Curaçao: Where family history and Dutch Caribbean beauty merge

Curaçao, a Dutch Caribbean island and colony that is now an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, was settled by the Arawaks who migrated from South America some 6,000 years ago and settled on various islands as they embarked on a centuries-long northward trek. The group that ended up in Curaçao were the Caiquetios, who supposedly gave the island its name.

In 1499,  Alonso de Ojeda, a lieutenant of Christopher Columbus, came upon the island and the Spanish settled it in the early 1500’s. In 1634 the Dutch took possession of Curaçao and founded a Dutch settlement. Until the early 19th century, both the English and the French tried to take Curaçao. In 1800 Curaçao came under a British Protectorate returning to the Dutch in 1802. The British captured the island again in 1807 and it returned to the Dutch in 1815.

But, I don’t just come to Curaçao for it’s Dutch Caribbean beauty, or its warm tropical weather, I come back because my maternal family is rooted in this island of pastel colored houses with genealogical roots that go back several generations. I first came to the island a little more than 27 years ago with my cousin Gerri Gomez and her father Fausto Gomez and have been back several times since, always feeling that deep familial connection.

The first time I heard Papiamentu, the native language of the island, it took me back to my maternal grandmother, Rosalinda Juliana Daal and my grandfather, Everardo Ambrosio Schoop, who were born on the island and whose parents and grandparents before them were also born on the island. And, even though they migrated to New York, where they raised my mother Carmen and her sister Gloria, in Brooklyn, their language was a vivid part of my youth. Curacaons are, by nature and necessity, masters of language. A multifaceted Creole language, Papiamentu is based on Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, and several African dialects. Most native speakers will use Dutch, English, and Papiamentu with equal flowing grace. Dutch is the official language, while Papiamentu is the most common. Spanish is also spoken by most Curacaons, and English is widely used.

Although I’m not one for sun bathing, snorkeling or gambling…yes, the island has casinos…I am into the history and architecture plus just the sheer beauty of the island, which stretches some 40 miles, and its people which number a little more than 160,000. It may not be as well known as its sister islands in the ABC group of Aruba to the west and Bonaire to the east, but Curaçao is the island that has my heart. Wish I could have spent more than just a week (Nov. 27 to Dec. 4, 2018)…that just means I will have to go back.

A place has the pull but its the people who have the power. Curacao pulls me in, but its the people, the family, the history that draws me back. Here’s a look at my version of Curaçao.

Willemstad, the capital of Curacao – Punda

Willemstad doubles as Curaçao’s capital city and its old town center plus holds the distinction of being a UNESCO World Heritage site. With the floating pontoon pedestrian Queen Emma Bridge, that connects the Punda and Otrobanda  pastel-colored colonial architecture across Sint Anna Bay and forms the historical center of Willemstad.  ‘Otrobanda’ literally translates into “other side.” It got it’s name as it is located on the other waterfront of the Willemstad area.  In the city center on the Punda side, originally named ‘de punt’ in Dutch, was established in 1634 on the eastern side of the Sint Anna Bay, is the oldest part of Willemstad. In the city center, on the Punda side, is the Floating Market, the Mikve Israel-Emanuel Synagogue, the Queen Wilhelmina Park and the pastel infused Dutch architecture that serves as homes, shops, offices and a quaint feast for the eyes. 

