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  1. #1
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Government Not Enthusiastic About The Project, Environmental Organizations Concerned

    Government Not Enthusiastic About The Project, Environmental Organizations Concerned
    Aruba Tradewinds Times by Eddy Ramou

    May 28th 2008, Aruba.

    Land area construction Eco Resort

    SAN NICOLAS-Aruba will receive its first fully eco resort near the boarder of Arikok National Park, in the area between Boca Prins and Fontein. The property on which the resort will be constructed is owned by the Lacle family. The Lacle family and a group of Venezuelan investors have joined forces to develop the area with 59 timeshare villas and 44 hotel rooms. The hotel will be named Arikok Green Village & Eco Resort.

    Once the resort is completed, it will be the most environmental friendly property in Latin America and the Caribbean. The resort will be much greener than hotels found in the most eco friendly destinations in the World such as Costa Rica and Brazil.

    Environmental organizations and nature lovers on the island are very concerned with this new development. Jorge Trevino, one of the Venezuelan investors behind the project, admitted that the
    government is not enthusiastic about the project. A lack of knowledge on the environment and the management thereof are the possible reasons, said Trevino.

    When Trevino presented the plan to the Department of Infrastructure and Planning (DIP), there reaction was "why so green?" It implied that there was no need to be that friendly with the environment, said Trevino. He answered DIP: "so that there is no negative decision on the project!"

    The intention was to start with the construction of the project in October of 2007. Developers are still waiting on the green light from the government who would rather see the National Park and the areas surrounding its boundaries development free.

    Investors will only inject money in the project if it is supported by the government, said Trevino. However the huge plot of land is owned by the Lacle family, long before the National Park and its boundaries were established, it basically means that the family can do whatever it wants with the land they own.

    Maria Cristina Lacle member of the Lacle family says that she wants something good to be done with the land. It is therefore that they sought the cooperation of the management of the National Park in the project. The oldest governor home on the island is owned by the family and is located on the land. Trevino is surprised that the home is not on the national monument preservation list. The home will be incorporated in the project and will be converted into a museum for the public.

    There will be rules for locals as well as tourists to enter the eco resort. The use of plastic bags will be strictly forbidden on property. Smoking is not allowed on property. Cars are allowed to be parked in a designated parking lot, and visitors can either walk or take an electric golf cart to the entry of the resort.

    The frame of the eco villas will consist of special environmental friendly wood imported from Colombia. The walls will be made out of mud, a technique used for making homes on the island during the 19th century. There will be little use of cement material.

    The many open spaces on property and the open frames of the villas should provide enough cooling, and make the use of air-conditioning unnecessary. However there will be special air-conditioning beds that are energy efficient. Project developers are still debating on how to provide the property with electricity. The intention is to install wind mills that would produce clean energy, other alternatives are being studied. Water supply will come partly by the natural source of drinking water at Fontein.

    Aruba has many advantages above other eco destinations, said Trevino. "The island is overall safe. If you start an eco resort at a destination in Latin America, you would have to build a high wall to make sure guests are not robbed or kidnapped. Aruba has many activities at a short distance. You can be surrounded by nature, or you can choose to go to a casino or swim in Palm Beach if you like, which is 20 minutes away. If you are in an eco bungalow in Brazil, then you are in the middle of the jungle, and there is no other different activity to do in the large jungle."

  2. #2
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    IF this is the location I am thinking of, it is at Fontein, situated between the Fontein Cave and the ocean, south of Boca Prins bar. http://www.wikimapia.org/#lat=12.492...16&l=0&m=a&v=2

    This is just a beautiful spot, smack dab in the middle of Arikok National Park. Albeit overgrown now.

    From my 2001 trip report...
    "On our circuit around the island, while in Arikok National Park, we were able to stop at Fontein for the first time and that was REALLY cool. There is a museum, Fontein (fountain) and a cave. This is the only fresh water spring on the island. There were Chinese farmers who used this water to grow vegetables in the arid area surrounding Fontein. You enter through a museum, which houses some older Aruba photos, artifacts, furniture and native creatures. We even got "rattled" by an Aruban rattlesnake! There are folks there who will show you around. [now I know that they were Arikok National Park Rangers] The four of us ended up with our own private guided tour, don't know why he picked us...but it was terrific.

    The gentleman took us through the small museum, out to Fontein. Here he fed the turtles sunning themselves on the rocks and explained the history of the Tilapia which are found in the pond. The Chinese raised them for food. The water then drains off of the pond and flows down a small stream or channel. As the months go along, the Park plans on clearing more of vegetation to the path of the stream can be followed...to the sea?

