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Facts about Aruba for Kids

Aruba is a 20 mi island of the Lesser Antilles in the southern Caribbean Sea, located 17 mi north of the coast of Venezuela. Together with Bonaire and Curaçao, it forms a group referred to as the ABC islands of the Leeward Antilles, the southern island chain of the Lesser Antilles. Collectively, Aruba and the other Dutch islands in the Antilles are commonly referred to as the Netherlands Antilles or the Dutch Antilles.

  • Furthermore, Aruba is one of the four constituent countries that form the Kingdom of the Netherlands, along with the Netherlands, Curaçao and Sint Maarten.
  • The citizens of these countries all share a single nationality: Dutch.
  • Unlike much of the Caribbean region, Aruba has a dry climate and an arid, cactus-strewn landscape.
  • This climate has helped tourism as visitors to the island can reliably expect warm, sunny weather.
  • Aruba’s first inhabitants are thought to have been Caquetíos Amerinds from the Arawak tribe, who migrated there from Venezuela to escape attacks by the Caribs.
  • Since 1636, Aruba has been under Dutch administration, initially governed by Peter Stuyvesant, later appointed to New Amsterdam (New York City).
  • On 16 February 1942, a German submarine (U-156) under the command of Werner Hartenstein attacked the island’s oil processing refinery, but the mission failed.
  • In March 1944, Eleanor Roosevelt, the First Lady of the United States, briefly visited American troops stationed in Aruba.
  • Betico Croes worked in Aruba to inform and prepare the people of Aruba for independence.
  • The official languages are Dutch and – since 2003 – Papiamento.
  • In recent years, the government of Aruba has shown an increased interest in acknowledging the cultural and historical importance of its native language.
  • For census purposes, Aruba is divided into eight regions, which have no administrative functions: As a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Aruba’s politics take place within a framework of a 21-member Parliament and an eight-member Cabinet.
  • There are 68 schools for primary education, 12 schools for secondary education, and 5 universities in Aruba.
  • Aruba is also home to two medical schools: Aureus University School of Medicine and Xavier University School of Medicine.
  • No visas are needed for Dutch citizens, only a passport, and although the currency used in Aruba is different (the Netherlands has the Euro), Euro’s are still widely accepted and easily exchanged for Aruban Florins.
  • Dutch influence can still be seen, as in the celebration of “Sinterklaas” on 5 and 6 December and other national holidays like 30 April, when in Aruba and the rest of the Kingdom of the Netherlands the Queen’s birthday or “Dia di La Reina” (Koninginnedag) is celebrated.