Note: Our voyage ended early, and the last port of call was to be Aruba, but plans kept changing. See my comments and links at the end of this blog for “the rest of the story.”
Because I have visited Aruba before, I decided to share my findings and impressions as well as research regarding enslaved people of the past.
is different from most of the Caribbean islands. Aruba, now a territory of the Netherlands, had not yet discovered gold or silver during the period of conquering and colonizing Caribbean islands, thus Aruba’s indigenous people, the Caquetio (who had migrated from Venezuela), were deported by the Spaniards to the island of Hispaniola (now Haiti and Dominican Republic) to work the copper and gold mines.
The Dutch took control of Aruba in 1634 and enslaved indigenous people to work various agricultural plots. African slaves were not imported to Aruba until the 19th century to serve as craftsmen and field laborers. Due to the small plots, thus the need for fewer laborers, Aruba never had a large population of Africans.
Gold, silver, sugar, and cotton. That was the European attraction to the Americas and the reason for slave trade. Because European explorers were determined to build their wealth and that of the country they represented, they stole gold and silver from Central American countries and the indigenous people of the time – Mayans, Aztecs, and others. By the 1700’s cotton and sugar from the Americas were established as lucrative commodities throughout Europe, however because these were labor intensive crops, the way to make money was to enslave the indigenous people and force them to work the fields. Due to the diseases brought by Europeans for which native people were not immune, and the difficult conditions, many indigenous cultures were eventually wiped out. This prompted the enslavement of Africans and the began.
During this short adventure into the past, I have learned or have been reminded of many things.
Crystal’s World Cruise: If you were the captain, what would you do?
Note: What follows is my perception from a DEI &B perspective as I relate my experience. Because so many of you asked me to share what really happened, I am doing so in this space.
Our expedition was supposed to have been a 120-day world cruise covering 59 countries and 136 ports. Months before we boarded on January 17th, we were informed that Australia and New Zealand were not opening their ports, so our itinerary would be reorganized. My husband Charles and I were thrilled with the new itinerary because we had already been to all the ports originally scheduled in Australia and New Zealand during our last world cruise. I was excited about the new itinerary because it included several Caribbean islands, Central America, South America, and then on to the Mediterranean and eastern Africa. With this itinerary I decided to blog about the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade as it related to the countries we would visit.
So much for well laid plans. Here’s the rest of the story. As you read this, ask yourself this question. As a leader, what would I do?
Through all the speculation about what would happen to Crystal, the consensus was that the value of the brand was the guests and the amazing crew. Inclusive leaders would recognize the importance of protecting that brand. The crew did all they could to serve the guests at the highest Crystal standards.
What would you do, as a leader, if you were working for an organization that filed bankruptcy papers two days before the ship sailed?