshipment facilities and oil refining.
- Exported commodities include live animals and animal products, machinery and electrical equipment and transport equipment, art and collectibles.
- Imported commodities include machinery and electrical equipment, crude oil for refining and re-export chemicals and foodstuffs.
- Aruba has a modern fully automatic telecommunications system.
- Many privatized service providers have emerged in the recent years.
- There are 18 radio broadcast stations in all.
- There is only one television broadcast station.
- Internet facilities are well established and readily available.
- Aruba has one airport.
- Roadways span across 800 km.
- The main ports and terminals are located at Barcadera, Oranjestad and Saint Nicolas.
- Aruba follows the Dutch system and pattern of education.
- Education at all levels is sponsored by the government.
- Private institutions arrange their own funds.
- The Aruban government spends a large amount of money on education compared to other Caribbean and Latin American nations.
- The quality of primary schooleducation is very high in Aruba.
- Secondary school educationcomprises of vocational training (VMBO), basic education (MAVO), college prep (HAVO) and advanced placement(VWO).
- Higher education may be pursued at the Professional Education program (EPI), the teacherscollege (IPA) and the University of Aruba (UA).
- Most students pursue higher education in the US, South America and Europe due to limited subject options in Aruban colleges.
- Aruba has 68 schools for primary education, 12 schools for secondary education and 5 Universities.
Aruba is located in the southern Caribbean Sea and is surrounded by:
- Paraguaná Peninsula (south)
- Falcón State, Venezuela (south)
- Aruba’s geographic coordinates are 12 30 N, 69 58 W.
- The island nation spans over a total area of 193 sq km.
- The coastline is 68.5 km long.
- Aruba enjoys a tropical marine with little seasonal temperature variation.
- The terrain is mostly flat with a few hills and scant vegetations.
- The highest point is Mount Jamanota standing at 188 m.
- 10.53% of the total land area is arable.
- The island is very occasionally hit by hurricanes.
Aruba is still under the Kingdom of Netherlands.
Notable People in the Country:
Sidney Ponson (major league baseball player)
- Aruba is gaining popularity as a tourist destination for its white, sandy beaches and pleasant climate.
- The country also has some interesting natural rock formations and caves.
- According to a 2008 census, the population of Aruba was estimated to be 101,541.
- The annual population growth rate is 1.501% (2008 est.)
- Birth rate: 12.81 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
- Death rate: 7.65 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Aruba Related Topics:
Aruba Tourist Attractions:
- Plam Island
- Alto Vista Chapel
- California Light House
- Numismatic Museum of Aruba
- Fort Zoutman
- Archaelogical Museum of Aruba