about 13 hours ago
Heleen reports she was inspired by her husband Evert Bongers, to transition some of his Dutch-language stories into English for the benefit of visitors. She thinks of the book as: Your slice of paradise in stories and photos. I said transition because Heleen did not literally translate Evert’s stories. She gave the original materials a
Heleen reports she was inspired by her husband Evert Bongers, to transition some of his Dutch-language stories into English for the benefit of visitors. She thinks of the book as: Your slice of paradise in stories and photos.
I said transition because Heleen did not literally translate Evert’s stories. She gave the original materials a short and sweet bundling with spectacular images, resulting in an easy to read and appreciate guide of Aruba’s sights, landmarks and historical personalities.
In case you don’t know, retired teacher Evert Bongers is considered Aruba’s one and only historian, having compiled a number of informative books about Aruba, past and present. He is currently working on a number of projects, one revolves around the long forgotten Eagle refinery, a walking tour, besides collaborating on a number of efforts to make the island’s unique history accessible and palatable for visitors and locals.
Among the 34 chapters of the new book, readers may find informative narratives about the Blue Horses, the Caiquetios Indians, Frenchmen’s Pass, The Gold Rush, The Alto Vista Church, the California Lighthouse, The Colony, Quinta del Carmen, Betico Croes, Architecture, Traditions and Celebrations, Facts about the island, as well as official holidays, and more.
In Heleen’s own words: “The Blue Horses in Oranjestad is a book filled with photographs, of this fantastic island, but also with stories about Aruba’s past: Read about early settlers, their art work, the impact of the oil refinery, what happened here during World War II and how tourism gave the island a much-needed boost when the future looked uncertain. By reading it, you will get to know this island and its cheerful inhabitants, a bit better.”
“Enjoy the beach, the restaurants and the cool vibes,” she concludes, “and we hope to see son soon again.”
The book was proofread and edited by Evert Bongers and Marisol Zinghini, the lay out and cover were designed by local artist Irene Peterson; it was printed in full color, in Bogota, Colombia.
The book contains photographs by Lex Corbach, Ron Steens, Erik Neuteboom, Najib Gomez and the two Bongers. It also contains many rare photographs from private collections.
Dutch-born Heleen was an English language reporter and PR personality before becoming a retailer. She devoted much of her leisure to windsurfing and photography, and to the rescue of animals.
Proceeds from the book will go to her favorite rescue foundations.
The book is for sale at the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary for Awg 45.50 / $26 and at all DeWit Vandorp Gifts stores in the hotels – Bucuti, Divi All Inclusive, Tamarijn All Inclusive, Manchebo, Holiday Inn, Avenida Milo Croes, Main street, Reina Beatrix Airport, and more. email@example.com
1 day ago
Divi Impact Foundation is proud to announce the highly anticipated Alex Nieuwmeyer Memorial Annual Golf Tournament, which will take place at the prestigious Divi Links on May 27, 2023. This annual event has acquired immense popularity over the past two years, being completely sold out each time. This year, in an exciting addition to the
Divi Impact Foundation is proud to announce the highly anticipated Alex Nieuwmeyer Memorial Annual Golf Tournament, which will take place at the prestigious Divi Links on May 27, 2023. This annual event has acquired immense popularity over the past two years, being completely sold out each time. This year, in an exciting addition to the tournament, players will have the chance to win an extraordinary “Hole in One” prize: a Nissan X Trail valued at Afls 100,687 exclusive BBO.
The lucky golfer who achieves this remarkable accomplishment will drive away with this stunning brand-new car. The proceeds from the tournament will be donated to two deserving causes: “Ban Uni Man Pa Cria Nos Muchanan” and “Animal Welfare Alliance Aruba.” These organizations are committed to making a positive impact in the community. “Ban Uni Man Pa Cria Nos Muchanan” focuses on providing breakfast to children in need, ensuring they start their day with nourishment and support. Meanwhile, the “Animal Welfare Alliance Aruba” contributes to the spaying and neutering of cats and dogs, promoting responsible pet ownership and population control.
Over the past two years, the Divi Impact Foundation has successfully utilized the funds raised from the tournament for impactful projects. In 2021, the foundation completed the renovation of the Pius X School bathroom, improving the learning environment for students. In 2022, the proceeds were donated to Fundacion Arubano di esnan Visualmente Incapacita (FAVI), supporting their efforts in empowering visually impaired individuals. This year, the tournament is honored to have Jessica Nieuwmeyer, the daughter of the late Alex Nieuwmeyer, as a special guest. Jessica will grace the event with her presence and assist in making it a memorable day for all participants.
