A tiny fire illuminates dancers secretly moving to an ancient African beat. The rhythm comes from beating sticks on two calabash halves placed facedown in a tub of water, a bastel. The sound is softer than a drum; drums are forbidden. Quickly, the bastel is dismantled… someone is coming.
The geological past and present of Curaçao rely on coral. Its ecological and economic survival depend on it as well.
Punda, otherwise known as “The Point” has a long and interesting history in the formation of Willemstad. As the first settlement of the Dutch on Curaçao, and the first seat of government on the island, the neighborhood is awash in echoes of continual transformation. Once the nexus of the rich and powerful, the hub of commerce, and the bastion of social activity, it was the most highly guarded region of the island, flanked by two forts and three walls.
There’s an old expression, “The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” And for certain, the unique forest these stewards of the environment are planting shall never shade them. That’s because it’s underwater!
Thanks to diligent efforts by government foundation, local business people, and determined residents, the once crumbling and derelict neighborhood of Pietermaai is fast becoming transformed into the most exciting, colorful, and creative district on the island.