Sails In The Schools ("Zeilen Op School")

ZEILEN OP SCHOOL web Zeilen Op School (Sails In The Schools) is an innovative educational project of the Bonaire Maritime Heritage Foundation. It is designed to teach students Groups 6 and 7 (ages 9-12) about the rich maritime heritage of the ABC Islands. The curriculum was developed for seamless integration into existing history or world orientation classes. Topics include Storms & Shipwrecks, Maritime Trade In The ABC Islands, What’s In A Name? (discovering the secrets about the ship Stormvogel), How To Build A Boat, Smuggling At Sea, and Life Aboard A Cargo Boat.

User-friendly teacher kits contain lesson plans, class activities, quizzes and in-class games based on the curriculum. On-line materials include historic photos, support images and videos based on interviews with sailors and boat builders from the islands’ grand age of sail. The lessons adhere to the requirements of DIM (Directe Instructie Model), an educational model developed for schools in the Netherlands. Sails In The Schools is free to educators in Dutch (Zeilen Op School) or in Papiamentu (Nabegashon Na Skol).


Stormvogel Tours/Bandera riba!


When the restoration team is at work, they hoist a 10-foot (3 meter) streamer high above the boat as a signal to all that the rebuilding is in progress. It is Bandera Riba! Flag Up! at the El Navegante Boatyard in Hato just north of the desalinization plant. Stop by and have a look at this historic cutter. It is a chance to learn about Bonaire’s rich maritime past, offer a hand as part of the crew, or buy a Project Stormvogel T-Shirt. All proceeds go directly to the boat’s restoration for materials and supplies.


Special Events

The foundation presents public events so that Bonaire residents and visitors can learn about the rich nautical heritage of the island. Currently on display at the Terramar Museum is a historical photo exhibition featuring glimpses of the maritime past of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. Check our homepage for an update on future special events.


Junior Shipwrights


This is a 10-hour informal education program that involves youth, ages 12-20, to help restore Stormvogel, the last of the sailing cargo boats of the ABC Islands.

Participants receive hands-on experience working next to experienced Bonairean shipwrights while completing nine hours restoration work on the ship. They also attend one-hour of talks on the islands’ maritime heritage.

Upon completion of the 10-hour program students receive certificates of achievement, Stormvogel “restoration crew” T-shirts and are invited to work on the boat as a volunteer.

Young people from the Scholen Gemeenschap Bonaire High School (SGB), Junior Rangers and the CIEE Research Station have participated in the program.