Aruba History

Aruba is located just 20 miles north of South America in the Caribbean Sea. The island of 70 square miles was discovered by the Spanish in 1499 but Aruba’s first inhabitants are thought to have been hunters and fisherman from mainland South America. The Spanish and Dutch battled over Aruba for many years with the Dutch ruling the colony until 1986 when it was ruled a constituent country- a country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The official languages of Aruba are Dutch and Papiamento. Papiamento is a language made from words taken from Portuguese, West African languages, Dutch and Spanish. With a population of just over 100,000 people, Aruba economy is based primarily on tourism and tourism-related industries.