Who are we?

Our Mission

“At the Bonaire Archaeological Institute (BONAI), our mission is to preserve, study, and promote the rich archaeological heritage of Bonaire for the benefit of present and future generations, with a special emphasis on engaging youth. Through rigorous research, education, and community engagement initiatives tailored to young audiences, we strive to inspire curiosity, foster a sense of pride in cultural heritage, and empower the next generation of archaeologists and stewards of Bonaire’s history. We are committed to creating educational opportunities, interactive programs, and youth-friendly resources that spark interest, encourage exploration, and deepen understanding of Bonaire’s diverse cultural past. By instilling a love for archaeology and heritage preservation in today’s youth, we aim to ensure a legacy of appreciation and protection for Bonaire’s archaeological treasures for generations to come.”

Lauriane Ammerlaan (Director)

Our director, Lauriane Ammerlaan, began her career with our foundation and has ascended to her current role as a passionate leader. With a background in psychology and pedagogy, her passion and expertise form the core of our mission to expand and professionalize BONAI  Foundation as an institution.

Lauriane Ammerlaan’s vision includes strengthening our educational programs and implementing innovative methods that benefit our community. Through our commitment to growth and development, we strive for excellence and impact, preparing our students for a successful future.

Jay Haviser (Founder)

Jay Haviser is a renowned archaeologist known for his work in Caribbean archaeology, particularly focusing on Bonaire. He has conducted extensive research on the history and culture of Bonaire and played a key role in establishing the Bonaire Archaeological Institute (BONAI). Haviser has numerous publications to his name and is passionate about sharing knowledge and promoting the preservation of the region’s archaeological heritage.

Jackie Bernabela

With a rich 25-year career in Bonaire’s cultural sector, Jackie Bernabela has made significant contributions as a museologist and currently serves as a dedicated volunteer. Her expertise and passion for culture have been instrumental in shaping the community’s cultural landscape.

Jackie Bernabela is renowned for her pivotal role in establishing and running youth programs for BONAI, where her commitment to nurturing young talents and fostering cultural appreciation shines through. Her background as a museologist brings depth and insight to her endeavors, ensuring that heritage and artistic expression thrive under her guidance.

Through her tireless efforts and unwavering dedication, Jackie Bernabela continues to inspire and enrich the cultural fabric of Bonaire, leaving an indelible mark on both the present and future generations.

Joanna Pietersz

Having started her journey with BONAI’s youth program, Joanna Pietersz now serves as the esteemed treasurer for Bonai. With a robust background in finance, Joanna combines her financial acumen with a deep passion for the culture and history of Bonaire.

Her dedication to preserving and promoting Bonaire’s rich heritage is evident in her meticulous approach to managing Bonai’s financial health. Joanna’s unique blend of financial expertise and cultural enthusiasm ensures that BONAI continues to thrive and expand its impact within the community.

Joanna Pietersz commitment to both her professional role and her cultural interests makes her an invaluable asset to BONAI, contributing to the foundation’s mission of growth, preservation, and education.