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Tourism Corporation Bonaire Honors Six Exceptional Individuals through the Bonaire Friends Program

June 26, 2023

Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB) is proud to recognize Tirzo Thomas, Jonathan Paulina, Pepe Mastropaolo, Dirk Blaas, Tanya Deen, and Agnes Joosten for their exceptional hospitality and dedication to the tourism industry on Bonaire. As part of the esteemed Bonaire Friends Program, these individuals have made a lasting impact on visitors and have contributed significantly to the island’s tourism sector.

Tirzo Thomas has been an integral part of the tourism industry for over 20 years, providing exceptional service at Rum Runners. His friendly and helpful nature, coupled with his deep knowledge of the island, ensures that customers have an unforgettable experience.

Jonathan Paulina, who works at Belnem House, has garnered praise for his open-mindedness, helpfulness, and positive attitude. Despite being born in Curaçao, he is regarded as a local by visitors due to his love for the island and his dedication to making the visitors stay on the island as pleasant as possible.

Pepe Mastropaolo, Dive Operations Manager at Great Adventures Bonaire, has been commended for his kindness, sincerity, respectfulness, and generosity. He played a crucial role in fulfilling a family’s heartfelt wish to scatter their late husband’s remains at sea. Pepe, along with Alfonso, a beloved divemaster and captain, exemplified the warm and friendly nature that Bonaire is known for.

Dirk Blaas, an excellent bartender at Rum Runners, has impressed the visitors with his extensive knowledge of drinks and his outgoing and fun personality. His professionalism and top-notch service has left a lasting impression on guests, ensuring that they have a memorable experience.

Tanya Deen, from InfoBonaire, has been instrumental in providing reliable information and peace of mind to visitors planning their trips to Bonaire. Her friendly and helpful manner, along with her wealth of knowledge, has simplified the planning process for many visitors, leaving them confident and excited about their visit to Bonaire.

Agnes Joosten, a dedicated employee at Multishop, a local art and gift shop, has been recognized for her exceptional dedication and support. She consistently goes above and beyond to assist individuals, offering kindness and assistance despite her other responsibilities. Agnes’s commitment to providing outstanding service has endeared her to many and showcases the true spirit of Bonaire’s hospitality.

TCB congratulates Tirzo Thomas, Jonathan Paulina, Pepe Mastropaolo, Dirk Blaas, Tanya Deen, and Agnes Joosten for their outstanding contributions to the tourism industry on Bonaire. Their exceptional hospitality and dedication serve as an inspiration to others, embodying the welcoming and inclusive spirit of the island.

The Bonaire Friends Program continues to highlight the remarkable individuals who make Bonaire a truly special destination. Visitors are encouraged to share their stories, photographs, or videos of exceptional encounters with the local community through the dedicated Bonaire Friends page at

Each week, TCB selects deserving individuals to receive this prestigious award, further showcasing the warm hospitality and outstanding service provided by the people of Bonaire. The Bonaire Friends Program stands as a testament to the island’s vibrant culture and invites visitors to engage with the local community, forging lasting connections and friendships.