The long pedestrian pontoon bridge, named the Queen Emma Bridge,  with a view of of the Punda side of Curacao’s capital city of Willemstad.           (Dec. 1, 2018)
The Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao, is called Handelskade, the picturesque stretch of pier that tends to appear on every Curaçao postcard showing off the Colonial Dutch buildings painted in various pastel colors that line the waters of Sint Anna Bay.  (Dec. 1, 2018)
The colorful Dutch Colonial architecture along Handelskade along the pier by Sint Anna Bay on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao. The core of this prominently located Penha dwelling on Heerenstraat 1 was built between 1708 and 1733. According to the “Historic Willemstad Architectural Walking Guide” by the Curacao Tourism Board, “This building is the finest example of Curaçao’s baroque style, which was applied on the island throughout the 18th century. Characteristic for this style are especially the curved lines on the gable tops, ending in curls (volutes). Also the series of arches on the ground floor and the first floor are typical of the baroque period. The plaster ornaments added in the 19th century are predominantly done in leaf or flower motifs.” (Nov. 29, 2018)
The colorful Dutch Colonial architecture along Handelskade along the pier by Sint Anna Bay on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao.                                                                                                                           (Nov. 29, 2018)
The busy shopping streets with the Dutch Colonial architecture on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao.  (Nov. 29, 2018)
The busy shopping streets with the Dutch Colonial architecture on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao.  (Nov. 30, 2018)
The Tom Hilfiger store building on Breedestraat on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao, dates back to the end of the 17th century.  According to a description of the “Historic Willemstad Architectural Walking Guide” pamphlet by the Curacao Tourism Board, “The façade is built in the Curaçao baroque style, which was applied on the island throughout the 18th century. On both the first and second floors the façade consists of a series of arches on short belly shaped columns. On both corners three columns are grouped together.” (Nov. 30, 2018)
The busy shopping streets with the Dutch Colonial architecture on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao.  (Nov. 30, 2018)
A quaint restaurant courtyard tucked between the colorful Dutch Colonial architecture on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao.  (Nov. 29, 2018)
A busy shopping and restaurant street on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao.  (Nov. 29, 2018)
The busy shopping streets with the Dutch Colonial architecture on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao.  (Nov. 29, 2018)
Colorful restaurant on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao.  (Nov. 29, 2018)
The busy shopping streets with the Dutch Colonial architecture on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao.  (Nov. 29, 2018)
Dubbed “The World Best Mojito Bar,” and my cousin Gerri can testify to this because it was one of the first stops we had to make while we were on the Punda side in Willemstad, Curacao.  (Nov. 29, 2018)
Inside “The World Best Mojito Bar” on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao.  (Nov. 29, 2018)
My cousin Gerri and I enjoying our mojitos at “The World Best Mojito Bar” on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao. (Nov. 29, 2018)

The Floating Market

The fishing boats docked on the quay at the fruit and vegetable Floating Market on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao, have been around for 101 years. (Nov. 30, 2018)
The fruits and vegetables on display and for sale at the floating market on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao. The boats are docked on the other side of these fruit and vegetable stalls.  (Nov. 29, 2018)
The Floating Market on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao. (Nov. 29, 2018)
The Floating Market on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao. (Nov. 29, 2018)

The Old Market and Food Court

Vendors selling a variety of island souvenirs outside of the Old Market on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao. (Nov. 29, 2018)
Vendors selling a variety of island souvenirs outside of the Old Market on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao. (Nov. 29, 2018)
Inside the Old Market are even more vendors selling an array of items. (Nov. 29, 2018)
But the main reason we ventured into the Old Market on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao, is for the traditionally prepared food that the locals come to eat at the Old Market Food Court. The previous area, the Plasa Bieu, is being renovated so the Food Court, with its picnic tables and down-home Curacao eating was moved to the top level of the Old Market. (Nov. 29, 2018)
The colorful Old Market Food Court on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao, is….at least according to my mother and aunt…the best place to get traditional Curacao food prepared with love by the locals. The rustic open-aired picnic table seating food market features traditional meals prepared at opened kitchens with such classics as stub, Yambo, fish soup and a variety of fish. (Nov. 29, 2018)
The colorful Old Market Food Court on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao. (Nov. 29, 2018)
My family at the Old Market Food Court on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao, checking out the menu at Zus di Plaza. (Nov. 29, 2018)
My mom, Carmen, in pink and my aunt, her sister, sitting next to her enjoying their first course of traditional Curacao cuisine at Zus di Plaza at the Old Market Food Court on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao. First course for Mom is the Yambo and for my aunt, the fish soup. (Nov. 29, 2018)
My Mom’s Yambo. (Nov. 29, 2018)
And, here’s my Mom enjoying the Zus di Plaza stewed goat (kabritu stoba) on white rice (arroz blanco) at the Old Market Food Court on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao. (Nov. 29, 2018)
My cousin, Gerri, getting ready to chow down on her Zus di Plaza stewed beef (Karni stoba) with rice and beans (arroz moro)at the Old Market Food Court on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao. (Nov. 29, 2018)
And, look who joined us for lunch, Elric…Gilda’s son, at the Old Market Food Court on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao.
Me getting ready to chow down on my red snapper (piska kora) with mash potatoes (batata machika) and plantains at the at the Old Market Food Court on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao. (Nov. 29, 2018)

