Exporting Happiness !
Who We Are
Oranjestad-Aruba Sister Cities Association is a nonpartisan, apolitical, all-volunteer, committee-structured, secular, not-for-profit organization which is incorporated in the United States. The organization is comprised of the Aruban-American constituency in the United States, Arubans who reside on the Island and a very cherished demographic we call “Friends of Oranjestad-Aruba”. OASCA is passionately committed to the advancement of Oranjestad-Aruba in the United States.
Happiness is probably the most important commodity that Oranjestad-Aruba brings forth. It is the main reason why happiness-seeking guests from all over the globe flock to our city and why Aruba is recognized as the “One Happy Island” in the Caribbean. There’s a specific name for Aruba’s happiness. It’s called “Zjeito” and it’s evident in everything that we do. Our Zjeito is primed to be shared and exported outside of Aruba and this is what prompted the foundation of Oranjestad-Aruba Sister Cities Association.
A group of Arubans residing in the United States tried to find the most effective method to package our Zjeito and bestow it across US cities. They determined that the best platform upon which to execute this mission was that of Sister Cities International. They organized, became members of Sister Cities International, and in 2016 they secured their first US sister city on behalf of Oranjestad. The Aruba Sister Cities Program was composed and shortly thereafter, endorsed by the government of Aruba by way of an official Memorandum of Understanding.
Affectionately known as “The Happy People Consulate”, the organization functions as a convener on matters affecting Oranjestad and fosters engagement and cooperation between the citizens of Oranjestad and it’s sister cities as prescribed by Sister Cities International.
We believe in an engaged citizenry, the power of personal connections and seek to attract citizen diplomats who are interested in collectively building long-lasting and sustainable relationships between our sister communities.
Our mission is to help transform Oranjestad into a globally connected city by establishing sister cities agreements with five (5) prominent US cities on behalf of Oranjestad.
OASCA is tasked to identify, attract, secure and maintain these special city alliances and develops projects and programs to fulfill and nurture these comprehensive accords.
These sisterhoods generally revolve around economic development, cultural exchanges, educational programs, sports & wellness, innovation, government relations, and creative industries but are certainly not limited to these areas.
OASCA seeks to empower its members to introduce new ideas and hopes that these innovations attract additional pillars to Aruba’s economy which is too dependent on the tourism & hospitality sector.
The organization sustains itself with contributions from its volunteers and members and seeks donations, grants, endowments and sponsorships to help achieve its goals.
OASCA aims to become the most dynamic and innovative sister cities organization in the Caribbean.
Sister Cities International was created at President Eisenhower’s 1956 White House conference on citizen diplomacy. Eisenhower envisioned an organization that could be the hub of peace and prosperity by creating bonds between people from different cities around the world.
By forming these relationships, President Eisenhower reasoned that people of different cultures could celebrate and appreciate their differences and build partnerships that would lessen the chance of new conflicts.
Oranjestad-Aruba Sister Cities Association has been a Global Member since 2016
About Sister Cities International
Board of Directors
Al van der Biezen
City of Boston Committee Chair
Marc Van Den Dobbelsteen
City of Austin Committee Chair