Once a week on Sundays I do a recap of the most breaking news about Aruba.
If this is your first time reading my newsletter – welcome!
Breaking News about Aruba
The reason I started this news bulletin about Aruba is to keep you up to date with what’s happening on the island, because I know how much being connected with your home away from home means to you.
Where do I get the information for breaking news about Aruba?
The information for my weekly newsletter comes from watching the news, reading the local newspapers (online and some in print) and from locals that discuss what’s happening in Aruba on the radio during the day.
At the end of the week I pick the most relevant news out of Aruba that you can relate to.
This weeks breaking news about Aruba is full of items that are the “talk of the town” at the moment.
The biggest breaking news about Aruba this week was a shocker, I couldn’t believe it myself when I heard that the….
Minister Of Labor Is Being Accused of Corruption
This week the minister of labor & employment, Paul Croes, (including several of his other colleagues) received a surprise visit from the police at home. The police raided their homes, taking papers, computers and more with them.
At the same time, the public prosecution service was giving a public announcement, declaring the minister of labor as a prime suspect in a corruption case. The public prosecution service mentioned during the press conference that he is being accused of accepting (and asking money) for (work) permits.
As the news came out, it spread like wildfire, becoming the talk of the town!
Paul Croes had to speak his side of the story and he did, with a concise speech confirming the public that he is indeed a prime suspect in “this investigation”. But he didn’t mention or confirm for what he was being accused of….
It was clear to him that the situation was a serious one, and asked the prime minister, Mike Eman, for a “time out” from his ministry until the end of the investigation. The prime minister granted him a break from his ministry and transferred all of his duties to his colleague, the minister of finance, Angel Bermudez.
What are other members of the parliament saying?
Members of the political party Movimiento Electoral di Pueblo (MEP) demand a public reunion to discuss the matters at hand. They find that the minister of labor shouldn’t be given a temporary leave from his ministry, but that he should to retire from his position as minister immediately.
What can there be done to prevent this from happening again?
Aruba’s parliament needs a “good governance” policy.
Everything a politician does needs to be transparent and accessible to anyone who wants to know. At the end of the day someone needs to be held accountable for what happens.
What do you think they should do to prevent this from every happening?
New Protected Areas in Aruba
It’s official, spaans lagoon and bubali plas are protected by Aruba’s one and only national park – Arikok. The parks protected areas expanded more with the addition of these two beautiful sites. Arikok has protection of a total of 16 area’s on the island.
The inauguration of spaans lagoon took place at the balashi gold mill ruins with the presence of princess Beatrix and the prime minister of Aruba, Mike Eman.
During a press conference, the chairman of Arikok mentioned that they are going to start with the maintenance of the area, beginning with the removal of silt near the lagoon.
If you’ve never been to spaans lagoon, or any other sites in arikok, you should plan a visit. Seeing the “other part of the island” is a thing you can’t miss out on….
How much do you love Aruba?
Aruba Hotel And Tourism Association recently recognized and expressed much gratitude to one of the island’s most loyal return visitor, Larry Darick, for voluntarily helping to keep Aruba’s beaches clean and beautiful during his vacation.
He’s been coming to Aruba for over 20 years and stays for about 3 to 4 weeks at a time.
Larry told AHATA during an interview that he survived a big accident and since then he got the feeling that he should start giving back, and he’s doing it by cleaning up the beach.
In the morning Larry wakes up and takes a walk on the beach while cleaning it up.
On his daily walks he removes plastic bags, bottles and glass from the beach. Sometimes he finds unusual trash that washes up on the shorelines, like a coca cola bottle that was produced in south Africa. According to Larry the majority of trash at the shorelines comes from ships and other neighboring islands. So the coasts need to be maintained on a regular basis.
Larry also mentioned during is interview that the island has progressed a lot since the first time he stepped foot in Aruba, which is years ago. He’s noticing less trash on the beach, making them more beautiful.
Everyone who comes to Aruba, falls in love with the island (including you)…
So the question is, how much do you love Aruba?
I hope as much (or more) than Larry, who is a great example for both locals and visitors.
Sea Turtles in Aruba
A few days ago the first turtle nest was spotted on the beach in front of Amsterdam Manor.
The local organization, committed to helping sea turtles in Aruba, took notice of this and immediately closed the turtle nest with barricades.
There are different types of turtles in the world, but the one that visits Aruba to lay eggs is the leather back sea turtle. And it happens to be the largest turtle in the world.
In Aruba we call them Driekiel. These driekiels are known to lay several nests during one season in Aruba. We’ve seen this happen in the past already, because last year only 2 turtles came to Aruba, but both of them created a total of 20 nests – wow!
