January 8, 2013

Aruba: Aruba Aloe

Divi Divi Trees on Aruba Aloe's Plantation

Besides Eagle Beach, where I stayed was also walking distance to Aruba Aloe’s museum and factory.  Along the thirty minute walk, there were countless cacti, several Aruba Blue Whiptails (Cnemidophorus arubensis), sheep, and a cow.  With enough sun block applied and a protective hat, the walk was actually quite pleasant.

Aruba Blue Whiptail

A Cow and a Sheep

Aruba Aloe’s Museum and Factory are housed inside a yellow building right outside of the company’s aloe vera plantation.  When Aruba Aloe was found in 1890 by Cornelis Eman, aloe vera was harvested only for its laxative sap.  Nowadays, aloe vera is harvested for its gel.

Even though aloe vera originated from Africa, it was such a big part of Aruba export that its flower became the upper left quarter of the national coat of arms. 

Aloe Vera Sap Aloe Vera Gel

Aruba's Coats of Arms

The factory area is visible from the observatory on the second floor.  Aruba Aloe’s tour guide explained what each machine did and every step that was needed to turn aloe vera growing on the ground like heads of lettuce into the bottles of beauty products sold. 

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