Nature, a wonderful means to many ends

It becomes clearer and clearer to me how nature can act as a means to so many different ends. A wonderful example is a project from the Accretio Foundation, which sets up programs for youth with behavioral problems. The foundation helps the youthful target group to get their lives back on track through all kinds of activities. The Curacao Footprint Foundation is currently working on a project for Accretio in which attitude development with the influx of experiences with nature […] Read more »

My introduction to Caribbean Footprint and Curaçao nature

Let me start by properly introducing myself. My name is Nik Voorend, and I’m a 23-year old Dutch student of International Communication Management who has landed as an intern at the Curaçao Footprint Foundation, which you all know from the online magazine  Caribbean Footprint. For the next five months or so, I’ll be contributing regularly to Caribbean Footprint with my own blog. What will I be writing about, you ask? The answer to that is simple. I’ll be writing about […] Read more »

Nature Diary: Local vitamin bombs 5: (H)Oba

Sour sweet taste, orange-yellow in color and rare in Curaçao. Most people have never seen an Oba fruit, let alone eaten it. Only the elderly among the island population and a number of people from the younger generations who like to listen to the stories and knowledge of the elderly know this tree and are able to recognize it within the landscape of our island. The Oba, or Hoba tree (Spondias mombin) is a monumental tree, which can grow to […] Read more »

Nature Diary: Local vitamin bombs 4 – the Shimaruku

No local fruit appeals to the imagination as does the illustrious Shimaruku or West Indian Cherry. If you notice cars at the side of the road in the weirdest places, about one or two weeks after some heavy rains, and people enthusiastically picking what looks like red berries, then it’s a safe bet it is Shimaruku they are after, which are either eaten on the spot or collected in cups, bags or whatever serves the purpose of taking this delicacy […] Read more »

Me and my bats: Dr. Sophie Petit (2)

Bat-Cactus interaction – 20 years of bat research in Curacao! This article is the second part of the interview we had with Dr. Sophie Petit (click here for the first) and describes further discoveries surrounding the relationship between bats and cacti on Curaçao, the work she is doing in Australia, her work during her stay in Curacao last August, and what the future brings. Without cacti no bats, without bats no cacti The flowers of cacti consist of a large […] Read more »

Incomparable Beauty

Although time has passed rapidly, I can still remember like yesterday how I, together with some friends, took one last walk in the area of Jan Kok just before I left for the Netherlands to study. I wanted to engrave everything into my mind in order not to forget the beauty of my island. I can still vividly remember the sound of the prikichi’s chasing a warawara, the sound of crashing waves and the smell that was released by the […] Read more »

Me and my bats: Dr. Sophie Petit (1)

Bat-Cactus interaction – 20 years bat research in Curacao! Dr. Sophie Petit, the expert on the ecology of Curaçao’s bats, visited our island in August, for the first time again in five years. To examine the state of affairs regarding bats, cacti and the protection of both. Curacao is very close to Petit’s heart, and the bats on the island are her passion in life. It was Dr. Petit, now working at the University of South Australia, who figured out […] Read more »

Nature diary 9: local vitamin bombs 3: Delicious hair / Dushi kabei

Local fruits are popular and that makes sense. Many people have wonderful childhood memories of picking fruit from the tree and eating it right away. Many have grown and stayed healthy in scant years, because the local fruits growing in the gardens were an indispensable supplement to the meager diet of the children. You can hardly imagine it, but there are plenty of people among us who know what it is to go to school hungry, and who benefited immensely […] Read more »

Nature Diary 8: A short natural route

Walking is healthy. Walking in a nature area is even healthier and sometimes, while walking along the simplest of trails, you might encounter the most beautiful spots, totally unexpected, even in places you already visited for the ‘umpteenth’ time. In terms of nature, Curacao is a funny island. One moment you wonder if there still is anything alive at all, especially after a period of severe heat and drought. In such periods the vegetation looks like it is impossible to […] Read more »

Nature Diary 7: Local vitamin bombs 2

In the previous nature diary article I wrote about the tamarind and the long journey this fruit has made from Africa to end up on our Island. This time it’s the turn of the fruta di Kashupete. This tree was also an element of the gardens near Maridol, where part of the da Costa Gomez family grew up. Most of these gardens and fruit trees are now gone, but here and there you might encounter a proud tree that is […] Read more »