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Aruba

Aruba's rich, multicultural past is reflected in its cuisine, architecture and warm, friendly people.  The country has changed hands between the Spanish and Dutch throughout the centuries, and is now a diverse constituent country of the Netherlands. 

Its population of about 105,000 inhabitants is made up of a broad international mixture of well-educated people with a pleasant nature and a zest for hospitality. The modern Aruban is generally of mixed ancestry, claiming Caquetio Indian, African and European roots. The Caquetio Indians of the Arawak tribe from the South American mainland were Aruba's first inhabitants. Aruba has an exceptionally diverse population, with more than 90 nationalities present. Aruba's strong economy, excellent living conditions and prime weather continue to attract individuals from all over the world. Immigrants hail from South America (primarily Colombia, Venezuela and Peru), other Caribbean islands, and as far away as China, the Philippines, and seventeen African nations. Despite a multi-cultural background, Arubans share a strong national identity buoyed by the success of a healthy economy, a strong educational system, and one of the highest standards of living in the Caribbean.

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. Aruba has no administrative subdivisions, but, for census purposes, is divided into eight regions. Its capital is Oranjestad. 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. It has a land area of 179 km2 (69.1 sq. mi) and is densely populated.

The GDP per capita for Aruba was estimated to be $21,800 in 2004; among the highest in the Caribbean and the Americas. Its main trading partners are Venezuela, the United States and the Netherlands. The island's economy has been dominated by five main industries: tourism, gold mining, phosphate mining (The Aruba Phosphaat Maatschappij), aloe export, and petroleum refining (The Lago Oil and Transport Company and the Arend Petroleum Maatschappij Shell Co.). Before the "Status Aparte" (a separate completely autonomous country/state within the Kingdom), oil processing was the dominant industry in Aruba despite expansion of the tourism sector. Today, the influence of the oil processing business is minimal. The size of the agriculture and manufacturing sectors also remains minimal. Aruba is at the forefront of the energy revolution. Ten large windmills line the rugged eastern coast.

The official currency of Aruba is the Aruban florin (Afl), which is divided into 100 cents. The silver Florin coins are divided into denominations of 5, 10, 50 cents, and one florin. American dollars are readily accepted everywhere on the island.

Dutch and Papiamento are Aruba's official languages , but most Arubans speak at least four languages , including English, Spanish and Portuguese.

 
  Companies in Aruba   Industry
   Calloway Corporation   Catering