Bonaire, History, El Rincón, The Corner, The Village and the People, 1627-2012

Het dorp Rincon, Te Rincon, Rincón: Rinon (Papamientu)

Meaning of Rincón, Spanish for corner/nook, may refer to:

A “Rincon” is also a place where you can have activities, such as a restaurant (“ex: the corner of the good food”) or a shop (“the corner of hot sales”). It means as well a remote settlement, a group of houses. A Rincon can be built inland or by the sea.

Is Rincon protected from the pirate attacks?

1/Rincon is sheltered in the North by the Brandaris (240 m) and Seru Mangel (144,6 m), in the West by Seru Dos Pos (125,6 m) and Montagne (143 m), and, in the South by Seru Largu (133 m). Rincon is almost invisible from the sea and far less exposed than Palu di Lechi.

2/ Rincon is protected by a very shallow sand bank on the east side of Bonaire, right in front of the town.

3/ Even inland, sheltered and protected, the Rincon has been raided several times, cf Laurens Prins in 1665.


Rincon Village is the oldest village on Bonaire. Additionally, it is the oldest in continual existence within the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba.

In 1527, the Spaniards came back from Hispaniola to Bonaire and then founded the first settlement on Bonaire: Rincon. On their return they brought Indians and various types of livestock along. Rincon’s location was chosen because it is in a fertile valley and has an always blowing trade wind and it was out of the eye of passing (pirate)ships and beyond the reach of their raids. In 1636 the West India Company, which has long been established on Curacao, decided to Bonaire add to their possessions. The Dutch exploited Bonaire mainly for its salt and paint timber. Brasil Wood (Palu di Brasil) was used as red pigment for paint. When the Dutch saw that they needed more labor, they imported slaves from Africa, who then had to settle in Rincon. The slaves worked on plantations in the area of Rincon and on salt pans on the opposite side of the island. Because the walk from Rincon to the salt pans took about 10 hours the slaves build themselves small huts to sleep in. The slaves worked the salt pans and stayed in their huts during the week, on saterday they were allowed to go back to their homes in Rincon. In 1850, these shacks were replaced by stone houses. These stone houses are still standing along the salt pans. After the abolition of slavery on July 1st of 1863, the former slaves stayed in Rincon, they maintained their culture and to this date many of the current residents of Rincon are descendants of the slaves.


1 Altamira Unjo – Panorama Rincon

2 Cadushy Distillery & Heritage Center

3 Polar Bar (closed)

4 Catholic Church

5 Rose Inn

6 Kos Bon So Grill restaurant

7 Excellent Supermarket

8 Community Centre – Centro di Bario

9 Gas Station

10 Lourdes Grotto – Replica of Lourdes Cave

11 Mangazina di Rei – Culture Park

12 Protestant Church

13 Direction Playa Grandi

14 Direction Dos Pos

15 Cemetery

16 Plantation Onima

17 Watapana school

18 San Luis Bertran school

19 Windmill Park

20 Traditional cottage – Kas Krioyo (closed)

21 Kanta Orchidia

22 Soccer Stadium

23 Kununu’s (farming grounds) West

24 Kunuku’s (farming grounds) East

25 Statue of Julio Abraham

26 Memorial stone founding of Rincon

27 Posada Para Mira

28 Market Square

29 Tropicana Bar

30 Orange bar

©2012 Olivier Douvry/GlobeDivers

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Categorised in: 2012, Artifacts, Bonaire, Library, Maps and Charts, News, People, Pirates and battles, Shipwrecks of Bonaire

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