The Bonaire Salt Pans
Salt, a flourishing industry
The Bonaire salt pans are in fact part of the Pekelmeer. Historically, salt has been a commodity, often the cause of war between European explorers and traders, settlers and countries. The final allocation of Bonaire to the Netherlands in 1816 strengthened the value of the salt for the Dutch economy. Salt production, however, slowed down with the abolition of slavery in 1863. The salt did continue to be produced, but the yield fluctuated enormously, depending on market demand, rates and weather.
Cargill from the US
In the sixties, an American company designed new solar salt works, which revived the industry on Bonaire. Nowadays, Cargill Corporation is responsible for the salt pans, the production and the flourishing salt industry on our island. Huge mountains of white crystals can be seen on the south side of Bonaire, a setting that can be seen on many holiday photos and (back in the days) postcards!