Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean

Portal of Culture of Latin America and the Caribbean

Aruba - Huisje Wild

During the 19th century, most of Aruba’s African slaves lived in Oranjestad either with their owners or as free individuals of families in separate houses, there was little separation between the free and the enslaved population. In the larger city houses in Oranjestad owners and enslaved lived together as master and household slave. One of the (likely) living houses of enslaved and their owners, is selected as a Place of Memory. Schelpstraat 12 – Huisje Wild – is an example of spatial and cultural propinquity of enslaved (family Wild) and owners (Gabriel Ruiz). According to oral sources, after the abolition of slavery, the emancipated family Wild obtained the house. Further research of Huisje Wild must clarify unanswered questions on the history of this monument. 

Huisje Wild is located in the historic centre of Oranjestad, next to the Monuments Office and the future Archaeological Museum Aruba (under construction). The management of the renovated and modernized building is in the secure hands of the National Monuments Council. In the near future it will be given a cultural function. It will be accessible for tourists and educational projects.

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The building was constructed in different phases. The monument is built around a central house with one set of dormers and traditional Dutch roofing tiles. In a later stage a new, second attic was constructed within the existing attic, adding a second set of dormers. The present hadrei (front side, south) probably was added during a later reconstruction / expansion of the original house. The present building does not have a ‘fogon’ (traditional chimney). During construction work (mid 1950s), the double attic was reconstructed once again. One set of dormers was probably removed on this occasion, giving it its present outlook. Huisje Wild was renovated in 2004-6 under the supervision of its present owner the Aruba Monuments Foundation and is included in Aruba’s national monuments list.

Accesibility:  Good
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Other data of interest


Historical name

Huisje Wild

Founding Date

Aprox. 1850


Centro Histórico de Oranjestad

Responsible entity

Aruba Monuments Foundation

Management plan




National monument



Access level


Current Use

Renovated city monument.

Original use

Living House

Property kind