A lot has happened over the week that made it to the local news in Aruba.

I write these weekly news updates about Aruba so you can stay informed about what is happening on your home away from home.

If you want to receive future updates for news in Aruba sign up for the Vacations By Aruba newsletter at the end of this post.

News in Aruba

So let’s start with this weeks news in Aruba…

The Owners of Cilo Restaurant Abandoned Aruba

A process-server and a lawyer were sent to Cilo Restaurant located in Renaissance Marketplace.

They went to seize everything in Cilo after the owners of the restaurant decided to close the place in December 2016. The owners abandoned Aruba leaving behind debts and their employees without a job. 

According to the employees, the owners told them that they didn’t have money to pay their salaries or pay the rent and other expenses – so they we’re forced to close.

I personally think that the employees should of smelled the rat a long time ago.

Because the same owners of Cilo were caught once by authorities without the legal documentation to be in Aruba or to run a business.

Everything in the restaurant has been confiscated.

In the meanwhile the employees are waiting for another restaurant to open so they can get their job back.

Senor Frogs Employees Still Jobless

The employees from Senor Frogs are fighting for their rights after a lawyer representing Senor Frogs broke his promise.

Last year the owners from Senor Frogs decided to abandon Aruba without paying them (or telling them they were closing).

The owners from Senor Frogs said they would return to Aruba in 2017 and explain why they suddenly closed the place. And they promised to pay every employee normally until the company declares bankruptcy.

The employees we’re paid the first month, but never again since then.

This week a lawyer representing Senor Frogs informed the employees that they will not get their salary anymore.

According to the employees they lost their pension, benefits and a family bond feeling at work.

This way of doing business can’t be accepted in Aruba.

How is it possible for someone to work knowing that their job isn’t really something they can depend on.

The owners of Senor Frogs haven’t returned to Aruba yet to explain their side of the story or face their responsibilities.

Credit Card Scam

A family of tourist were surprised by the local authorities when they we’re leaving their hotel near Palm Beach.

The police arrested two brothers with regards about a stolen credit card.

The authorities were informed about various purchases made with a stolen credit card on Aruba.

After investigation the police went to arrest the two brothers.

They are the main suspects and it’s not clear whether they can leave the island or not, because the case is still in process.

Sentenced 4 Years for Attacking a Taxi Driver

The American tourist, Patrick Maxwell, who attacked a female taxi driver in 2016 got sentenced to 4 years in jail.

He decided to appeal on the judge’s first decision last year, but nothing has changed on the second time in court.

Patrick said he isn’t guilty of this crime, because he said he was drunk and couldn’t remember what he had done. Plus he blamed a trauma he suffered in the military for his actions.

The incident took place on the 28th of January 2016 when Patrick was on a retreat from his job.

He was partying with his colleagues and admitting to using drugs.

Later that night he got aggressive and attacked a female taxi driver.

She was severely hurt with 5 broken ribs and a broken nose.

Paying More for Gas

The government announced this week that the gas prices are going to be raised.

If you’re planning to rent a car in Aruba, be aware of the new gas prices.

  • Unleaded Premium is now at 179,4 cents for 1 liter (this raised about +13,6 cents)
  • Diesel is now 148,4 cents for 1 liter (this raised about + 9,9 cents)

Aruba’s Tourism Expected To Grow, Again.

Aruba Ports Authority announced that they are expecting about 700 thousands cruise ship passengers in 2017 that will be visiting Aruba.

This estimation has been made by the amount of reservations made by cruise ships and their travel agencies.

About 600 thousand travelers visited Aruba by cruise ship in 2016.

Not only is the amount of cruise passengers going to grow, but also the amount of cruise ships docked on Aruba’s ports is expected to increase.

Palm Beach Voted Most Busy Beach

A popular travel site called oyster.com placed Palm Beach in the number one spot for beaches you should avoid if your looking for tranquility.

This article might scare you if you’re a first time visitor looking for peace and quietness.

However, it all depends when you go to Palm Beach.

If it’s high season on Aruba you’re going to find a lot of people on the beach. But if your traveling during low season you might find the tranquility you’re looking for.

If not, you can always look for peace and tranquility on the other beaches on Aruba equally beautiful as Palm Beach.

For Oyster.com to rank Palm Beach as number one means Aruba is a top tropical destination.

Other islands that we’re mentioned were Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Bahamas and Mexico.  

The Most Innovative island in the Caribbean

Aruba Tourism Authority received a Caribbean Travel Award for being the most innovative destination for 2016 in the Caribbean region.

The award was given by Caribbean Journal. 

This is the third year that Caribbean Journal is given out travel awards to hotels, restaurants and people who shine in the tourism industry.

Caribbean Journal also awarded Aruba with the “best beaches you can stay on in the Caribbean” where eagle beach came out in the top 10.

Screaming Eagle and Wilhelmina restaurant were also nominated in the top 50 restaurants in the Caribbean.