The Alex Nieuwmeyer Memorial Annual Golf Tournament will commence at 8:00 AM and run until 2:00 PM at The Links at Divi Village. The day will culminate in a delightful lunch and an award ceremony scheduled from 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM at Window of Aruba, located within the picturesque Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort. Divi Impact Foundation extends its sincere gratitude to all the participants, sponsors, and supporters who make this event possible. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of children in need and contribute to the welfare of animals in our community.
About Divi Impact Foundation: Divi Impact Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating positive change in Aruba’s community. Through various initiatives and events, the foundation aims to support projects that address important social issues and uplift the lives of individuals in need. The Mr. Alex Nieuwmeyer Memorial Annual Golf Tournament is one such event organized by the foundation to raise funds for deserving causes and make a lasting impact
2 days ago
The Minister of Economic Development commissioned a study, from the Economisch Bureau Amsterdam, titled Vacation Home Rentals, VHRs, and Carrying Capacity, the study focused on the Economic Effects of Vacation Home Rentals and Policy Options, in Aruba. It was a study of limited scope based on existing international literature, no fresh research, they used data
The Minister of Economic Development commissioned a study, from the Economisch Bureau Amsterdam, titled Vacation Home Rentals, VHRs, and Carrying Capacity, the study focused on the Economic Effects of Vacation Home Rentals and Policy Options, in Aruba.
It was a study of limited scope based on existing international literature, no fresh research, they used data available at the Central Bank and ATA, plus other sources. Then three Dutchmen Martijn Mak, Sjoerd Boerdijk and Koert van Buiren made a presentation at the University of Aruba, in front of an audience made up of VHR practitioners, real estate agents and related industry personalities.
The three professionals are no public speakers and left their live and TV audience flat, but I read their report, not bad considering the little they had to work with.
The three outsiders have no historical overview nor understanding how it VHRs started on the island and how we got here, and their lack on insight became very clear during the Q&A session.
The presentation did not tell us anything we did not know, as I said, Economisch Bureau Amsterdam is no expert on VHR realities in Aruba.
I imagine, the patient needs to undergo better screening and diagnosis before heading to the operation room!
Example? The story of Noord. The experts stated that most VHRs are in Noord, 4,203 in total, and that many of them were finances overseas, and the fact that so many of them serve as vacation rentals strongly contributes to the SHORTAGE of affordable housing in Aruba.
That is inaccurate.
Most parcels of leased land around Noord, Safir, Ruby, Esmeralda, Bakval, Salina Cerca, Palm Beach, were handed out by the government to locals, on the list at the land department.
They waited for years.
Finally they were given terrain, as in free, and set out to build over-budget Hollywood mansions. Many overshot their resources, construction was abandoned, the unfinished projects sold, locals signed a big sigh of relief, now the mortgage was someone else’s problem, and they made some money.
During the pandemic, the weight of mortgages got heavy, and locals sold houses enthusiastically to Canadian and Americans who wanted to make a life change, and exit the real world in favor of paradise.
That created a real estate boom, which GOA profited from.
Our new residents turned their second homes into VHRs.
These ambitious mansions in the Noord area can never be considered affordable housing, and cannot be blamed for the fact that young people on the island have a hard time becoming home owners.
GOA is not handing out land anymore. Terrain is very expensive, in the 6 figure rage and building materials are getting more expensive each day, there is no plan, no strategy, and the banks want to make money.
The VHRs in Noord did not create the housing shortage, these homes are too expensive to be considered affordable.
Back to the start, to three experts, enlightening us about our product: In Aruba there is a lot of knowledge that can contribute to this analysis. No need for outside “experts”. The CBA is about to publish a comprehensive report on housing, ATA is updating its carrying capacity study. The local VRPA organization is quite knowledgeable and has access to experts on the matter. It will shortly present its own position paper on best practices and regulations of vacation rentals, for the specific case and realities of Aruba .
We all agree the industry must be regulated, carefully, not over regulated.
