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Aruba’s Tanki Flip Region

During a recent trip to Aruba, I met a couple who were building a home in the Totolica Residences in the Tanki Flip area of Aruba. They intend to sell their home in Southern California and retire to Aruba.  As I recall, they have been waiting a few years for the home to be built, which, in my experience, is not unusual when it comes to Aruba. They were told by the builders that the recession had slowed down construction. I don’t mean to cast aspersions on the Totolica developers. I do want to point out, though, that it is important to do your homework when buying a home on Aruba. This is particularly true if the home is not built yet.

Enough with my amateur real estate advice. What I really want to talk about is Tanki Flip. Long before U.S. retirees decided to settle here, the first residents of the area appreciated the proximity to fresh water and good farmland. The first settlement is carbon dated to between 950 a.d. and 1250 a.d.

In 1994, an archaeological excavation was commenced on the site of the old village. Scientists believe the Dabajuroid people migrated here from Venezuela, likely bringing with them the Arawakan language. There were approximately 100 people living in the settlement, making their homes in large, oval shaped structures.

Also known as the Caquetios, these people were mainly farmers, cultivating maize and manioc. They lived on the island until 1515, when most of the population was forcibly relocated by the Spanish to Santo Domingo.

You can learn more about this settlement, as well as many other archaeological sites on Aruba, by visiting the Archaeological Museum of Aruba, located diagonally across from the Oranjestad Bus Station, at Schelpstraat 42. The telephone numbers are  +297 582 8979 / +297 588 9961.  I could not find a website for the Museum.

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