Dutch is the official language of Aruba, while Papiamento is the local
language. However, Spanish and English are fluently spoken by the
majority of its inhabitants.
The average annual temperature is about 82 degrees Fahrenheit, and 28 degrees Celsius. Constant cooling trade winds make even the hottest days comfortable. Aruba lies on the outer fringe of the hurricane belt, but during the season (June though November), there may be a few wet or windy days. Changes
in world weather patterns have resulted in warmer temperatures in the summer months and more precipitation in the fall.
Aruban citizens are considered Dutch and hold Dutch nationality and
passport (Netherlands / EU).
Aruba’s population of about 100,000 inhabitants is made up of a broad international mixture of people with a pleasant nature and a zest for hospitality. The modern Aruban is generally of mixed ancestry from the Indian, African and European cultures. Today, the island claims over forty different
nationalities – all living and working together peacefully.
The Aruban people have long been recognized for their multi-lingual ability; most speak Dutch, Spanish, English and the native language of Papiamento and can change effortlessly from one to the other, depending upon the company and the occasion.
But the primary language of the people I, spoken on the streets as well as in local media, is Papiamento, the mother tongue of about 70% of the population. Papiamento originally developed on Curacao in the 1500s as means of communication between African slaves and their masters. Papiamento reflects
the mentality and culture of the many people who inhabited the region, including the Arawak and Craib Indians, South American traders, Spanish conquerors, Dutch merchants, Portuguese missionaries, and French and English settlers. Much of it was handed down verbally from generation to generation.
Today it includes English technical words and slang.
According to a study in 1995, Papiamento is the language used to communicate between Dutch and Spanish speakers. It is an integral part of the cultural heritage of the people and a symbol of Aruba’s national identity, uniting its inhabitants.
Papiamento is a recognized and complete language with its own grammar and vocabulary. It includes a mixture of every language spoken in the region, including French and Portuguese. It is spoken on Curacao and Bonaire as well as on Aruba, where it has a more Spanish influence because of its proximity
to the South American mainland. As far as the written language, Papiamento has had its own orthography since 1977. In 2003, Papiamento was recognized as the official language of Aruba, along with Dutch. Because Dutch, not Papiamento, is the instructional language of Aruba, recent campaigns have
been geared toward its correct usage.
As part of the 2008 Year of Culture, t here was a campaign by the Department of Education entitled “Nos idioma ta den bo man, Papiamento, cuid’e” which means, “Our language is in your hands. Papiamento, take care of it.” A new website, www.papiamento.aw was inaugurated
to explain its origin, history and development along with workshops for members of the media and press.