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

Caribbean Islands

Caribbean Islands

Mention the word Caribbean and most people think of Barbados, Puerto Rico, Antigua…crystal clear waters and white sand beaches. Great for a vacation, but moving there…just too expensive, right? Not necessarily. The Caribbean isn’t restricted to just those few islands. By broadening your horizons, and your perceived idea of “the Caribbean”, you can still find a home at an affordable price.

Saint Martin, Caribbean

Saint Martin, Caribbean

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April 23, 2018

This Vancouver couple discovered a way to travel affordably in retirement, while at the same time exploring all that the Caribbean has to offer.  Their unique take on an increasingly popular travel trend allows them to soak up the sun in some of the Caribbean’s best retirement hotspots…and they’re doing it all rent free. Johanne Read more...: How Canadians Can Live Rent Free in the Caribbean