Just a word of caution for anyone offered a job in the food industry in Aruba. GET A CONTRACT and VERIFY, VERIFY, VERIFY. And do NOT trust someone who goes by ODC@ or ODCCDO@ as his email address.
Here's my story:
I received a job offer from someone whom I'd known as a pen-pal friend for several years. He was a successful businessman at the time with an established web-hosting and marketing company. My friend (whom I'll refer to as ODC) was working with a longtime friend to take his friend's family hotsauce recipe (which was marketed on a small scale in Aruba) and produce/market it globally. ODC offered me a job as a Director of Operations for his start-up company which was then called A.G.F.
When I was contacted about this opportunity it was January of 2008. The optimistic plan was to begin work in Aruba in April. That was a little unrealistic, so April turned into July, then we needed to find a larger facility, then discovered other issues with the chosen site, and finally settled on a location in Tanki Flip. The April 2008 start-up was delayed several times and eventually the target start-up date was January of 2009, but I was to relocate and begin working on-site in November of 2008.
I had worked (without salary) from my home in the States for 8.5 months. Having someone in the States lent credibility to the project and helped American suppliers feel more comfortable quoting on an international project. My role involved acquiring quotes for and sourcing refrigeration equipment, warehouse racks, processing equipment, labels, totes, shelving, wash-down equipment, material handling equipment, planning the layout of the facility (several times since the scope of the project kept growing), sourcing laboratory equipment, determine personnel needs, find qualified personnel, review HACCP requirements, and so on. I invested about 1350 hours of my time AND packed up my belongings in preparation to relocate to Aruba (which also involved making arrangements to rent my house in the United States.)
Via formal letter from ODC to the board of directors, I had been introduced as the Director of Operations. I was to travel to Aruba in Oct. of 2008 to officially meet the board members and choose from a few options for housing. A week before my scheduled introductory visit, my "friend" ceased all contact with me. I've never heard from him since.
Life goes on. I have since found other work but I've never been the same as a person. This ordeal changed my life. I could have sued ODC for breech of contract. The documentation I have of the offered salary, letter of introduction (not to mention all the work done) constitutes an employment contract. Aruba's government takes a dim view of this sort of fraud, but I've decided at least for now not to move forward with a lawsuit.
Nevertheless, I DO want to warn others not to trust this man. The A.G.F. project has (for reasons unknown) been abandoned, but ODC is going forward with a March 2011 start up date under another name (Andicuri).
Please understand, I don't think ODC is a bad person. It's just that he is a slave to money and becomes obsessed with his work. He doesn't care whom he exploits or hurts along the way as long as he achieves his goals. Even his kids suffer, which is quite sad.
I wish you luck. Just be careful with this sort of scam.