The turtles usually can be seen at night on eagle beach, but recently they have been spotted at different beaches on the island including arashi, andicuri and boca grandi.
If you think you have been revisiting the island for a long time, think again, because these leather back turtles have been revisiting the island for many more years and are also distinguished repeat guests!
Is The Bushiri Hotel Coming Down, or Not?
Since the area around the bushiri has been cleaned, many people want to know when the abandoned building will be brought down….
So the director of Aruba’s infrastructure company, Marlon Croes, elaborated on the status of the abandoned bushiri hotel during a recent interview.
He said that they are practically done with cleaning up the place, but are waiting for the paperwork to be reviewed and signed, so the government can give them a start sign to begin bringing down the abandoned hotel.
According to him, removing the old building is a longer process than many people expect. But that it shouldn’t take any longer that they get the green light.
The plan is to create a recreational park for locals and visitors including a public beach.
Paarden Baai Plaza Almost Done
Aruba is going to get a new place soon in the downtown area. A small shopping center called paarden baai plaza, near the cruise port. It’s not going to be filled with high end fashion stores, instead it’s going to be a new zone for kiosk that sell souvenirs, local art and I love Aruba shirts.
What’s the idea behind paarden baai plaza?
At the moment there are three flea markets in the downtown area. The first one, in front of the royal plaza mall. The second one is further down the road, right next to the gas station on LG Smith boulevard. And the third flea market is right next to the central bus station.
But the last flea market next to the bus station is kind of an eyesore to the downtown area, because the kiosk are made out of wood, and are starting to deteriorate.
The kiosk owners next to the bus station are going to move into these new cute little colorful shops. And the old wooden kiosk will be finally removed making the site beautiful again.
Paarden baai plaza will be finished in about less than a two months.
If you’re coming to Aruba in the following months, remember to visit the downtown area, to see the new paarden baai plaza.
Hilton Resort with New Juice Bar
If you love the idea of a healthy lifestyle, even when you’re on vacation, you should look up Laguna restaurant, and think about going there for breakfast. Because they have a new juice bar. It’s not just any type of juice bar, but a vegetarian and gluten free juice bar.
The resort has been getting good reviews since the introduction.
Some of their most popular smoothies are superfood (made with oranges, pineapple, spinach, celery, cucumber and aloe) and morning boost (made with spinach, blueberry, pineapple, banana and oranges).
They serve smoothies during their breakfast hours, which is from 7:00 AM – 11:00 AM.
Is ESTA really good for Aruba?
Before you know it, you’re going to have to fill in an electronic system for travel authorisation (ESTA) form before you decide to come to Aruba (visitors from the Netherlands don’t have to fill in the form).
However, many people are starting to doubt if the ESTA is going to affect the amount of visitors who decide to travel to Aruba.
But Aruba Tourism Authority (ATA) thinks different about the situation….
They says that they don’t expect it to have a negative impact on tourism, but that it will be a step forward in the right direction to controlling the island’s borders and keeping out undesired visitors.
At the moment they are working together with the department of immigration to digitalize all the required information that you need to submit online before you can visit Aruba.
The situation around ESTA is developing really quick, expect it to be introduced at the end of 2018 (or first quarter of 2019).
As soon as ATA releases more information about the new system, I will let you know in my newsletter.
Do we need a new hotel in Aruba?
There are many bungalow eco-resorts in the Caribbean (for example jamaica and mexico).
The developers of these eco friendly resorts want to build one in Aruba, near the mangroves at isla di oro in pos chiquito.
The project is still in a deadlock, because they haven’t received any permits yet from the government to start construction.
One thing is for sure, the majority of locals and organizations, such as Aruba Bird Life Conservation is against the new eco-resort. But then again you have other non governmental organizations that support this new resort.
The company didn’t receive any permits to build yet, because the government needs an environmental impact assessment of the mangrove area, before they can give out a permit.
But they recently completed the assessment and they have reported back to the government.
The study has been done by an international organization and results of the assessment, a nearly 300 page long document, shows that the mangroves are dying and the corals are in danger.
According to the owner of the company something needs to be done urgently to protect the mangrove area in pos chiquito!
They made it clear that they have the money, support of local non-governmental organizations and experience to start building and maintaining the endangered area.
However, the government hasn’t made any public announcements yet whether they will approve or deny their request to construct the eco-resort.
What are your thoughts?
Do you, as a frequent visitor to the island, think that another hotel is necessary?
Dogs in Aruba
Many locals in Aruba love animals and the majority of them have dogs as pets.
Unfortunately a lot of these animals are being abused and neglected. All of these pups end up homeless and sick.
