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Once a week, on Sundays I write about the latest news updates on Aruba in my weekly newsletter.

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News Updates on Aruba

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New Renovation Project at John F Kennedy School

An official ceremony took place this week to start the renovation and expansion project of John F Kennedy building.

The John F Kennedy building was  Technical school back in the days. Which is now abandoned   for over 2 decades. It is a monumental building in Aruba and will  finally be revamped without changing the original structure.

The building is located next to the roundabout close to surfside beach (not far from the airport).

It will cost almost 9 million dollars to renovate the entire building and create an additional facility. In the end an estimated 6000 square meters of office space will be available.

The renovated building will become “John F Kennedy Education Center” and it will house all the departments of education.

The signing of the agreement to start with the project was done by the minister of education, Aruba Investment Bank and Bohama Aruba,which is the contractor.

New Project: Renovation & Expansion of Medical Institute in San Nicolas

A kick off event was held this week for the renovation and expansion project at the medical institute for ambulatory care in San Nicolas (ImSam).

The building will be expanded by 688 square meters of new construction and a total of 7571 square meters of existing space will be renovated.

The scope of the work includes, but is not limited to renovations for the…

  • oncology center
  • Ambulatory surgery center
  • Imaging and phlebotomy area
  • Eye center area
  • Lobby area
  • Emergency department and entrance
  • Biomedical and storage room

There’s also going to be new installations for…

  • Elevator and stairwell
  • Central Energy Plant and relocation of the dialysis pump room
  • Two new peritoneal dialysis rooms

The project is scheduled to be completed within 18 months from now.

Almost 50 New Motions Presented By Parliamentary

Representatives in the parliament presented over 50 new motions this week.

Here are a few of the motions presented this week:

  • Create new HAVO & VWO schools
  • Deal with illegal taxi drivers
  • Offer good conduct paper to those who came in contact with law
  • Investigate and reduce the cost of healthcare
  • Implement a moratorium on hotels and condominiums
  • Reducing the cost of water and electricity
  • Introduce free transport for people with low income and physical limitations
  • Remove import tax for sports equipment

One of the motions which got a lot of attention is the legalization of medical marijuana in Aruba.

This motion didn’t get enough votes, with a total 6 votes pro, and 14 votes against.

The use of medical marijuana is taking over the world and a lot of countries are legalizing it.

Although the motion didn’t get enough votes, it sparked a conversation within the community.

The prime minister of Aruba appointed a commission to research the best way to legalize medical marijuana, in case it becomes legal.

Update on Fast Ferry Service in Aruba

The minister of transportation gave an update on the fast ferry project between ABC islands this week.

According to the minister the project needs to be presented and reviewed by the members of the parliament. And the ministers from the ABC islands involved in the project need to sign a MOU in order to continue with the developments.

The fast ferry will connect Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao at a lower price point compared to flights and will contribute to the economic development of the island, especially in San Nicolas.

More information on the fast ferry service will be released by the minister of transportation in upcoming government press conferences.

Frontiers Between Venezuela & ABC Island Still Closed For Boats

The frontiers between ABC islands and Venezuela was reopened for aviation a few weeks ago after being closed for several months, but the frontiers remains closed for boats.

The ABC islands has to comply with an memorandum of understanding (MOU) made by Venezuela in order for the maritime frontiers to open again.

According to the minister of transport, the  MOU states that each boat leaving Venezuela destination ABC island has to ask for permit 48 hours before departing. And the ABC islands (in this case Aruba) has to approve the pre clearance.

Before the boat reaches its destination, it has to anchor at a specific location given by the Aruba Ports Authority in order to be controlled by the border patrol (IASA).

The prime minister of Aruba will announce when the MOU is official.

Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association Appoints A New CEO

Members of AHATA voted Tisa LaSorte as the new CEO and president.

Tisa will officially move in her new leadership role on June 18, 2018.

The previous CEO, Jim Hepple served AHATA and the tourism industry for almost a decade.

According to him, he’ll be teaching tourism  at the university of Aruba, preparing the newcomers in the hospitality  industry.

