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Useful Notes / Aruba

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If you've ever watched a BBC World News broadcast all the way through, you'll probably have heard of Aruba from the advertisements at the end. Aruba is a constituent country of the Kingdom of The Netherlands located just north of Venezuela in the Caribbean. Originally colonized by Spain, it was taken over by the Dutch in 1636. It is grouped with Bonaire and Curacao as the ABC Islands, and the capital and largest city of the territory is Oranjestad, not to be confused with the one in Sint Eustatius.

Most of the inhabitants of the island have a more noticeable Arawak heritage than most of the other islands in the Caribbean. While no native Arawaks remain, the Aruban people do have noticeable Arawak features in their appearance, and are mostly of Dutch and Caquetio Indian descent. The island also has a notable Indo-Caribbean and Javanese population, who are the descendants of workers contracted from India and the island of Java in Indonesia. Many of the island's inhabitants are also descended from Venezuelan immigrants due to their close proximity to Venezuela, as well as some Venezuelans having second homes there.

Unlike most of the other islands in the Caribbean which have swampy or tropical environments, Aruba has a dry, arid environment with plenty of cacti. This is one of the sources of the island's famed warm, sunny weather which attracts a lot of tourism to the territory, along with it being located outside of Hurricane Alley which most of the rest of the Caribbean lies in, so hurricanes aren't as much of a problem there as the rest of the Caribbean.


The Aruban flag
The design consists of a field of light blue (called "Larkspur") that represents the sky, the sea, peace, hope, Aruba's future and its ties to the past, two narrow parallel horizontal yellow ("Bunting Yellow") stripes representing sun, gold and abundance as well as wanglo flowers, and a four-pointed white-fimbriated red ("Union Flag red") star in the canton representing the four cardinal directions and in turn the many countries of origin of the people of Aruba, with the star also representing the island itself with it's often red soil bordered by white beaches in a blue sea, and the red color of the star represents the blood shed by Arubans, the Indian inhabitants, during the French pass war as well as patriotic love, with the white fimbriation representing purity, honesty and the white beaches of Aruba.