We applaud Ronella Croes who at the end of the presentation summed up her office’s philosophy, there is room for everyone at the table, studies are being conducted regarding carrying capacity. Ronella is pushing hard to get DIMP to collect VHRs room taxes. The law was enacted in 2014, so Aruba missed out on a bunch of uncollected funds for 9 years. Alas, GOA decided to raise taxes even more, on those who comply!
Hopefully this will be corrected, not overcorrected.
We also applaud the courage of Minister Wever on presenting the study and consulting stakeholders. It was a better process than with the previous minister’s, and how he pushed the new, flaw ridden ROPv in, where the effect on the VHRs and Aruba’s economy was discussed with just a few behind closed doors.
Industry insiders found out about the so-called 90 day limit of VHRs, and 25 unit cap in San Nicholas and Oranjestad after the law passed.
An open approach although cumbersome will end up with better and smart regulations.
3 days ago
Soul Beach Music Festival Hosted by Aruba Good Vibes Only! Live Music by The Roots, Jill Scott, Lucky Daye, Anthony Hamilton Comedy Night featuring Deon Cole & Tiffany Haddish – Memorial Day Weekend May 24-29 Hosted by Chris Spencer & Chase Anthony Featuring Musical Guest: WATRA & NBO Oranjestad, Aruba — May 24, 2023 –
Soul Beach Music Festival Hosted by Aruba
Good Vibes Only!
Live Music by The Roots, Jill Scott, Lucky Daye, Anthony Hamilton
Comedy Night featuring Deon Cole & Tiffany Haddish –
Memorial Day Weekend May 24-29
Hosted by Chris Spencer & Chase Anthony
Featuring Musical Guest: WATRA & NBO
Oranjestad, Aruba — May 24, 2023 – Set your sights on higher ground and indulge in harmonious vibrations at the Soul Beach Music Festival Hosted by Aruba. Memorial Day Weekend, May 24 – 29, 2023, the stars appear center stage for nightly shows displaying high-volume performances by chart-topping talent, including The Roots, Jill Scott, Lucky Daye, Anthony Hamilton, Deon Cole & Tiffany Haddish. Soul Beach Music Festival Hosted by Aruba brings a tour de force line-up of unwavering excellence, singers/musicians/comedians/entertainers, sure to quench the soul of festival attendees from all over the world in Aruba’s paradise.
May 26th Friday Comedy Night: Co-headliners, Deon Cole & Tiffany Haddish
May 27th Saturday Music Concert: The Roots and Anthony Hamilton
May 28th Sunday Music Concert: Jill Scott and Lucky Daye
“The Soul Beach Music Festival is a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience that electrifies our One happy island. We are honored to be hosting the 21st anniversary of the largest music festival in the Caribbean” said Ronella Croes, CEO of Aruba Tourism Authority. “The festival continues to bring top international artists and performers to the island, and we can’t wait for locals and travelers to experience the magic of Soul Beach.”
Dive into destination dreams in Aruba’s oasis and explore the most welcoming adventure replete with outdoor attractions primed for the ultimate encounter with nature. A true cosmopolitan getaway intertwined in authentic Caribbean culture; Aruba offers an array of idyllic beachside restaurants with seating at the water’s edge to serene coffee shops serving up boastful brews, but there is so much more to explore beyond the shorelines. Travelers are beckoned to experience an epicurean affair of culinary indulgences along with pristine art displays, a national park, and expansive accommodations showcasing hotels and villas reminiscent of intimate secluded retreats. A premium shopping district transports fashion lovers into infinite odyssey surrounded by cool yacht sensations. Get ready to give free rein to the extraordinary at Soul Beach Music Festival Hosted by Aruba. This Memorial Day weekend, Aruba is the place to see and be seen!
“We are thrilled to kick off our 21st edition of the Soul Beach Music Festival Hosted by Aruba with such a star-studded line up, Mark Adkins, CEO & Executive Producer of Soul Beach Festival Productions. “Festivalgoers have been buzzing with excitement on social and have started arriving early this year on the beautiful island of Aruba. We give thanks to all our partners but a special salute to the Aruba Tourism Authority for all these years of commitment which has grown the festival to attract over 7000 tourists for this Memorial Day Weekend. Get ready to ride the wave and enjoy a week while creating a lifetime of memories.”