Sport Minister Wants to Broadcast Every Game From Xander Bogaerts

Aruba’s baseball star Xander Bogaerts missed 15 games since April 8, because of an ankle injury.However, he’s been activated from the disabled list, and should play anytime soon.According to the minister of sport, every baseball game played by Xander Bogaerts should be streamed on television in Aruba. The idea behind it being to encourage and inspire the youths who want to become a professional baseball player one day. And so the island can see its star player in action! Whether every game will be televised, depends on many different factors like the ability to obtain broadcasting licenses for each game.

Celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month in Aruba

There’s going to be two jazz concerts in connection with International Jazz Day.

UNESCO officially made April 30 as International Jazz Day to bring awareness to the art form which unites people from all over the world. This was done on November 2011.

This year is the 13th edition of JAM in Aruba.

This event is celebrated on the island with several workshops, expositions and concerts on April 29 – 30.

Special invite for the concerts is professor Ed Saindon from Berklee College of Music.

The first concert will be at Casibari Music Cafe (April 29) – lineup: new Collection cu Ed Saindon, NCCU Singers and Black Coffee.

On April 30th there’s a concert at Renaissance Marketplace. Line up on this night features Caribbean Combo with Delbert Bernabela & Eduardo Maya. Also the Aruba Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Carlos Bislip & Friends. And Ed Saindon and Lenora Helm.

Both concerts start at 7:00 PM

Make Personal Prayers & Intentions At Alto Vista Chapel

There’s going to be a holy rosary  ( Rosario Bibo) at alto vista chapel.

Rosario bibo is a tradition amongst locals, to gather at the only  (and oldest) chapel on the island’s north shore and pray together.

Participating in a rosario bibo is a truly unique experience with locals.

The rosario bibo is on April 30, 2018 and starts at 7:00 PM.

You’re invited to Alto Vista Chapel to join locals on this sacred event to send out personal prayers and intentions.

Watch Out For Man-o-War, The Jellyfish Lookalike

National Park Arikok sent out a warning for beach goers to watch out for man-o-wars.

The man-o-war looks like a jellyfish, but its not. It’s actually a collection of organisms called polyps. These polyps are attached to each other and resembles a purple parachute on the water’s surface.

Normally these animals are found in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Ocean, however due to the strong winds and currents, they are likely to drift towards the north coast shores.

Man-o-wars have tentacles that can give you a painful sting.

They have been signaled by park rangers and visitors near the beaches like Dos Playa and Boca Prins.

These beaches are usually frequented by water sporters (body boarders & kite surfers) and swimmers (even though swimming here is dangerous and at own risk).

No More Plastic Beach – Keep It Clean!

The humanitarian service club “Aruba One Happy Island Lions” recently held a beach clean up event.

They cleaned the bay close to bachelors beach in San Nicolas also known as plastic beach.

The bay was dubbed plastic beach because of the items that are thrown from nearby ships and drifts towards the coast due to the strong currents and winds.

Aruba one happy lions club started the initiative to clean up this side of the beach 2 to 3 times a year.

Now that the beach is clean again, it has to remain this way. The one happy lions advises everyone that uses our precious beaches to help keep it clean.

Hand-A-Thon Event By Magic FM

One of Aruba’s radio station (Magic FM) is celebrating its 20th year anniversary with a popular hand-a-thon event.

Participants can win a car, but they have to keep their hands on it. The one who removes their hand from the car is disqualified, the last person standing, wins it!

participants will be selected for a chance to win a new Chevrolet Aveo 2018.

The last hand-a-thon took almost 65 hours.

The event is scheduled to take place on August 30 – 31, 2018 and September 1 – 2 , 2018.

All Stores Closed on Labour Day

The department of commerce announced that all stores will be closed on labor day (May 1, 2018).

Only the establishments near the hotel area will remain open.

If you’re on the island take note that all inland stores will be closed. This includes all gasoline stations!

Want to rent a car in Aruba? Ask me for a free car rental quotation!


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