Yesterday, Aruba welcomed King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and Heir to the crown, Princess Amalia. After a morning schedule filled with protocol activities, meetings with the Aruban government, Parliament and Ministers, the Royal Family arrived at san Nicolas and ended their first day visit at Nicolaas Store, where they were seen enjoying beautiful dance performances and poetry.
During their visit to San Nicolaas, the Royal Family swung by the Filomena College elementary school and high school, where they witness an exposition about the Aruban hero of the Second World War, Boy Ecury. Afterwards, they visited the mural paintings in the city center. Lastly, they enjoyed various performances at Nicolaas Store.
The dance performances included a variety of different dance groups and different genres of dance, starting off with contemporary dance by the Popcorn Dancers. Then, Kay Quandus took the stage to perform her spoken word piece, a poetry dedicated to the Heir Princess Amalia.
The fun continued with more dance performances from 3 other dance groups: Kids & Youth in Action, NTG Dancers and Dazzling Dancers, kids who all dazzled the Royals with a compilation of Carnaval dances—and not without festive Carnaval clothing—so that the Royal Family can have a taste of how Carnaval is celebrated on the island.
The festivities ended with a surprise flash mob, with people from the audiences getting up on stage and performing their last dance for the Royals.
Besides the festive parties, there were notable a few groups with banners, who were there to express a message to the King about pressing matters that they do not agree with in hopes that the King may pay some attention to these issues.
“I wanted to bring this message to the King: After Aruba was colonized in 1636, we have suffered many unfavorable consequences. Today we are in the year 2023, and we would like to meet with you again. We are on our land; this is all of ours. We welcome the King, not as a colonizer, because he must recognize that we are the legitimate occupants of Aruba, and everything that they have taken away from us must be returned,” Helena Croes from Aruban Warriors stated to Bon Dia Aruba.
Anouk Balentina, who is known for her fight against the waste facility at Parkietenbos and the contamination that this facility is causing the environment and the effects this have on the public’s health, was also present to express her message to King Willem-Alexander:
“During his coronation, the King promised to maintain the constitution, and the constitution says that whenever our fundamental right is not being respected by the national government, it is their duty to assure us our safety and security,” Balentina indicated, referring to the current fight against the waste facility and how this violates the fundamental right for life and health of the public, especially those who live in the region of the facility.