Farewell as President of the Board of the Fundacion Museo Arubano

Farewell as President of the Board of the Fundacion Museo Arubano

With a mix of emotions, I write this farewell as the President of the Board of the Fundacion Museo Arubano (“FMA”). I am proud to have served this organization for the past few years, but it is time for my fellow board members, dr. Rosabelle Illes & Frank Croes, and me to step down and hand over the reins to the next board. Josette Croes will carry the torch along with the new board members. As we look back on the achievements of the FMA during our tenure, I am struck by the progress we have made in promoting and preserving our cultural heritage. From working with the Stichting Monumenten Fonds to renovate iconic buildings and converting them into museums to launching new exhibits and educational opportunities for young and old alike. The Museum of Industry, the Community Museum, and the Carnival Euphoria have come to live during our watch and will contribute each in their way to the community for years and years to come. The board, our beloved curator Renwick Heronimo, and our fearless director Anky Vrolijk Foundation have worked tirelessly to create venues with content that will serve as the backdrop for the stories of our past. We have done so with love, appreciation, and tremendous respect for our rich cultural heritage. 

We have experienced excitement,  growth, and expansion, but as history would have it – and it always does – we also felt the threat and the adverse impact caused by the pandemic. A pandemic that was unkind to our funding and drove us to make hard decisions.  Decisions that were not popular but needed so that FMA could weather the pandemic and financial crisis, including the absence of financial support from the state. Thankfully we can say we have made it to the other side. Unlike many musea around the world, they had to close their doors for good. We are still here.

The Royal Family visited Aruba on January 30th and January 31st, 2023. FMA was allowed to host them at the Museum of Industry, the Community Museum, and the Museum of History. We shared stories of our industrial revolutions and cultural heritage and showcased our Bonbini Festival featuring our carnival traditions with the House of Oranje. We are thankful for this honor. 


As we look ahead, FMA faces new challenges and opportunities. Re-establishing structural streams of funding will be required to restore operations and fund growth. The cultural landscape is constantly evolving, and it is more important than ever that we remain at the forefront of innovation and progress. Still, at the same time, we must not let our elders and artifacts be forgotten. They have a story to tell, and our task is to document and catalog every story. Aruba has shown time and time again that it can pivot and adapt to be a part of the next wave of innovation and new industries. The next board of FMA has a critical role in this regard, and I do not doubt they will rise to the challenge. They better….

I want to take this opportunity to thank the entire board of FMA, our director, our curator, our funding partners, our supporters, and our staff for their dedication and hard work over the years, including those staff that we could no longer afford. It has been a privilege to work with such a talented and committed team, and I am confident they will continue to do great things in the future. Working with you and being the custodian of our cultural heritage has been an honor and privilege.

I wish the next board all the best as they take on this exciting and essential role. FMA has a bright future ahead, and I know that it will continue to impact our cultural heritage for years to come positively. The task might not be easy, but the outcome is worth the effort and dedication. I promise.


With gratitude,


Lincoln D. Gomez, LL.M

Former President of the Board, Fundacion Museo Arubano

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