latest news in Aruba

ORANJESTAD (October 28, 2018) – Once a week, on Sundays I write about the most relevant and interesting happenings on the island in my weekly newsletter.

This weeks edition features the top news headlines in Aruba.

Subscribing to my newsletter is an ideal way to stay up to date with what’s going on in Aruba – whether you’re living on the island, miles away or your first visit!  

If this is your first time reading my newsletter – welcome!

New Rules & Regulations Spaans Lagoon

Arikok park rangers added two new signs displaying rules and regulation  at the entrance of Spaans Lagoon.

This zone is one of  the largest inlet and mangrove habitat on Aruba.

Spaans Lagoon was declared a Ramsar site in 1980 because of the importance of this wetland as a foraging area and breeding area for numerous bird species and as a breeding ground and nursery for various species of fish and crustaceans.

Before the new rules & regulations the spaans lagoon lacked environmental protection.

Here’s a list of prohibitions at spaans lagoon:

  • Restricted Area -No motorized vehicle or bicycles
  • No fishing – Nursery area for fish and other marine animals
  • Protect our nature – no littering
  • Disturbing, hunting, trapping, collecting of animals or plant is strictly prohibited
  • Entry prohibited for dogs & other domestic animals and exotic species
  • Respect our nature keep quiet

Here’s a view of the new sign at the entrance of the Spaans Lagoon bridge.

Spaans Lagoon Regulations

The new rules and regulations for the spaans lagoon are displayed in English as well as in Papiamento. It counts for locals and visitors.

The motto of Arikok on Spaans Lagoon is – take nothing but pictures leave nothing but footsteps. Please protect our nature and abide by these rules and regulations.

Watty Vos Boulevard Update

New roads and highways are being added to Aruba’s infrastructure. One of the projects under construction is the Watty Vos Boulevard (WvB).

The new boulevard will be a 4 lane roadway that extends about 7.5 km from the airport to the hotel area. And in several neighborhoods along the way,from San Barbola to Bushiri. WvB also includes the design and construction of 13 intersections and 2 viaducts. A bike path will also be designed and constructed along almost the entire route.

Here’s a view of the current infrastructure progress.

WvB construction progress

Mota Engil, a Portuguese civil construction company is the contractor for WvB and according to the project manager they it’s 60% complete.

The project started in 2017 with a 30 month deadline (19 August 2019).

Mota Engil has to perform maintenance duties on the Watty Vos Boulevard route during the period from the start of construction until 20 years after the completion of the construction work.

Restauration Old Botica in Aruba 

One of the oldest buildings in the downtown area which used to be a pharmacy in the old Aruba days (1955) was saved by the monumenten funds in 2015.

They bought the building that became in danger of being thrown down by the previous owners. Since then it’s received a protective seal for being a monument.

Monumental building in Aruba

Now that they own it they will renovate it and lease it, in order to protect local monuments on the island.

The first stage is investigating the current state of the building before renovation and creating an architectural design. After this stage is done, a public tender will take place when renovation starts. The inside of the building will be restored and will be soon open for tenants to rent.

If you’re wildest dream is to own a business in Aruba, you could rent this monument building.

Watch Out for Blue Land Crab in Aruba

The department of nature and environment alerts the public for blue land crab mating season in Aruba. The petition is to stay alert on the Pos Chiquito highway for crossing blue crabs, which are unfortunately ran over.

Here’s a local blue land crab.

Blue Land Crab

The blue crab doesn’t live in seawater, but it likes beach sand. Blue crabs can be found near our shores of mangroves under the humid beach sand. They eat decomposed trees and various type of crawling insects.

Mating season for blue crabs can take place up to 4 times a year between July and December. One blue crab can release over 5.000 eggs at once. After nearly 2 weeks the eggs will hatch and must be released into saltwater for the larvae to survive.

These blue crabs are of ecological importance enough to protect them, because they are important to the mangroves near Aruba’s coast. The conservation of blue crabs is crucial to the preservation of the mangroves. Blue crabs are important in the process of consuming old trees and forming new soil for new mangrove growth.

So how are these crabs in danger?

During the migration they have to cross roads and highways and usually get smashed by cars. Picking up driftwood alongside the beach is also a threat to these blue crabs, because their natural hiding place it removed which leaves them no place to hide for natural predators.

Watch for blue crabs when driving on the Post Chiquito / Savaneta highway.

Aruba Marine Park

The Aruban government is preparing to introduce a marine park on the island.

The main goal of the marine park is to guarantee the safety of our biodiversity that is present in the Aruban waters and for the future generation of locals and visitors.

The park encompasses four areas – National Park Arikok, Spaans Lagoon, Sero Colorado and Mangel Halto until Isla di Oro.A management plan for each of these areas will be developed to maintain and restore their ecosystems and biological diversity

The marine park will stimulate the growth of fish species that are endangered, creating more amazing underwater life and protect corals from being destructed.

The marine park is a positive input from Local fisherman, snorkelers, divers, NGOs and government departments are brainstorming new regulations for the new marine park.

Fishing with a speargun is also a factor that will be considered during the forming of the new marine park. According to the government, this can possibly be allowed but in a controlled and regulated manner.

Carnival Exhibition in Aruba

Aruba is celebrating the 65th edition of Carnival next year (2019).

It’s going to be an all out celebration with parades, music festivals and lost of fun!

Carnival is a tradition on the island and it’s getting so big that a building in San Nicolas is being renovated to house one of the best Carnival exhibitions in Aruba.

In the future this will be expanded into a museum for Carnival.

The new location for the Carnival expo will be the previous supermarket in San Nicolas known as Green Hill.

Soon you’ll have another reason to visit San Nicolas.

Here’s the new Carnival schedule for 2019!

Crossing For Hope

Five local swimmers are planning to swim from Venezuela to Aruba for a good cause.

They are doing this to collect funds for Koningin Wilhelmina Fonds . 

There’s a cross for hope family event close to the cost of zeerover where the swimmers are expected to reach. It’s on November 11, 2018 at 3:00 PM.

This local event will have good music, Aruban food, fun activities and things to do for kids.

If you want to be part of a local experience in Aruba, this is certainly one.

California Haunted Lighthouse

Halloween is approaching and there’s many opportunities on the island to celebrate.

One of the new halloween events is the “Haunted Lighthouse Experience”.

This time going up the lighthouse stairs will be scary, but worth it for the view at the top. Inside of the lighthouse will be decorated with halloween props and scary effects.

It’s a family event, everyone is welcome!

Haunted Lighthouse Experience will be on October 26 & 27  at (6:30 PM – 10:30 PM)

Do you dare to climb the lighthouse during this spooky event?

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