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Bonaire gets museum square

Terramar Museum, Bonaire first to tell Caribbean history

On 5 August the Terramar Museum will open on Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles. It is the first museum to tell the history of the whole Caribbean region. Bonaire is visited by thousands of tourists and cruise passengers daily. Most of these visitors have little knowledge of the mix of cultures that lived on the islands and whose traces can still be found. The stories told in the Terramar Museum will give visitors a renewed and richer perspective on the history of this special part of the world.

Local perspective
In the museum visitors will travel through time in an interactive and inspiring discovery of the history of Bonaire and the Caribbean; from the first inhabitants- the Indians - to European colonisation, slavery and present day Bonaire. Fascinating stories behind local artefacts are brought to life with interactive displays, historical drawings and staged encounters with inhabitants. A Taino-Indian tells about his encounter with European colonists and a slave shares his/her experience of the harsh living conditions on the plantations.

The museum is founded by Ruud Stelten, who worked as an archaeologist on St. Eustatius for three years before coming to Bonaire to create Terramar. Joost Morsink, a scientist and archaeologist, has worked together with Ruud on the content of the museum and Steven Schaeken, director of design agency NorthernLight, developed the museum concept that brings the fascinating stories to life.

Steven Schaeken, director of design agency NorthernLight, says:"The fact that the museum is presented from the perspective of Bonaire’s former inhabitants makes it unique. The visitors are immersed in an experience that will change their knowledge and therefore their perspective on this beautiful part of the world."

Ruud Stelten, director of Terramar Museum, says: "Research has shown that many tourists and cruise passengers would like to know more about the history of the Caribbean. That's what this museum is all about. The museum is located in a beautiful historic building, just a few steps away from where the cruise ships berth. For many tourists the museum will enrich their visit to the Caribbean."



  • Bonaire
  • museum
  • interactive experience


NorthernLight Design

NorthernLight Design conceives, designs, builds and installs exhibitions for a wide variety of exhibitors. Clients include museums, children museums, science centres, expos, private companies and urban entertainment developers. We provide turn-key results, specialising in taking a project from first concept to production and installation. Action and interaction are central to our approach.