Catch the sound waves at DJ Frank Ski’s Poolside Happy Hour, broadcasting live to Washington DC’s WHUR and Atlanta’s KISS 104.1 and Gee Money airing live on the The AM/PM Workload Show with amped-up frequency to tuned in listeners. Festival goers will partake in bedazzled Caribbean nights with a powerful mix of celebrity DJ’s heating up the vinyl to spin partygoers into a euphoric bliss. Featuring beat making maestros, DJ Frank Ski, DJ Envy, DJ Trauma, DJ Outkast, DJ E-Clazz, DJ Chuck Chillout, DJ Ted Smooth, DJ Diablo, Quinn & The Jukebox and Yameen Allworld, blurring the lines between house, R&B, new jack swing, hip-hop and reggae. Exclusive sun & social lounges flow into endless views as the crowd of music lovers ebb and flow between playful day parties, epic music concerts and soul stirring nightlife – only to arise to a picturesque horizon and start all over again. Soul Beach Music Festival Hosted by Aruba is a celebration you will not find anywhere else.
FRIDAY 5.26.23 – COMEDY NIGHT
Deon Cole is a two-time Emmy-nominated writer, actor, and comedian. He’s known for such roles as the hilarious Charlie on Freeform’s GROWNISH and ABC’s BLACK-ISH, for which he is a three-time NAACP award winner. With a career spanning over 20 years, Cole has been featured on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam, Shaq’s All-Star Comedy Jam on Showtime, and his own comedy specials on Comedy Central and Netflix. In 2022, Deon released his latest one-hour stand-up special, Deon Cole: Charleen’s Boy, on Netflix.
Tiffany Haddish has established herself as one of the most sought-after comedic actresses and performers of this generation. With an impressive list of projects under her belt including Nobody’s Fool, Night School and, of course her breakout role in Girl’s Trip, just to name a few, Haddish is a force. She made history becoming the first Black female stand-up comedian to host SNL, earning her an Emmy. Her Grammy award- winning comedy special, Tiffany Haddish: Black Mitzvah debuted on Netflix in 2019. Currently you can see Haddish in Easter Sunday (opposite Jo Koy) and Apple TV’s critically acclaimed murder-mystery series, The Afterparty.
COMEDAY NIGHT HOST:
Actor and Comedian, Chase Anthony, is among one of Hollywood’s rising entertainers. His commanding presence and irrefutable humor lights up the stage. Currently you can see Chase starring in two seasons of Bigger on BET+, produced by Will Packer Productions, as well as the recently released Paramount+ film, Pretty Stoned.
SATURDAY,5.27.23 – MUSIC CONCERT
Since their debut in 1993, The Roots have been one of the most prolific rap groups and progressive acts in contemporary music. For the past 30 years, The Roots have achieved massive success with successive studio releases reaching platinum and gold status as well as three Grammy wins. They continue to challenge the restrictions of music and genre, partnering as the band for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
Anthony Hamilton is a platinum selling, Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter. For the past 20 years, Hamilton has delivered a multitude of beloved hits, including Can’t Let Go, The Point of It all, Cool, and Charlene. His latest album, Love Is The New Black, was released in 2021 and signified the launch of Hamilton’s label, My Music Box.
WATRA is a multilingual songwriter and musician. Born in Amsterdam, being raised on Aruba and having Surinamese-Haitian roots WATRA has always been surrounded by culturally rich environments. In her musical journey she has composed, recorded music and performed at various festivals. WATRA performs along with four creative musicians that inspire her such as pianist Kyle Winklaar, guitarist Serghio Janssen, drummer Jeremy Bonarriba and bassplayer Reno Steba. What this band have in common is that they are all educators, composers, and passionate about sharing this universal language we call music.
SUNDAY,5.28.23 – MUSIC CONCERT
Jill Scott is a three-time Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter and New York Time’s best-selling poet. With a career spanning over two decades, Jilly from Philly has graced the music scene with a voice that carries depth and precision. Her incomparable melodic style has given us tried and true R&B classics such as: A Long Walk, The Way, Golden and So In Love (ft. Anthony Hamilton), just to name a few.
Since the release of his 2019 debut album Painted, Lucky Daye has been elevating the modern-day R&B game: offering a classic soul sound with his own, unique stylistic twist. An undeniable and exciting talent, both as a vocalist and songwriter, Daye has already amassed an impressive catalog of work including his 2021 Grammy award winning EP Table For Two. His sophomore album, Cadydrip, received critical acclaim and debuted at #5 on the Billboard Top R&B Albums chart.
