It took us a few days to publish the article about At Home in Curaçao. At first, we did not want to because none of us believed in that project. But as a responsible news media, we decided today to publish it anyways and leave our own opinion aside.
Do not get us wrong. The project is great. There are other islands in the Caribbean implementing it with great success. But our beloved island Curaçao is not ready for such a thing yet. At all.
The reason we say that is because we know of several cases, including one of our own colleagues, where the services needed for this project to be a success are lacking. We do not want to criticize our island, but it is a simple truth.
One of our readers contacted us a few weeks ago indicating that they had purchased a home here on the island. They came to Curaçao last year December. They remained under quarantine for two weeks and then got out to do the things they need to do to live here. Things like getting a bank account, pay for aqualectra, and the internet. All this happened on December 12, 2020. Now we are in February and this family has not seen even one representative of the internet company. Not even a phone call. This family emailed the company, they did the chat online, was hung up on, called the 9424 every day, and still nothing. You read that right, NOTHING!
One of our colleagues at Curaçao Chronicle is from the U.S. She came here a few weeks ago. We took her to apply for internet service. The same company. It has been three weeks and still no internet connection at her house. This is how we want people to come and stay six months on the island and work? Work with what? These people need internet.
Another problem is the bank account. One of our readers also contacted us with this problem. They told us that of all the banks they have contacted here, only one bank offered to open an account for them. This is what our reader told us:
Apparently, the government is launching @athomeinCuracao. Check it out. What a joke. Just fill out an application, right? First it is probably the most expensive island to move to. I will be the first person to tell people how difficult it is to do anything. I did not even have a parking ticket. No debt. One credit card that we pay off monthly. We own our properties in the States. All worth well over 5 million dollars if we were to sell. All we wanted was a place to retire in a couple of years and we had the funds to do it. We loved the weather and the people. But although they said it would be a piece of cake since we were from the United States, they were so wrong. When I was trying to get a bank account, I contacted every bank and all but Vidanova said they were not taking new customers. And Vidanova didn’t approve it until we had our resident permit approved. I have never in my life heard of a bank refusing customers. It is no wonder there is poverty on the island when companies can get away with this. You want people to come and spend money, we need services. Like banks, electricity, and internet to do business. Beaches need cleaning up. This is a small island. It should work better.
And our reader is right. It is so frustrating for us as locals to have to read comments like these, but it is true. And now the government wants to introduce a new project that is doomed to fail. We do not want it to fail but we don’t see it any other way. Curaçao needs to improve on a lot of things. Both private and Public sectors have been talking about it for years. But when will it happen? When can we see changes and improvements?