To help solve the current situation, there’s a new initiative by united dog foundation Aruba to sterilize a total of 400 street dogs. This isn’t the first time they are doing this, because about two years ago the united dog foundation Aruba sterilized about 4000 cats and dogs on the island.
They are repeating their efforts again, but this time with a focus on street dogs in the area of San Nicolas.
They will start (in the beginning of May) with this project by picking stray dogs from the streets of San Nicolas, sterilize them, take care of them until they are good to go.
If you’re an animal lover and have a place at home for a pet, pass by one of the local animal shelters, and adopt one of these pups.
Starbucks Fun Walk
Starbucks Aruba is celebrating their Global month of services, dedicating a fun walk supporting and giving back to the community. They have been doing this event for years and this time they are raising funds for a foundation called “Cu Amor Pa Aruba” (Love For Aruba).
The fun walk is going to take place on April 8, 2017 (8.00 AM, registration starts at 7.30 AM) . The starting point will be at the Renaissance marketplace, right next to cafe de plaza. It’s going to be a 6 km route.
If you’re on the island and want to join the walk for a good cause you can register at starbucks (at renaissance market place, paseo herencia) for only 6 dollars. Your inscription gives you a cup of coffee, a recyclable shopping bag and water during your run.
Police Catch 5 Thieves
The public aid office in savaneta was unfortunately robbed a couple of days ago. The anti socials entered the building, attacked the security guard and took about $20.000 from the money transport workers.
It must have been a planned attack. But the police were smarter and reacted fst on these robbers and caught 5 of them in a matter of no time!
Most of them have already been in contact with the law and are no strangers to the police. Two of them are island natives.
After the couple of robberies in the last couple of weeks, the police are surely more proactive with this bust. They surely did a great job, two thumb up!
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ARUBA does not need more hotels..it is taking away the reason why we come to ARUBA.For it’s natural beauty and native culture.
Why can’t hotels be required to put garbage cans on the bech next to the shore. The hotels all serve food and drinks and the trash blows in the water. I have picked up trash walking the beach along with others but there is no placfe to put it. If you stack it up it just blows in. With all the profits hotels make could they not put trash cans every 30 meters so tourists will pick up thir own trash or people walking the beach will?
Yes, I ask myself that all the time! Maybe putting this on their FB wall will encourage them to do it, nowadays reviews count very much!
I am glad the local police are taking care of it’s bread and butter….we the tourists…
Yes, they did a good job!
The Minister should Resign till this matter has Ben proven.
I have been coming to Aruba for over 20 years, our 2nd home. I have been trying to get some information on Timeshare owners rights and protections. I own 6 weeks and do not know anything about what protection we as owners have through the government. If you have a name and E-mail address for me, I will do the work on this. If you happen to know if there is a document you could send me , I would greatly appreciate it
I noticed this questions comes in a lot. I will do my best to link you yo any kind of document online or company in Aruba that can assist you. If anything I will contact you.
No more hotels. There are already too many. Especially the high rises. It has taken away from Arubas beauty already!
If the mangroves and coral are already struggling no need to build on them either.
Wendy, thank you for sharing your thoughts regarding the hotel situation.
Once again, I thank you Angelo for keeping all of us who love the Island up to date on what is happening! I read with much sadness about the crimes committed By the Minister of Labor. unfortunately Our beautiful Island has not been spared the corruption that we see so often in other parts of the world, Hopefully this will be a warning to others that the Aruban Govt. will not tolerate this behavior. as for building more hotels in Aruba I vote NO…..I have been visiting Aruba for over 30 years and I cringe every time I see another one built! before long Our beautiful Aruba will be just another Las Vegas….and please allow the mangroves and coral to survive.
Your welcome! Thanks for your response.
A big thank you for this newsletter! It’s the only place to get news of what’s going on in Aruba. You are doing a great service for those who don’t get to live there full time.
You’re much welcome!
I am glad that you subscribed to the newsletter!
I appreciate it!!
Years ago the government said that there was to be no more building on the island. That’s before they got greedy with how much more money they could make. We’ve been coming to Aruba for over thirty years and the island is too crowded.
Stop building! Your destroying the natural landscape of the island.
Thanks for your newsletter. It really keeps us up to date while we’re away from our home away from home. Keep up the great work!
Your news letter is quite informative on the going on in Aruba. I have been coming to Aruba for 15 years now. We enjoy each time we come. No more hotels please !! Maintain the ones there and put in place a police agency to take care of the problems that are /will be created by the illigals from Venezuela. Aruba has been a safe tourist destination and needs to continue. Thank you again for your news. Keep up the great work
I find it saddening that the police force has to wear bullet proof vests. I certainly want them to stay as safe as possible, but being touted as the safest island in the Caribbean, it’s disheartening that gun violence has reached that point.