NBO is a famous group that put show on the roads and on stage with Caiso and Soca music and whether they perform with a group of 500 plus dancers or on a stage with 10 dancers it will be guaranteed a show where nobody can sit and watch. Your body will move on their hot rhythm.
SATURDAY & SUNDAY MUSIC CONCERT HOST:
With a career spanning over 30 years, actor, comedian, writer, producer and director, Chris Spencer is truly at the top of the entertainment game. He is co-creator of BET’s hit faux reality show Real Husbands of Hollywood and has also been head writer for countless shows such as the Emmys, SNL, and ABC Family’s Grownish, just to name a few. He recently directed his first feature, Back on the Strip, starring Tiffany Haddish and Wesley Snipes.
Join the Soul Beach Music Festival community: follow us on Twitter and Instagram @SoulBeachMusic and become a fan of the 2023 Soul Beach Music Festival on Facebook. Get real time features on the day parties, concert tickets, partner and sponsor offerings by downloading the Soul Beach Music Festival App on GooglePlay and AppleStore.
The 2023 Soul Beach Music Festival is sponsored by Aruba Tourism Authority; additional sponsors include JetBlue, AHATA, ALL BLK.tv, Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort, Divi Resorts, Eagle Aruba Resort & Casino, Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino, Embassy Suites by Hilton Aruba Resort, Courtyard by Marriot, La Cabana Beach Resort & Casino, Aruba Airport Authority, Setar, Kini Kini Tours, Surinam Airways, JetAir, Heineken, Casamigos Tequila, Johnny Walker Whiskey, Ciroc Vodka, Captain Morgan Rum, Hennessy, Hpnotiq, Moet, Fun Miles, Aruba Ports Authority, Budget, Amigo Rent-a-Car, GMax Car Rental, Sunset Car Rental, Royal Car Rental, Drive 4 Cheap Car Rental and Smart Rent.
As one of the most revisited Caribbean destinations, Aruba – One happy island – offers breathtaking beaches, diverse culinary delights, a sprawling and unforgettable Arikok National Park, and award-winning hotels and villas. A leader in innovation, the country was awarded a top spot on Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2020 list due to their ambitious sustainability efforts. In today’s ever-changing world, Aruba’s ‘Health and Happiness Code’ safety protocols provide peace of mind, while still delivering a relaxing on-island experience. Located outside the hurricane belt, explore all Aruba has to offer, from romantic beach getaways, unique wellness experiences and more, on Aruba.com.
16 days ago
Suzy Verbrugge is a popular, local, professional photographer, you will find her under Reflections Photography, serving the tourist market. Her specialty is people, and she managed to capture memorable occasions without being intrusive or demanding, her images are effortless and spontaneous, poignant and reflective, against the unique backdrop of Aruba’s landscape. Last year she was
Suzy Verbrugge is a popular, local, professional photographer, you will find her under Reflections Photography, serving the tourist market. Her specialty is people, and she managed to capture memorable occasions without being intrusive or demanding, her images are effortless and spontaneous, poignant and reflective, against the unique backdrop of Aruba’s landscape.
Last year she was introduced to EyeMazy photography. Struck by the artistic quality of the product she decided to bring it to Aruba and is now offering Iris Photography at a new kiosk at Paseo Herencia creating beautiful art, individual and personal pieces, designed with the magic of nature and technology.
We take a photo of your iris using the specialized EyeMazy photobox, she explains, we then carefully optimize the photo, keeping original colors and patterns, then print your new art in a variety of sizes and on different materials, such as acrylic, metal, aluminum, or attached to a photo block or wood box.
While visitors leave the kiosk with a quality prints of their enlarge and enhanced iris, all other premium prints are shipped directly to homes in the USA, surprising recipients with up to four and five iris images together, on a Panorama.
EyeMazy, can enlarge the unique and individual iris structures and colors with their photo technology and display it in any size and shape with unique photo editing. The hidden beauty of our eye, is forever on display, as a one of a kind expression of our personality.
EyeMazy started in the garage, by a technology and photography fanatic, and was launched in Germany in 2013. Since then, the concept of personal and unique art of photography has fascinated many happy clients all over the globe. It is now an international business which prides itself on outstanding photo quality and excellent customer service.
FYI: Each iris is unique because it is created from the DNA that we receive from our parents and ancestors. And that is why we always says: The eye is the window to the soul.
Our eyes say a lot about us!