Barcelo Aruba, Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa, Divi Village and RIU hotel we’re nominated in “The 10 Best All-Inclusive in the Dutch Caribbean”.

Other News in Aruba

Click here to read last weeks Aruba news.

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We’re already a week later in the year 2017. The days are passing quick. As fast as the days are flying there is a lot of news about Aruba you should know about.

So let’s start with some relevant…

News About Aruba

I decided to do a weekly round-up of the most relevant news about Aruba for you.

Why am I doing this?

Because I noticed that news about Aruba is hard to find online – especially in English.

So here’s the weekly round-up for the first week of January 2017.

The Start of Aruba Carnival 2017

January is the month carnival season starts in Aruba.

This year is the 63rd carnival edition.

The carnival season was kicked off with a carnival party inside emotions nightclub. Then on the 7th of January there was the famous torch parade.

This year promises to be a great year for carnival because of the bigger groups of people joining the parades.

The carnival season ends in the last week of February. 

The End of Plastic Bags

Since the 1st January 2017 it’s prohibited for supermarkets and other retail stores to give away plastic bags. 

Supermarkets like Superfood and Ling & Sons were well prepared for the plastic bag ban. They made sure to have re-usable bags available and for sale for their customers. The smaller supermarkets around the island (which are primary Chinese supermarkets) also are contributing to the new change.

However, there are a few smaller Chinese supermarkets that are still giving out plastic bags. If they get caught by the Government or city inspector they can be fined 10.000 Aruban Guilders (which is about $5715).

The law to ban plastic bags has been created and accepted about 6 months ago (30 June 2016). However, the Government gave the community until the new year to adjust to the new rules.

The transition from plastic bags to re-usable bags is a process that has to be given time for everyone to get used to. Sometimes I go to a supermarket to do some grocery shopping and forget they don’t give out plastic bags. So I’m obligated to buy a re-usable bag. I just have to remember each time to bring it again. 

So what should you do if you’re going grocery shopping?

Well you can…

  • Bring or buy a re-usable bag.
  • Use a carton box to put your groceries.

It’s a great idea to ban plastic bags, because they damage our environment and nature. I’m not sure what is going to happen with the teenagers who work at the supermarkets like Superfood that fill your groceries and bring it to your car for a tip.

I guess they lost their jobs.

New Flights To Aruba From Fort Lauderdale

On 4th of January Jet Blue flew its first inauguration flight from Fort Lauderdale.

Jet Blue started flying to Aruba since 2006 out of Boston. Today after almost 10 years Jet Blue is a strategic partner in growing Aruba’s tourism.

The partnership with Jet Blue and Aruba is a strategic one. With 2 objectives. One being able to connect with the tourism market in Florida. And the second is connecting Aruba in the western market of the United States (states like San Francisco, Los Angeles, but also other important nearby destinations like Hartford, Connecticut and Washington DC).

Jet Blue will be using an airbus A320 for flights between Fort Lauderdale and Aruba.

This might be a reason to visit Aruba more often now. 

Aruba Has a New Governor

This week there was meeting in Aruba’s parliament to welcome to new governor for Aruba.

Representatives of the parliament of Aruba were invited to witness the new introduction. 

The new Governor of Aruba is Sr. Alfonso Boekhoudt.

I wish the new Governor of Aruba all the best and success.

The Aura Casino Still Having Issues

The new owners (Barcelo Aruba) of the Aura casino (which was previously owned by Occidental Grand Aruba) had a meeting with the ex-workers of the casino to talk about getting their job back.

The whole issue is the owners only want to pay 2 to 4 months of salary for the whole year that the ex-workers were jobless. Some employees took the payment, but others are didn’t accept it. Now the ex-workers are taking the whole situation to the court to be resolved.

According to the lawyer of the ex-workers, Barcelo Aruba is obliged to take every one of the employees back. In addition they have to keep paying their salaries and benefits.

However, the new owners don’t want to pay out the full years salary. They said why should we pay them if they even haven’t worked for them yet. Barcelo Aruba also doesn’t want to take back all the employees.

It’s still not sure if all the employees will get their jobs back.

The case is still in ongoing in the court and not yet settled.

Disposing of Garbage is a Problem

To many people the new year means a fresh start. However, not every one feels the same. Especially the inhabitants from the city of Simon Antonio (which is located in the back of the airport).

They are unhappy because the dump in the area is disturbing. The dump is causing a lot of smoke that is produced by burning of organic waste, construction residue, chemicals and hospital waste.

They are waiting for the government to come up with a solution for the dump since the month of November in 2016.

People who live in Simon Antonio say the problem is that there is no space available to dispose of trash on the dump anymore.

The Government is burning the existing trash to make space available for more trash. However, this is not a great solution. Because the smoke and gas is bad for the health for those who live nearby.

The people who live near the dump want a better solution than burning trash. They are still waiting for the Government to come with a better solution. 

