Checking off the B’s and C’s in the ABC Islands

The group prior to their departure flight to Curacao.

By Nathaniel Hanna Holloway

The three western most islands of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean Sea are referred to as the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao). In February the students travelled to Curacao with a few staff members to experience the similar, yet intriguingly different, culture and sights that Curacao has to offer. Curacao is larger, more populated and more developed than Bonaire. To give you an idea of the difference between the islands, Curacao has stoplights and traffic jams at rush hour; while Bonaire has no stoplights and traffic jams only when there is a donkey in the road.

On arrival the students hopped on city bus and headed straight from the airport to Otrobanda, a historic district in Willemstad, Curacao’s capital. The students wandered around the open-air market and grabbed a bite to eat before walking across the famous Queen Emma Bridge to Kura Hulanda, the slavery museum. Kura Hulanda provides a frank and factual representation of the horrors of slavery and can be quite the sobering experience.

Joe giving a group of students a behind-the-scenes tour of the Curacao Sea Aquarium.

 Over the subsequent day and a half the student’s time was filled with fun activities and (some but not too much) relaxation. In addition to a snorkeling invertebrate scavenger hunt, the two highlights of the trip were the behind-the-scenes tour of the Sea Aquarium and the trip in the CuraSub. The tour of the Sea Aquarium included, not only, the spectacular public exhibits but an in-depth look at how the aquarium functions (Thanks Joe!). The CuraSub trip was truly a unique experience the submarine took the students 600 feet below the surface and exposed the students to marine life that very few people have the privilege of experiencing.




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