History: Discovered and claimed for Spain in 1499, Aruba was acquired by the Dutch in 1636. The island’s economy has been dominated by three main industries. A 19th century gold rush was followed by prosperity brought on by the opening in 1924 of an oil refinery. The last decades of the 20th century saw a boom in the tourism industry.

Aruba seceded from the Netherlands Antilles in 1986 and became a separate, autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Movement toward full independence was halted at Aruba’s request in 1990.

Location: Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, north of Venezuela.

Population: 112,162 (July 2015 est.)

Capital: Oranjestad

Climate: Tropical marine; little seasonal temperature variation.

Language: Papiamento (official) (a creole language that is a mixture of Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, English, and, to a lesser extent, French, as well as elements of African languages and the language of the Arawak) 69.4%, Spanish 13.7%, English (widely spoken) 7.1%, Dutch (official) 6.1%, Chinese 1.5%, other 1.7%, unspecified 0.4% (2010 est.)

Religion: Roman Catholic 75.3%, Protestant 4.9% (includes Methodist .9%, Adventist .9%, Anglican .4%, other Protestant 2.7%), Jehovah’s Witness 1.7%, other 12%, none 5.5%, unspecified 0.5% (2010 est.)

Time Zone: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

*Source: CIA The World Factbook

 

From the Archives of Caribbean

Pros and Cons of Retiring Abroad

Pros and Cons of Retiring Abroad

The decision to retire abroad is not something that should be taken lightly. For many people it’s the best decision they’ve ever made—the adventure of a lifetime. And their only regret is that they didn’t make the move sooner. While other people just can’t adapt to life in a new country. How do you figure into which camp you fall...

Sail the World on Your Social Security

Sail the World on Your Social Security

Daily Postcard
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October 1, 2015

The place they now call home is a Cape Cod-style cottage on the hillside of a popular neighborhood. But this is a relatively recent development. For nearly two decades, they’ve been sailing around the world together. Years ago, they discovered that a sailing retirement was a lot easier (and cheaper) than they ever could have realized. And they didn’t need a vast amount of knowledge to get started.

The Economy in Bahamas

The Economy in Bahamas

Best Places
By |
February 28, 2013

The Bahamas is one of the wealthiest Caribbean countries with an economy heavily dependent on tourism and offshore banking. Tourism together with tourism-driven construction and manufacturing accounts for approximately 60% of GDP and directly or indirectly employs half of the archipelago’s labor force. Prior to 2006, a steady growth in tourism receipts and a boom Read more...: The Economy in Bahamas