Episode CLXXII – 172: Hooiberg – “Orcuyo”, for us!

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Etnia Nativa through Island Insight shares our native cultural awareness stories, educates and safeguarding Aruba’s heritage by elevating each reader into an island keeper state of mind.

Be encouraged to discover the true native effect in every episode, experience true reasons to love Aruba and live up your island adventure spirit in an authentic revealing way. Our island is a tiny tourist destination with a fragile ecosystem, covering thousands of years of history. Here is when Etnia Nativa’s main objective comes to mind, sharing information through education.

Aruba has something that inevitably attracts us to its range of blues and whites. However, this time we go beyond her magnetic oceanic charm and embark on a journey to find what makes her truly unique, experiences that can only be lived in the middle of this land that magically emerges from out of the sea. When you see it from out of you air plane window you already know that you will experience one of the most beautiful landings in the world. Turquoise surrounded waters bordering the airport and a landing strip from where you will start this growing attraction to its sheer beauty.

In addition to the charming blue and green tones of the Caribbean Sea the island offers an elevated geology in its center that rises imposingly between the green vegetation and red roofs, while pretty sure that the Hooiberg will capture your attention as an “bon bini” or welcome- gesture.

Hooiberg is the hill or mound that stands practically in the middle of the island and can be seen from almost anywhere while here. A volcanic formation 165 m (541 ft.) high – however not the highest elevation, the higher is Yamanota located at Arikok National Park and with a height of 188m (617 ft.).

The Dutch word HOOIBERG means haystack in English, as the shape of the relief suggests a lone standing stack of hay. However its was not always called Hooiberg, since the Spaniards who arrived on our island before the Dutch called I t” Pan de Azucar” which stands for a spanish sugar loaf English. And here is where our story takes another turn… because the Spanish settlers were welcomed on our beloved rock by the laborious Caquetio tribe – ancient farmers and fishermen who long ago traveled from out the tropical forests of South America and colonizing the Caribbean area. The Caquetio tribe was Arawak-speaking and they called “Orcuyo” that extinct pyramidal volcano.

Our ancestors, grandmothers and grandfathers possessed great knowledge that was transmitted through generations. Stories that comes out of each history corner of this mystical place they had a good understanding of our traditions.

We encourage you to get to know the true native culture and discover Aruba behind its white sandy beaches and turquoise waters.

We firmly believe that by sharing our memories we maintain the true identity of this tiny, beautiful but fragile place nestled in the Caribbean Sea. As natives we have a mentality of belonging to the natural world in all its forms and expressions.

Check out our other educative episodes. If you are in good and healty condition encourage yourself to climb the steps that take you to the top of Hooiberg a sunrises view from of the top of the Hooiberg is simply breath taking and the most beautiful and peaceful moment. You will see how the amazing colors of the sky turns warmer and warmer at the same time seeing how Aruba wakes each day.


If you love to explore Aruba we encourage you to do something different, outside the tourist grid. Become one of our exclusive visitors at Etnia Nativa, where you will be able to admire native art collections, archaeological artifacts and historical furniture while the installation itself and the lecturer will transform your mind set from an simple observer in to an conservator.

Since 1994, Etnia Nativa, which is a private residence and home of our columnist/artist, Anthony Croes, sharing with tourism an authentic view of Aruba.

Anthony guides each guest step by step during the visit so take some time away from the beach scene, book your visit and feel the native effect! R.S.V.P. etnianativa03@gmail.com or whatsapp + 297 592 2702.