ABC Islands, Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao sit just north of Venezuela, while the Leeward Islands Sint Maarten, Saba
and Sint Eustacius are located a whopping 900 km more to the northeast.
The only common denominator for the islands is
their centuries long history under Dutch sovereignty.
People in the Leeward islands speak English, while in the ABC Islands Papiamento
is the official and legal language for all the islands.
Another constituent country was Suriname
, which gained independence in 1975.
Aruba split from
the Netherlands Antilles in 1986 and went on as an autonomous country within the Kingdom.
Finally, after years of tenuous discussions
and several referenda, on October 2010
, Aruba, St Maarten and Curacao became constituent countries while Bonaire, Saba and
St Eustatius went on as special Dutch municipalities. All citizens have the Dutch nationality.
When we lived in
Curacao we took the opportunity to explore the Dutch Caribbean and found each island to be unique in
terms of geology, landscape and local culture.