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The island of Aruba is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and is located in the southern Caribbean Sea and north of the Venezualan peninsula of Paraguana. The Kingdom of the Netherlands is made up of four countries, Aruba being one of them along with the Netherlands, Curacao, and Sint Maarten. The people living in these countries are classified as Dutch people and of Dutch nationalities. For census purposes, Aruba is divided into eight regions and the capital is located in Oranjestad. The eight regions do not have any administrative function but they are Noord/Tanki Leendert, Oranjestad West, Oranjestad Oost, Paradera, San Nicolas Noord, San Nicolas Zuid, Santa Cruz, and Savaneta. The anthem of the island of Aruba is “Aruba Dushi Tera” which means, “Aruba, Sweet Land”. The climate and weather of Aruba is very dry and very close to a desert. For tourism and vacationers, this makes for a great place for island travel with sunny skies year long. According to the last census taken in 2010, there are 101,484 inhabitants on the island with an estimate of 116,600 as of July 2018. This island had country status as of January 1986 at the beginning of the year. The official language of Aruba is Dutch with Papiamento largely spoken as well. The name of Aruba has several different theories as to where it came from with the Spanish phrase, oro hubo meaning “there was gold” or in Island Carib, the work Oruba means “well-placed” and another theory is that the Island Carib word Ora and Oubao both contributed to this island’s name meaning shell and island.
The history of the island of Aruba dates back very far with human presence being recorded as far back as 2000 BC. These humans were the Arawak Caquetio Amerindians that came from South America. From here, the Europeans would visit Aruba and claim the island for Spain. Amerigo Vespucci and Alonso de Ojeda called Aruba, “the islands of giants” because of the large structure of the natives currently living there. Once Vespucci returned to Spain, he took lots of products native to Aruba to show the king and queen so that Spain could begin colonizing the land. It was not until 1636 that the Netherlands seized Aruba from Spain and Peter Stuyvesant was the first Duttch governor of Aruba. In 1972, Aruba was proposed in the creation of a Dutfch Commonwealth. Finally in March 1983, Aruba reached an agreement with the Netherlands kingdom for their independence.
Aruba is generally made up of Aruban people with Colombian and Dutch people following in the population. The ethnicity of the island is about 75% mestizo and white and 15% black. Because the Arawak were the first to call this island home, the heritage is strong in Aruba compared to otherCaribbean islands. The most practiced and dominant religion in Aruba is Roman Catholicism which is practiced by about 75% of the population
The government in Aruba along with the other 3 countries within the kingdom of the Netherlands, Aruba is a constituent country with an internal autonomy. Foregin affairs and defense are handled by the Netherlands and others go directly to Aruba. There is a 21 member Parliament or Staten in Aruba with an 8 member cabinet which is voted by direct popular vote for 4 year terms. The governor of Aruba is appointed by the monarch or the King in this case and the prime minister and deputy prime minister are indirectly elected by the Saen on a four year term basis. The island of Aruba is a part of the Overseas Countries and Territories as a member. Aruba is not officially a part of the European Union but still receives support from the European Development Fund. The legal system in Aruba is based on the Dutch model where the legal jurisdiction lies with the Court of First Instance the Joint Court of Justice of Aruba, Curacao, Sint Maarten, and of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba, and the Supreme Court of Justice of the Netherlands. The police force of Aruba acts as the island’s law enforcement with precincts in each of the headquarters around the country. The education system in the island of Aruba is mirrored after the Dutch system of education. Public education is funded by the government of Aruba. The schools on this island are a mixture of public and private schools with the International School of Aruba, the Schakel College, and the Colegio Arubano. There are also two medical schools on the island along with the national university called the University of Aruba. The Dutch system that Aruban schools are identical to are characterized by divisions and is oriented towards the needs and background of each pupil. Schools are divided by different age groups with streams for different educational levels.
Tourism plays an important part of the Aruban economy as it makes up about three quarters of the Aruban gross national product with tourism and related activities. North America brings a lot of tourists to Aruban with a market share of 73.3%. Since 2008, Aruba has been the only island with a service for private flights to aid in this tourism. Because of the increase in American traditions throughout the year with celebrations for Christmas and Halloween, North American tourism has risen in the last year bringing in lots of guests to the island of Aruba. The island of Aruba has a rich culture with lots of history to make up the people that live on the island. This island country is largely known as a big tourist attraction with its beautiful weather and beautiful natural aspects. North American citizens are those who come the most to this island with anyone from Latin America trailing behind. What is interesting about this island country is that it is a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands along with three other countries. On top of that, the island of Aruba is able to run almost independently with some aspects and affairs handled by the Netherlands.