The 18th Century Synagogue

On the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao is the 18th century sand-floored Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue.  Built between 1730 and 1732, it is considered the oldest synagogue in use in the Western Hemisphere. According to the “Historic Willemstad Architectural Walking Guide” by the Curacao Tourism Board, “the Amsterdam Portuguese-Israeli synagogue of 1675,
the ‘Esnoga’, served as the model for the building plans. However, only the interior space shows resemblance to
the Amsterdam synagogue.The exterior is typical of the local Curaçao baroque architectural style of the 18th century.
The synagogue consists of a block-shaped building mass, covered by three saddle roofs. The main façades consist of three bell-shaped gables that are smoothly joined. Along the long side walls of the building there are external stone stair-cases leading to the women’s galleries in the synagogue. The interior is divided in aisles by three vaulted ceilings and four freestanding columns. The floor is covered with a fine layer of white sand. One of the reasons is that it would be in remembrance of the time that the Jewish ancestors in Spain and Portugal had to celebrate their faith in clandestine     synagogues. The wooden floors were covered with sand to muffle the sound of their footsteps on the former wooden floor.”  (Nov. 30, 2018)
The courtyard of 18th century Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao. The entrance to the sand-floored synagogue is to the right through the Hebrew inscription oval door entrance. Consecrated in 1732, the Mikve Israel Emanuel Synagogue is considered to be one of the most historic synagogues in the world. It was modeled after the Portuguese Synagogue of Amsterdam to serve a community of Spanish and Portuguese Jews from the Netherlands and Brazil. (Nov. 30, 2018)
Entering the sand-floored, 18th-century Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao, with its azure stained glass windows and mahogany furnishings. (Nov. 30, 2018)
Entering the sand-floored, 18th-century Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao, with its azure stained glass windows and mahogany furnishings. (Nov. 30, 2018)
Inside the sand-floored, 18th-century Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao, with its azure stained glass windows and mahogany furnishings. (Nov. 30, 2018)
Along with the 18th-century Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue there is also a Jewish Cultural-Historical Museum on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao. Photos cannot be taken inside the museum. But this is the outdoor entryway to the museum, accessible from the inner courtyard of the synagogue,  which contains replicas of tombstones from the 17th century of the tombstones at the Beth Haim cemetery. The fumes from the adjacent refinery rendered the tombstones illegible. (Nov. 30, 2018
A close-up of the replicated headstones at the Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue museum on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao. (Nov. 30, 2018)

The Art of Punda

Art on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao. (Nov. 29, 2018)
Art on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao. (Nov. 29, 2018)
Sunflower and pillar art in an alleyway on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao. (Nov. 29, 2018)
Our selfie (Gerri and I) by the sunflower and pillar artwork on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao. (Nov. 29, 2018)
Heart art on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao. (Nov. 29, 2018)
Gerri and I taking a selfie, with mojitos in hand, at the CURACAO letters on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao. (Nov. 30, 2018)
And, at the the same location of the CURACAO letters is the Queen Wilhelmina Park with a statue of the queen and the letters spelling out DUSHI…a Papiamento word that means ‘sweet.’ And, in the background is the yellow 100-year-old Jewish Reform Temple Emanuel which was sold to the  government in 1989. (Nov. 30, 2018)
A close-up of theCuracao, Netherlands Antilles. Bird’s eye view of Wilhelmina Park with statue of the late Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherland.          (Nov. 30, 2018)
My cousin sitting at the base of the Moises Frumencio Da Costa Gomez (1907-1966) statue on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao. Da Costa Gomez, a lawyer by training, he was a member of the Roman Catholic Party before founding the National People’s Party in the 1940s. Checking to see if Gerri’s Gomez ancestry is linked to Da Costa Gomez. (Nov. 29, 2018)

