A slave for who his freedom was purchased by the Fiscal of the church of Alto Vista in Noord.
This slave was telling about his trip over the Atlantic Ocean and how he reached Curacao: “There are good and bad people on this world,” Crisostomo started saying: “That one sad day these bad people armed with sabers and rifles came to our small village, Arabs slave traders, who were grabbing anyone they set for to trade them for gold at port. They broke in to my farm and into our house. They destroyed everything in it and had us chained up”.
Crisostomo had to stop telling for a while for all emotions returns with sad memories:
“We were treated worse than animals, made us walk the old road to the port. After an hour walking we could hear that more people was joining our group guarded by some twenty armed men. There I could see that the plateau below was filled with many people lined up in chains. Woman and children separated of the men. Approaching the multitude we could start hearing the noise mixed with crying and begging for compassion. I could not watch how they were brutally whipped and others were freed of their suffering with a shot. All this created a paralyzing shock. Flabbergasted and totally terrorized we had no other choice than to survive and keep together.
Pic. 2. Arab slave traders
I could count over two hundred people, captives, traders and hundreds of camels packed with dates, salt and others carried bags full packed with resin for incense on their heads. We followed behind this enormous trading caravan that soon left us behind. Our group was getting larger by the day.We reached the outskirts of the port city of Oran at dark. The agonizing trip took us five and a half days which I have made in two day many times before. The cargo caravan camped town two days before, close to a lake where we all had to enter, where all the animals were drinking, it was a blessing having a chance washing up and clean ourselves a bit before they took us through the city. There we reached the plaza and loaded immediately on a ship packed all ready with people to be shipped out to the new continent. Many people died during the long march”
Crisostomo was transported on a ship called the Jupiter, along with 2,000 other slaves to Curacao, 40 or more slaves were lost at sea, from which many jumped in to the ocean to be swallowed by the waves. “If it was not for Mr. Miguel to have freed me,” Crisostomo says, probably they would have killed him in Curacao.
Pic. 3. Dutch and Arab slave traders of the Barbary Coast, Mediterranean sea
All this revelation was heard by Father Pedro Ramirez, a Catholic priest who lived in Caracas, who occasionally visited Aruba. Since he could understood some French, he could figure out wat happened to Crisostomo`s son and wife.
The following year Father Pedro Ramirez wrote a letter to Crisostomo telling him that in Caracas he had found his son Anastacio and that he would send him by ship to Aruba so that they could reunite again. Anastacio could not wait for him to reunite with his father and to tell his story, how he had arrived by boat to La Guajira where the priest Francisco bought his freedom and gave him a place to live in the monastery in Caracas.
Pic. 4. Helping the strandedpassengers.
One year after Crisostomo re-encountered his son, a ship sailing out of Maracaibo en route to the Dominican Republic, ran aground in the South Western part of the island. People of Noord came over to give assistance. Among the passengers was certain Mr. Morales, a Colombian gentleman, together with his family and two servants.
They all were taken to the town of Noord. One of the servants who were traveling with the Mr. Morales and family was Crisostomo’s wife and Anastacio’s mother Helena Petronilia.
This is how an Algerian family reunites in here on our happy island.
. Pic. 5. Helena Petronilia
Meanwhile, the ship had been repaired, ready to continue its voyage to the Dominican Republic with all its passengers. Morales and his family proposed to Crisostomo and Anastacio to travel with them.
There, he gave Helena Petronilia back to Crisostomo, and they lived happily together again.
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