Breemhaar couple presented again new plans. A reason to send the following letter to the Island Council.



Dear members of the Island Council: Bolivia is not a ‘barren eaten mess’ anymore  

In January 2020, shortly after the purchase of plantation Bolivia, the new owner Meine Breemhaar called the area a ‘barren eaten mess’. A year later, Mieke Breemhaar said that she wanted to develop a Davos at Sea on the plantation. Both publications appeared in De Telegraaf [Dutch newspaper], the newspaper that always lends itself for a new example of trade that resembles the old WIC [West Indian Company] mentality: “We Dutch people know what is good for our (former) colonies”.


Between then and now something has happened in the minds of the Breemhaar couple. Not much, but still. The barren eaten mess is now called an estate (which sounds more dignified and less colonial than a plantation) and the Davos at Sea’s delusions of grandeur are no longer discussed. In the latest presentation that recently appeared online and was shown and explained to you as members of the Island Council, the couple talks about nature restoration and ‘creating value with respect for the origin’. Apparently the Breemharen are sensitive to the criticism expressed in the past two years.


As always, however, it is not about what you see and hear, but about what you do not see or hear and also not told. Likewise in this case. What is striking in the presentation, for example, is that with a few exceptions, the couple is nowhere specific. The few exceptions are that 95 homes will be built per year and that no more than 20% of the surface (about 600 hectares) will be developed. Just for the record: that’s about 1,200 (!!!) football fields! But even now, pay attention to what is not being said. The entire plantation is 3,000 hectares. About 1,100 ha of this is stony, rugged, undeveloped coastal strip. Only the remaining, richly vegetated part, about 1,900 hectares, is suitable for project development. So about 600 hectares of this will be developed. That is not 20% but more than 31%!


What exactly will be built on those 1,200 football fields they do not mention, except that ‘affordable owned and rental homes will also be realized in the middle segment’. Pay close attention to the word ‘also’. We never read how much. 10, 20, 100, 200, 1000? Who will say? At least not the Breemharen. They also do not comment on the number of homes in the ‘more expensive segment’. They also do not say what they mean by that (should we think of Sabadeco, for example?) and they also do not say how many homes this will involve and where they will be located. We’re betting they’ll get on top of the cliff. What do you think?


What the Breemharen also do not say is that the construction of those houses will most likely be done by Dutch companies, with workmen from Peru. They also omit to mention that it is very likely that no Bonaireans will work in the agricultural projects and that only makambas will probably live in that more expensive housing segment. And that in the present time, in which the resistance against the import of makambas under Yu di Tera is only increasing. Now there are 1,400 Dutch people living on Bonaire, in any case there will be many more. The Breemharen fail to say how all this contributes to the development of Bonaire.


The couple is also silent about all the new traffic that the development of the estate will cause. 95 houses per year, that is almost 1000 houses in 10 years with an estimated 1500 to 2000 cars that will find their way to Playa while the Kaya Korana is already one long traffic jam in rush hours, from Mentoor to the roundabout at the church. Finally, the couple is also silent about the question of the water and energy supply and they do not say anything about the processing of the waste water and the disposal of the garbage to the already overloaded landfill.


So something has happened in the minds of the Breemharen, but it is not very much yet. They come up again with a slick brochure, written by people who do nothing but trying to pull the wool over your eyes every day. The one thing they really have in mind but they leave unmentioned is how they can grow their own wealth, if necessary at the expense of the island. Since the Second World War, dozens of projects on Bonaire have been presented by adventurers and, with a few exceptions, have stalled and failed. Mostly because they only served one purpose: to increase their own wallet. And that the island will subsequently end up with financial and landscape misery: they could not care less.


Members of the Island Council: Look before you leap!