The Willemstad bridges

The bridge that connects Punda to Otrobanda in Willemstad, Curacao, is this pedestrian crossing pontoon bridge, named the Queen Emma Bridge.     (Dec. 1, 2018)
Named after Queen Wilhelmina (1890–1945), this bridge was built in 1928 to link the commercial area of Punda in Willemstad, Curacao, with the old residential neighborhood of Scharloo and the Queen Juliana Bridge in the distance. (Nov. 30, 2018)
Another pedestrian bridge linking the commercial area of Punda with the old residential neighborhood of Scharloo and the Queen Juliana Bridge in the distance. (Nov. 30, 2018)
A Punda side view of the Queen Juliana Bridge, named after Juliana, Queen of the Netherlands from 1948 until her abdication in 1980. Most road traffic crossing over the bay to either Punda or Otrobanda in Willemstad, Curacao,  use the Juliana Bridge which arches high over the bay further inland and was opened in 1974. (Nov. 30, 2018)
Another view of the XXX from the Otrobanda side of Willemstad, Curacao. (Dec. 1, 2018)

Willemstad – Otrobanda

When the once walled Punda side became overpopulated, the Otrobanda, which stands for ‘the other side,’ was connected to Punda in 1888 via the Queen Emma Bridge.  The Kura Hulanda Museum is located at the Otrobanda harbor where Dutch entrepreneurs once traded and shipped enslaved Africans, along with other ‘commercial goods’ during the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. From slave capture in Africa through the Middle Passage and the relocation in the New World, the museum’s impressive exhibits powerfully trace the history of the forced relocation of Africans from Africa to the Americas and the Caribbean by Europeans from the 17th to the 19th centuries. The museum also features a vast collection of cultural artifacts from continental Africa  and Caribbean art.

While the Kura Hulanda Museum is located on one end of Otrobanda by the harbor, the Riffort on the other end. Built in 1828 to protect the city, its restored ramparts now shelter Riffort Village, a shopping and entertainment center that also features the Renaissance Hotel.

The Brionplein, Brion Plaza, the centerpiece of Otrobanda’s waterfront, was crowded with Christmas flea market vendors and shoppers.

