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...