Penha

Eunice Coffie has worked for local company “Penha” for 55 years, mostly in their historical shop in the Punda neighborhood. Her life is intertwined with this shop. The tiny house she holds in her hands is a replica of the monumental building made of Delft Blue pottery. KLM Airlines launched this collector’s item in 2004, to mark the 70th anniversary of the airlift between Amsterdam and Curaçao. The “Penha” building is one of the most striking monuments of Curaçao.

One of its most intriguing aspects is not visible at first sight. The bricks that were used for this building in the early 18th century came to Curaçao as ballast in slave ships. In the 17th century Curaçao had become an important hub in the worldwide slave trade under Dutch rule. Traces of this history can be found everywhere, even in mundane objects such as a brick.

Listen to the podcast

2:27 min

"What always fascinated me the most is the fact that the building is located at the entrance of our harbor"

- Eunice Coffie

My name is Eunice Coffie. I was born and raised here in Curaçao. I am 72 years old and I just celebrated my 55th anniversary working for Penha. I am happy to work for this company, I’ve always enjoyed my work. I’ve met a lot of people throughout the years, many tourists, many people from abroad. What always fascinated me the most is the fact that the building is located at the entrance of our harbor, our beautiful, splendid harbor. Even the tourists like it! I started working at Penha at a very young age, even before the revolt of May 30th. And another thing that I like is that you can see the floating bridge, the pontoon bridge. This building is really the face of Curaçao. As soon as you enter the harbor you see it. It’s great to go on a boat trip through the harbor and just watch our beautiful Penha building.