Aruba’s Alto Vista Chapel and Bushiribana

Touring Aruba, Zeb and Soapy Duck left the paved roads and headed toward Alto Vista Chapel.  Approaching the chapel we spotted white crosses beside the road.

White crosses for Alto Vista Chapel in Aruba

White crosses for Alto Vista Chapel in Aruba

These did not look like crosses honoring people who died in accidents along the roadway, and they are not.  These crosses represent the Stations of the Cross.  During Holy Week, the week before Easter, residents and tourists come here to live their religion and respect its meaning. The Alto Vista Chapel was rebuilt on the site of the first chapel. The original was built in 1750, abandoned in the 1800s and rebuilt about 200 years later.  The original chapel was built before Aruba had a priest.

Alto Vista Chapel in Aruba

Alto Vista Chapel in Aruba

This yellow chapel is very peaceful, situated amid cacti and near the pounding Caribbean coast. The northern shore of Aruba has rocks, granite and lava and is shaped by the fierceness of the water. The Spanish cross of the Alto Vista Chapel is one of the oldest European works of art in Aruba.  The small chapel, with its beautiful altar, has a loyal following of worshippers.  We ducks thought the location was very serene.

Inside Alto Vista Chapel, Aruba

Inside Alto Vista Chapel, Aruba

The humans were subdued and reverent here.  We felt good at this chapel. Continuing on the dirt road we viewed something else.  This was the Bushiribana Ruins.

Bushiribana Ruins

Bushiribana Ruins

A 12-year-old boy found the first gold on the island in 1824.  This started a gold frenzy in Aruba.  For about 30 years local people found gold and sold it at a fixed price.  A nice second source of income for them.  In 1854 the gold mining concession went to Aruba Island Goldmining Company.  A smelter was built and operated for 10 years.

From Bushiribana Ruins to the Caribbean

From Bushiribana Ruins to the Caribbean

The gold ran out, the smelter ceased operation and is now in ruins. Our guide said that now we, ducks and tourists, are the gold of Aruba. We like our tour of Aruba.  Next we are heading to the rugged north shore of Aruba.  Pounding waves, here come the ducks.

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