Kura Hulanda Museum in Otrobanda

The entrance to the Kura Hulanda complex that includes the museum, a hotel, cafes and restaurants. According to the “Historic Willemstad Architectural Walking Guide” by the Curacao Tourism Board, “a ‘kura’ is originally a residential area with a mansion in the middle and enclosed by outbuildings and walls.Part of the museum, mainly focused on the history of slavery and African art and culture, was built in 1998 on the lot where in 1980 the original ‘Kura Hulanda’ had been demolished. Afterwards the hotel, established in several former dwellings, was realized in the adjoining area and inaugurated in 2002.” (Dec. 1, 2018)
The Kura Hulanda Museum on the Otrobanda side of Willemstad, Curacao, is also known as ‘The Slavery Museum’. Having just recently visited the Slave Lodge in Cape Town, South Africa, I can tell you for a fact the Kura Hulanda is not only much more informative, but provides an incredible array of artifacts and allows photography. I am so impressed by this museum. It is an incredible treasure trove of slavery on the island, the different cultures and their origins on the island. The museum basically can be divided into two sections, the history of slavery and the collection of African artifacts including musical instruments, masks, art, bronzes, illustrations and weapons. (Dec. 1, 2018)
Inside one of the Kura Hulanda Museum on the Otrobanda side of Willemstad, Curacao, features African art, history and exhibits relating to the local slave trade. (Dec. 1, 2018)
Murals in the courtyard of the the Kura Hulanda Museum on the Otrobanda side of Willemstad, Curacao. (Dec. 1, 2018)
Sculptures from Zimbabwe in the courtyard Sculpture Garden of the Kura Hulanda Museum on the Otrobanda side of Willemstad, Curacao, features African art, history and exhibits relating to the local slave trade.
A sculpture on a courtyard wall of the Kura Hulanda Museum on the Otrobanda side of Willemstad, Curacao. Built on what was once a mercantile square for slaves, the Kurá Hulanda Museum traces the history of the African slave trade on Curaçao. (Dec. 1, 2018)
A painted timeline of the West African River Trip at the Kura Hulanda Museum on the Otrobanda side of Willemstad, Curacao. Built on what was once a mercantile square for slaves, the Kurá Hulanda Museum traces the history of the African slave trade on Curaçao. (Dec. 1, 2018)
A painted timeline of the Middle Passage at the Kura Hulanda Museum on the Otrobanda side of Willemstad, Curacao. (Dec. 1, 2018)
This structure, part of a slave-holding yard, is inside the Kura Hulanda Museum on the Otrobanda side of Willemstad, Curacao. It was a former embarkation station of the Dutch West India Co. and a slave prison that now houses a number of slave-related artifacts, illustrations, stations and the hull of a slave ship.  (Dec. 1, 2018)
An original historical cabin of plantation workers on the island of Curacao called a Bruha hut which was used to take care of whipped and sick slaves at the Kura Hulanda Museum on the Otrobanda side in Willemstad, Curacao. (Dec. 1, 2018)
Display inside the former embarkation station and slave prison at the Kura Hulanda Museum on the Otrobanda side of Willemstad, Curacao.               (Dec. 1, 2018)
A close up of the Venice center of the North African slave trade at the Kura Hulanda Museum on the Otrobanda side of Willemstad, Curacao. (Dec. 1, 2018)
“We were not many days in the merchant’s custody (in Barbados of 1756) before we were sold after the usual manner, which is this: On a signal given (at the best of a drum) the buyers rush at once into the yard where the slaves are confined, and make choice of that parcel they like best. The noise and clamor with which this is attended and eagerness visible in the countenances of the buyers serve not a little to increase the apprehension of the terrified Africans, who may well be supposed to consider them as the ministers of that destruction to which they think themselves devoted. In that manner, without scruple, relations and friends are separated, most of them never to see each other again. I remember the vessel in which I was brought over, in the men’s department there were several brothers who, in the sale, were sold in different lots; and it was very moving on this occasion to see and hear their cries of parting…” from Olaudah Equiano,a writer and abolitionist from 1756, who was enslaved as a child and taken to the Caribbean where he was sold to a captain in the Royal Navy, and later to a Quaker trader. Eventually, he earned his own freedom in 1766 by intelligent trading and careful savings. This exhibit at the Kura Hulanda Museum on the Otrobanda side of Willemstad, Curacao, features a photo of Equiano (c. 1745 – 1797) who was known during his lifetime as Gustavus Vassa. “The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African,” first published in 1789 in London, is the autobiography of Olaudah Equiano. The book describes his enslavement and documents his attempts at becoming an independent man through his study of the Bible, and his eventual success in gaining his own freedom and in business thereafter. (Dec. 1, 2018)
The shackles at the Kura Hulanda Museum on the Otrobanda side of Willemstad, Curacao, was one of many ways used to control slaves. Iron wrist shackles with a locking end clamp bear witness to the cruelty of slavery. Shackles were used in the African slave trade; similar kinds of restraints were employed to punish uncooperative slaves. (Dec. 1, 2018)
Inside the slavery exhibits at the Kura Hulanda Museum on the Otrobanda side of Willemstad, Curacao. (Dec. 1, 2018)
My cousin, Gerri, descending the narrow stairs of a replica slave ship at the Kura Hulanda Museum on the Otrobanda side of Willemstad, Curacao. (Dec. 1, 2018)
Inside the replica slave ship at the Kura Hulanda Museum on the Otrobanda side of Willemstad, Curacao. (Dec. 1, 2018)
Inside the replica slave ship at the Kura Hulanda Museum on the Otrobanda side of Willemstad, Curacao. (Dec. 1, 2018)
An exhibit hall of masks, sculptures, weapons from various African kingdoms on display at the Kura Hulanda Museum on the Otrobanda side of Willemstad, Curacao. (Dec. 1, 2018)
The Benin Bronze exhibit at the Kura Hulanda Museum on the Otrabanda side of Willemstad, Curacao. (Dec. 1, 2018)
Replica of the Benin bronze plaques of the court of Benin depicting the total power of the Ona, the four parts of the day, the four days of the week and the four directions of the wind at the Kura Hulanda Museum on the Otrobanda side of Willemstad, Curacao. (Dec. 1, 2018)
This type of bell at the Kura Hulanda Museum on would summon the slaves on a plantation in Curaçao to witness the whipping of a disobedient slave who was tied to one of the pillars and whipped. After the flagellation a combination of vinegar, salt and other compounds was rubbed into the wounds to cause as much pain as possible. (Dec. 1, 2018)

