John, W2GD will be active from Santa Cruz, Aruba Island, IOTA SA -036, in ARRL DX CW Contest, 17 - 18 February 2024.
He will operate in Single Operator All Band Category.
Before the contest, John will operate some CW on all bands as time permits, with emphasis on the WARC bands.
QSL via LoTW and N2MM.
Ads for direct QSL:
Carol Richards, 22 MILL RD, SHAMONG, NJ 08088, USA.
The island of Aruba: what a traveler needs to know
Colonization of the island, located near the coast of Venezuela, began in the early 16th century. The first inhabitants of the area were deported Spaniards and inhabitants of the Netherlands. They worked in the mines in Santo Domingo, extracting copper for import to the mainland. After the mines were depleted, the island became a military base for the Spanish navy. The invaders, in the form of the Dutch, began to develop agriculture, taking advantage of the fertile soil and suitable climatic conditions for the cultivation of cereal crops. In parallel with farming, cattle breeding developed. The colonizers bred horses and increased the number of goats every year.
Why the colonizers were so interested in the island of Aruba
A few years later, the area was called Geiteneiland, which means "Island of the Goats". In 1684, the production of red paint, the main ingredient of which was extracted from the Brazilian Brazielhout tree on the southern coast of Aruba, was opened. The successful manufacture attracted the attention of neighboring countries eager to strengthen their financial well-being. British troops occupied the island in the early 19th century. For more than 20 years, the new masters took advantage of its natural riches, after which Holland regained the reins of power. During the British rule, gold deposits were discovered in the area. A "gold rush" began, which did not subside until the outbreak of the First World War. Fortunately for the locals, the reserves were exhausted, and the flow of gold miners receded from the island.
The British grew aloe in the area and made rubber, exporting it to the United States and Germany. "Curaçao rubber," as the product was called on the mainland, was among the most expensive in the world, due to its high quality and performance. It was a major source of income to the British treasury, some of which was spent on the beautification of Aruba. By 1910, phosphate deposits were discovered. The Dutch, who took over the baton from the British, founded the Aruba Maatschappij mining company. The number of local population increased dramatically, due to the mass resettlement of workers from the mainland.
However, the real boom began after 1920. The island turned out to be a real Klondike of oil. The extraction of "black gold" had a favorable effect on the development of infrastructure and industry in the area. The economy grew stronger, refineries opened, and the residents prospered. Eventually, they filed a petition to secede from the colony of Curaçao. The authorities granted them partial autonomy, but independence was still a pipe dream.
The independence and prosperity of the Caribbean Netherlands
In the mid-20th century, Aruba became an autonomous state within the Netherlands. With the development of the tourism industry, a flood of sophisticated tourists came to the island, whose attention was attracted by the stunning nature, warm Caribbean Sea, gentle sunshine and stunning sights. The coast of the island is covered with golden, snow-white and ashy sands. The abundance of beaches washed by crystal-clear waters, the absence of heavy rainfall and tropical climate have turned Aruba into one of the best resorts in the world. Tour operators recommend refraining from traveling to the island in November and December, as short rains are possible. However, even this time on the island can be spent with benefit. There are three museums in the areal: archaeological, historical and numismatics museum, which has no analogues in the world. Its exposition includes more than 30 thousand coins. Employees of the archeological museum are actively engaged in excavations in the area. They will tell travelers about the prehistoric period of the island's development.
It is noteworthy that most of the inhabitants of the island are parishioners of the Catholic Church. The official language is Dutch, but in everyday speech a mixture of English and Spanish is used. Also popular is the Papimento dialect, whose vocabulary consists of Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish and English with some expressions borrowed from local Indian dialects.
The island is virtually crime-free and has a duty-free zone, ensuring that the area thrives. The islanders warmly welcome guests with delicacies and national cuisine. Tourists note the high level of service in restaurants, cafes and even pizzerias. Aruba abounds with casinos and luxurious hotels in the highlands, which offer a stunning panorama of the prosperous island.