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Topics include Dining Scene, Aruba: For Foreign Visitors & more!
The first people to inhabit the island of Aruba were the Caiquetios Indians from the Arawak tribe dating back to around 1000 A.D. More documented history comes about in 1499, when it was claimed by Spain. Changing the route of history however, it was the Dutch who took over the island in 1636 making the islands official language, Dutch. At the time of take-over, the Dutch were using the beautiful island purely for raising cattle and horses, hardly the tourism haven that it is today. Since 1986, Aruba has had full autonomy in internal affairs but remains a member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
A hint of Aruba's history is shed upon by the meaning of its name. Thought to mean "there was gold" in Spanish, the Spaniards believed they would find gold on the island and thus had the native Indians from Hispaniola come to aid their search by working in the mines. The Spanish never did find gold but the Arawak people remain in the bloodline of the island today because of that shift.
Turns out the Spanish were right in their belief that Aruba harbored gold; but gold wasn't discovered until 1824, sparking about a 100 year mini-gold rush. It was more often black gold that was found and hence, Aruba began to rely more on fishing and aloe production. Today, it is tourism that far surpasses any other industry on this Caribbean island.
Palm Eagle Beach is a major tourist attraction today for people all over the world. Its beaches are lined with hotels and sunbathers enjoying the sun; perhaps continuing a gold rush in another sense.