I hope it doesn’t take long to fix this problem.

Roads On Aruba Need Repairing

It has been raining a lot these past couple of months in Aruba.

The amount of rain and sun quickly deteriorates the asphalt. First small holes appear on the driveways, but after a lot of people keep driving on the holes they always get bigger.

DOW (Dienst Openbare Werken) the company that is in charge of our infrastructure takes a bit too long to fix these roads in my opinion.

Some locals are tired of the situation and decided to let out their frustration on Facebook.

Somebody said…

“The Government is waiting for petroleum to come out the roads and fix itself”

Ha ha that’s pretty funny.

So after this rant on Facebook, some roads that are known to have holes got patched up by DOW.

However, the situation is still bad.  I wonder if the roads we have is just part of the ecosystem we live in on the island. The roads just can’t handle the amount of rain in the rainy season and the amount of sun when it’s dry.

DOW and Government have to give an explanation about the situation and how they are going to fix our infrastructure.

Wharf Side Markets Are Not Making Money

Many owners of Kiosks near the wharf side said that 2016 hasn’t been a good year for them.

They say that tourist that stroll along the kiosk strip aren’t buying as they are used to.

Many of these tourist are cruise ship passengers who spend less than people who come in with flights and stay at hotels.

Owner of a kiosk since 1939, Mr.Saladin, said the quality of cruise ship tourist back in the days were Latin Americans and that they would spend more. However, because of the current Government situation in Venezuela the sales have dropped according to Mr.Saladin.

He also says that Americans and Canadians do buy souvenirs, however not as much as back then.

Kiosk owners say that back then there were not a lot of places to buy souvenirs. But since 2015 there has been a lot of new kiosk that opened and are taking a share of the pie leaving a smaller cut for everyone else.

The new kiosk they are talking about are situated next to the side of the central bus station and in front of the gas station.

Back then they only used to sell fruits and vegetables at the wharf side markets. But as the downtown started to grow some kiosk owners starting selling souvenirs.

According to commerce owners in the downtown the kiosk next to the Central bus station are illegal. They say these illegal kiosk owners don’t pay their taxes or even rent. The reason why? Because they we’re given the kiosk to vote for certain politicians.

The’re isn’t even a control on prices according to a kiosk owner. Because one side of the wharf side kiosk may sell a souvenir for $15 and the other side may sell the same thing for $7.

When is all of this going to stop?

In my opinion if you are looking to buy a souvenirs support the local people who have the best price and pay their taxes to make an honest living. 

Downtown Area is Getting Safer

Since the beginning of the new year their has been a increase of amount of police who patrol the downtown area. This is done by the Government and Aruba Tourism Authority to keep the protect tourist and locals from any one who is having any bad intentions.

If you walk in the downtown area you will see a lot of police walking or on bike.

Tourism is until now one of Aruba’s only pillars – so your safety is very important.

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Wondering what’s the latest Aruba news?  Here’s the top 3 local Aruba news you should know about.

Latest Aruba News

You’re not the only one who’s having a hard time finding quality Aruba news in English on the internet. That’s why I decided to start a weekly round up of the most important Aruba local news. This way you can stay up to date with the news from Aruba.

Free Parking in Downtown Area

Yes, it’s true. You can finally park for free again now in the downtown area of Aruba. However, it’s only free parking after 15:00 PM in the afternoon.

You still have to pay for parking from 7:00 AM until 15:00 PM.

The Government and Aruparking is also going to stop blocking your car with boots.

Instead you will get a parking fine if parked incorrectly or exceed your parking time.

I agree with a parking fine better than blocking a car. Because blocking a car is counter productive. Let’s see if this is the solution that brings a change in the parking situation in Aruba.

Read paid parking in the downtown area of Aruba for everything you need to know about paid parking.

latest aruba news

You can finally park free now.

Free Wi-Fi in Aruba’s Main Street

Business owners say that paid parking has had a negative effect on the business in the downtown area.

Providing free internet is an incentive to attract more people to visit the main street.

Setar (a local phone provider in Aruba) is managing the free Wi-Fi project.

Now you can connect your favorite smartphone or other devices to the internet while exploring the main street of Aruba.

Want to know what activities there are in the main street? Read this article.

latest aruba news

Visit the main street of Aruba, it’s beautiful!

New Addition To Aruba’s Infrastructure

A new bridge is being built.

The bridge is a part of the new Green Corridor roadway that is being created.

The building of the bridge already reached the highest point.

The bridge is a great addition to Aruba’’s infrastructure.

The Green Corridor and the new bridge promises to reduce the driving time between Oranjestad and San Nicolas.

latest aruba news

The bridge is already looking nice.

Changes to Expect in The Future

The Government said that they will make more changes in the future for the main street of Aruba.

When you visit Aruba soon there will be…

  1. A sound system in the main street.
  2. Being able to drive through the main street after 19:00 at night.
  3. More activities in the main street like street performances and shows.

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