Riffort Village and Brionplein

The Riffort on the Otrobanda side of Willemstad, Curacao, was built in 1828 to protect the islanders from pirates and other enemies back in the day, but now it’s the Riffort Village with its restored ramparts best known for its various restaurants, bars and shops. (Dec. 1, 2018)
The Riffort Village shopping and entertainment center on the Otrobanda side of Willemstad, Curacao. (Dec. 1, 2018)
The Riffort Village shopping and entertainment center on the Otrobanda side of Willemstad, Curacao. (Dec. 1, 2018)
The Riffort Village shopping and entertainment center on the Otrobanda side of Willemstad, Curacao. Next to the Riffort defenses monument, you will find the Renaissance Mall, a fairly new and modern shopping center, with various and luxurious shops such as Armani Exchange, Tiffany & Co and Guess. (Dec. 1, 2018)
Dusk setting on Riffort Village on the Otrobanda side of Willemstad, Curacao. (Dec. 1, 2018)
The Brionplein, Brion Plaza, the centerpiece of Otrobanda’s waterfront, was crowded with Christmas flea market vendors and shoppers. (Dec. 1, 2018)
The Brionplein, Brion Plaza, the centerpiece of Otrobanda’s waterfront, was crowded with Christmas flea market vendors and shoppers.(Dec. 1, 2018)
The Brionplein, Brion Plaza, the centerpiece of Otrobanda’s waterfront, was crowded with Christmas flea market vendors and shoppers.(Dec. 1, 2018)
The Brionplein, Brion Plaza, the centerpiece of Otrobanda’s waterfront, was crowded with Christmas flea market vendors and shoppers. (Dec. 1, 2018)
The Brionplein, Brion Plaza, the centerpiece of Otrobanda’s waterfront, was crowded with Christmas flea market vendors and shoppers. The national flag of Curacao flying proudly on Brionplein. (Dec. 1, 2018)

Art and Architecture in Otrobanda

This eclectic building is the creation of students of the Instituto Buena Bista, also known as IBB, to create a contrast that enhances the Otrobanda, Willemstad, Curacao, neighborhood and environment. It’s a series of mural paintings combined with sculptures and assemblages made out of car parts. (Dec. 1, 2018)
The beautiful monument, called “Keizershof” in Otrobanda has been turned into a beautiful piece of art by Francis Sling. His mural is called ‘Sunú’, which means ‘naked’ in Papiamentu. On the mural, you see a plucked chicken with its feathers hanged on a clothesline. (Dec. 1, 2018)
Art Heals Foundation covers this building at Emmastraat in Otrabanda, Willemstad, Curacao, with a variety of art works. (Dec. 1, 2018)
A close-up of the art work on the side of the Arts Heals Foundation house at Emmastraat in Otrabond, Willemstad, Curacao. (Dec. 1, 2018)
A close-up of the art work on the side of the Arts Heals Foundation house at Emmastraat in Otrabond, Willemstad, Curacao. (Dec. 1, 2018)
It’s called “The Triangle,” at Hoogstraat 18 in Otrabanda, Willemstad, Curacao. Its history begins in 1869 when Antoine Martis, head of the building department and one of the first architects from the island, buys a plot on the north side of the Hoogstraat from Jan Ernst van Der Meulen. (DEc. 1, 2018)
Built in 1874, this mansion called “Villa Sixta” was from the beginning dived into an upstairs and a ground floor dwelling. It was bought by the Curacao Monuments Foundation. Abundant rainfall caused the house to partially collapse in 1999 and the restoration took place between 2002 and 2003. This Neo-classicist building stands out mainly because of its double curved stairway and balcony in front. (Dec. 1, 2018)
In 1874 the sailor Rudolf Anthonie Jandroep buys a piece of land of the Westwerf and in 1878 builds this detached two-story building on the corner of Hoogstraat 26. (Dec. 1, 2018)

