The elite was mainly active in commercial agriculture and illegal trade with South America.
Peasants remained dependant on small scale agriculture, fishing, and labor migration within the region.
After an unsuccessful colonization effort by Juan de Ampíes (1526–c.
1533), the island was used for cattle breeding and wood cutting.
The Dutch West India Company (WIC) took possession of Aruba in 1636, two years after the Dutch conquest of Curaçao. Colonization of the island was forbidden until 1754.
In 1767, the colony consisted of one hundred twenty households, twelve of which were in the employ of the WIC. After the dissolution of the WIC (1792) and two English interregnums (1801–18–1816), serious colonization started.
Officers having been tracing the movements of Giordano in the hours before Ms Gardner's disappearance, but said they have had trouble identifying him in surveillance video because he frequently changes his toupees.