    Along the way our guide spoke of some of the local customs, culture, flora and fauna."

    So what happened? On our visit Guadirikiri Cave this past Christmas I had the opportunity to ask our Arikok Ranger guide what happened to Fontein. The parking lot had been closed off for the years following our visit in 2001 and the place looked abandoned.

    The ranger/guide explained that the people who had donated the land at Fontein to Arikok National Park, had "taken it back" for development. He gave us a "tip" as to how to get a look and we took advantage of his knowledge. I just wanted to get some photos of the spring which you see above. We did not see any fish or turtles left.

    I am not an Aruban, I have no say in the island's development, but aren't there plenty of hotels and other assorted lodgings already? Green, eco friendly purple or orange, this area is surrounded by Arikok National Park and imho, should stay just that way. The Aruban government should really find a way to purchase this land from the owners and keep it part of the island's history. <<stepping off my soap box now, I have no say, but do have a choice to spend my vacation dollar where I like. Btw when is the dophinarium opening? >>

    Fontein click on thumbnail to enlarge

  3. #3
    Member dividivi's Avatar
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    Ugh! Who ever heard of developing an unspoiled gorgeous natural habitat to be green. If that's not the definition of irony I don't know what is!! Greedy b##str#ds.
    ~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~
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  4. #4
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    the only thing green will be the dollars in the developers wallets and bank accounts.
    raping the land, and such a serene pristine location is quite pitiful imo.

    we can only hope that the arubans and the aruba government will choose what is best for them.

    we as outsiders though, do not have a say.
    we just watch and complain to each other?
    andrea

    Quote Originally Posted by dividivi View Post
    Ugh! Who ever heard of developing an unspoiled gorgeous natural habitat to be green. If that's not the definition of irony I don't know what is!! Greedy b##str#ds.

  5. #5
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    What ever happened to the moratorium on timehsare building?

  6. #6
    Senior Member uncle dave's Avatar
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    I presume that there was quite an uproar years ago when the first high rises were proposed on "serene and pristine" Palm Beach, but that's progress for you. Personally, I think the owners of the property have every right to do as they please, at least it seems that they are trying to make as low an impact as possibe. Don't get me wrong, we love going to that side of the island, would rather go there than Palm Beach and I would hate to see any developement.
    Last edited by Andrea J.; 05-30-2008 at 12:22 PM. Reason: rule infringement/insult personal attack

  7. #7
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    uncle dave i am deleting your last 2 sentences and if you need to PM lisa or i or arubaliz, please do so.
    thanks.
    andrea
    1. Do not malign, ridicule and/or insult anyone or make threatening or racial remarks to users of Aruba.com regardless of their status in life, political belief, ethnicity, race, religion and/or gender.
    2. • Have respect for other opinions. If you disagree with someone, do not attack them personally. Try to make thoughtful comments about their opinion, perspective, assumptions, etc., but do not attack them personally. Everyone has an opinion based on a number of different factors, like their own personal experiences, values, etc. If someone disagrees with you, it is probably because they value one thing more than another. Attacking them does nothing but create anger and resentment. Discussing the values and perspective that underlies their opinions may increase your understanding and it may encourage them to see your perspective as well. Personal attacks are the tools of someone who probably doesn’t have a very good point to make, or of someone who holds a belief that has no foundation in reasoned thought.

    [quote=uncle dave;111520]I presume that there was quite an uproar years ago when the first high rises were proposed on "serene and pristine" Palm Beach, but that's progress for you. Personally, I think the owners of the property have every right to do as they please, at least it seems that they are trying to make as low an impact as possibe. Don't get me wrong, we love going to that side of the island, would rather go there than Palm Beach and I would hate to see any developement.
    "Deleted the rest" andrea

  8. #8
    Senior Member danadog56's Avatar
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    That article was very interesting. I also remember being told that there was not going to be anymore building in the resort side of the island....and that was at least 10 years ago. Since then, I have seen Divi Village double in size..."You will never have to worry about this little resort getting bigger,,,,we like it this way." --or somthing to that nature was told to us when we decided to invest in a timeshare at Divi Village. Then I go the year before and see the monstrousity of the RIU......I know it's beautiful, but that's what makes it so awful !!!
    Okay, I'm done with my ranting and raving.........glad to get that off of my chest.
    ARUBA....HOME AWAY FROM HOME

  9. #9
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Question So............................

    So.............................what has become of Fontein ????????????????

  10. #10
    Senior Member danadog56's Avatar
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    haven't seen anything...maybe gov't actually put a kabosh on it !!!! Yea !!!
    ARUBA....HOME AWAY FROM HOME

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