Views of Punda and the floating bridge from Otrobanda

The ferry taking people to the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao, while the Queen Emma floating bridge is open. (Dec. 1, 2018)
The ferry taking people to the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao, while the Queen Emma floating bridge is open. (Dec. 1, 2018)
Handelskade street on the Punda side of Willemstad, Curacao, while the Queen Emma floating bridge is open, features the colorful Colonial Dutch buildings along the St. Anna Bay. (Dec. 1, 2018)

Landhuis Chobolobo and Curacao Liquor

The entrance to Landhuis Chobolobo a 19th century historic mansion in Salina, Curacao, where Senior & Co. produce Blue Curacao and other liquors. (Dec. 3, 2018)
Lanhuis Chobolobo, a former 19th century plantation in Salina, Curacao, is where Senior & Co. have been producing Curacao liquor since 1898. (Dec. 3, 2018)
Colorful art piece where tourists can have their photos taken at the entrance to Lanhuis Chobolobo where Senior & Co. produce Curacao liquor. (Dec. 3, 2018)
Inside the Landhuis Chobolobo, a former plantation, in Salina, Curacao, you can tour the history of its distillery where Curacao liquor is produced by family-owned Senior & Co. Around the year 1500, when the Spaniards arrived on Curaçao, they brought along Valencia oranges. Due to the arid climate and the soil of Curaçao, the orange mutated into a green version. This orange is called the Laraha and is indigenous to Curaçao. The Laraha is inedible. However, the dried orange peels are perfect for the production of Curaçao liqueur and provide a unique taste. (Dec. 3, 2018)
Curacao’s signature Blue Curacao liquor is produced on the former plantation of Landhuis Chobolobo turned distillery. (Dec. 3, 2018)
Packaging of the Curacao Liquor taking place at the Landhuis Chobolobo in Salina, Curacao, where the liquors are produced. (Dec. 3, 2018)
Me, lovingly admiring the Curacao liquors produced on the island by Senior & Co. at Landhuis Chobolobo, a former plantation, in Salina, Curacao. (Dec. 3, 2018)
My family trying out the free samples of the Curacao liquor at the Landhuis Chobolobo in Salina, Curacao, where Senior & Co. have been producing the liquor since 1896. From left, Gloria, Gilda and Carmen. (Dec. 1, 2018)

Westpunt, Curacao

Westpunt is the name of the westernmost point of the island of Curaçao. It’s a good hour’s drive from Willemstad to the westernmost point, but it is a very scenic two-lane drive.  (Nov. 30, 2018)
Westpunt, Curacao.  (Nov. 30, 2018)
Westpunt is the western part of the island. This side of Curacao, which locals call ‘Banda Abou’, literally means the ‘lower side’. The area is totally different from the busy eastern part of the island around Willemstad. It’s quiet and you’ll find the unspoiled nature of Curacao.  (Nov. 30, 2018)
Westpunt is the western part of the island. This side of Curacao, which locals call ‘Banda Abou’, literally means the ‘lower side’. The area is totally different from the busy eastern part of the island around Willemstad. It’s quiet and you’ll find the unspoiled nature of Curacao.  (Nov. 30, 2018)
Westpunt is the western part of the island. This side of Curacao, which locals call ‘Banda Abou’, literally means the ‘lower side’. The area is totally different from the busy eastern part of the island around Willemstad. It’s quiet and you’ll find the unspoiled nature of Curacao.  (Nov. 30, 2018)

Mambo Beach, Curacao

At the entrance of Mambo Beach with my family on the island of Curacao. From left: my Mom, Carmen; islander and cousin Gilda; me; my aunt, Gloria and her daughter, my cousin, Gerri. (Dec. 3, 2018)
Mambo Beach (Dec. 3, 2018)
My cousin, Gerri, finally getting to walk on the beach and dip her feet in the water at Mambo Beach in Curacao. (Dec. 3, 2018)
Mambo Beach (Dec. 3, 2018)