The three Dutch ABC Islands
are located just north of the coast of Venezuela.
Spain took the islands in
1499 and soon after deported the local Caiquetio
Indians as slaves to Hispaniola
They did bring in domesticated animals from
Spain and goats, hogs and donkeys still roam free on the islands.
In 1634 the Dutch, in dire need of salt for a booming herring
, moved in and kicked out the few remaining Spaniards.
was sold to Portugal in 1661, the local Sephardic
relocated to Curacao
. They would have a lasting influence on the development of the island.
The WIC used slaves and convicts
on Bonaire to harvest salt and produce wood, maize and meat. The low slave huts today still remind of those harsh
Flat and arid Aruba was an important supplier of meat for the other Dutch Caribbean islands. Aruba has strong historical
and cultural ties with nearby Venezuela and Colombia.
During WWII the ABC oil refineries proved crucial for the fuel hungry
The islands are situated well outside the Caribbean hurricane belt and are popular tourist destinations,
with Curacao catering mainly to European guests and Aruba covering the American tourists. Bonaire is a divers paradise and draws tourists
from all over the world.