The founding of Aruba Aloe Balm By Cornelis Eman
At the end of the 19th century, the price of the Aloe hard gum dropped, deeming it almost impossible to make any profit from Aloe cultivation. In Curaçao and Bonaire, the harvesting stopped, and the Aloe fields were abandoned. In Aruba, the farmers continued to maintain the Aloe fields, either selling the Aloe hard gum at a loss or just stocking the product.
Still, Cornelis Eman founded Aruba Aloe Balm NV in 1890 with the plan of trading in Aloe hard gum and started planting the Aloes on the fields at Hato in Aruba for production and export. He took a risk by doing this, but believed in the Aloe business and even acquired more land in the years after. This was a smart move because when the Aloe prices worldwide picked up again around 1905, he had already expanded to 63 hectares (155.7 acres) of Aloe fields.
Becoming the largest exporter in the world of the Aloe Hard Gum
Aruba The Island of Aloes
In later years, the number of Aloe fields grew steadily, and at a certain point, around 1920, two-thirds of Aruba was covered with Aloe fields! In those days, Aruba earned the nickname “The Island of Aloes.” Many houses were decorated with pictures of Aloe plants, and the plants could be found in every garden and household. In the years after that until today, many Aruban stamp series have featured Aruba’s Aloes, and in 1955, the Aloe plant found its way onto Aruba’s coat of arms, symbolizing the island’s first source of prosperity.