Born on May 18, 1947, Roy Maduro developed a keen interest in everything green at a very early age. He was only four years old when his grandmother took him to her birthplace Saba- the green emerald of the Caribbean and its lush, verdant growth intoxicated him so much that he immediately wanted to plant a garden upon return to his native arid home of Aruba.
Roy grew up yearning to be a true son of the soil and work with plants and nature as a career, so after high school he attended the College for Tropical Agriculture in Deventer Holland, and obtained his Bachelor’s degree, specializing in soil science. But sadly, there was not much call for plant growers in Aruba, so Roy moved to Panama and worked in retail- running a large toy store there, but eventually moved back to his native home.
Back on Aruba, he began a cargo consolidation company and also operated a pest control operation. He then dabbled in hotel management until he could no longer resist his true calling, so he founded Fantastic Gardens and Landscaping Unlimited N.V. in 1983. The business quickly bloomed into the foremost green center on the island, and Roy’s company became responsible for landscaping many major resorts on Aruba, and a few in neighboring Curacao as well.
Roy also has a deep passion for travel and discovering other cultures and how they grow their native plants, so by 2008, he handed the reins of Fantastic Gardens over to his eldest son to globetrot for gardening, and also began building a small B&B behind his home to welcome the friends he met in his travels to stay at when they visited.
But the call of nature was not done with Roy, and in 2011 the Aruba Arikok National Park Foundation asked him to become its interim park manager. Roy jumped at the chance as Aruba’s unique outback is his favorite playground and his knowledge of its flora has been paramount to helping them with the ongoing preservation of the very fragile ecosystem.
Today, when Roy’s not on park business, he loves spending time with his wife Grace, their five children and their flock of grandchildren, and he loves to teach the youngest generation the importance of respecting and nurturing everything green.