There is something mesmerizing about the saline mine landscape in Bonaire. It feels like being somewhere else, belonging to outer space, where huge conveyor belts are everyday business, pink comes across as the normal shade of water and white flakes gravitate around you as some kind of abstract butterflies. Ironically, Bonaire's history around salt flats is a bit more about pain than it is about dreams. When the Dutch arrived to the island, it was obvious that it didn't have much to offer in terms of crop but man, those flat lands on the south... They could do as perfect salt mines, when mixed up with a sufficient amount of skilled slaves.
Said and done, tiny houses were built to host an outrageous amount of humans. They were able to rest every night despite the lack of space, due to the grueling workload they were forced to manage. Actually, during this vacation I learnt several things, most relevant one being a lesson about the horror of slavery, which was very present in the Dutch Antilles. Ironically, the magic triangle that gave rise to Europe as empire (kidnap manpower form Africa, ship it to America, use them to obtain goods, resell goods in Europe and restart) is probably the main reason why Africa remains the way it is today. Imagine for one second, what would have happened if the history would have been the other way around? Would I be walking miles daily on the search of water?
Already in Curaçao, we checked out Kula Hulanda Museum which is the perfect place to learn more about the history around slave trade and its implications in modern history. Highly recommended.