The Dominican Republic is located in the heart of the Caribbean, where the waters of the Atlantic Ocean bathe the northern part of the island; to the east, the Mona Passage separates us from Puerto Rico; on the west side we share the island with Haiti; and the warmth and blue hues of the Caribbean Sea shine in the south.
In his diary, the admiral described this land as: “The most beautiful land that human eyes have seen.” He called it “Hispaniola” and from here the Spaniards went to conquer the so-called “New World”.
The island was inhabited by “Tainos”, an Indian ethnic group whose lifestyle was based on hunting, fish and fruit gathering, developing a culture around these activities, until the moment that history calls “the meeting of two cultures “: the arrival of the Spanish conquerors under the command of Admiral Cristóbal Colón on December 5, 1942.
The island became the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas; and the oldest continuously inhabited city (Santo Domingo) and the first seat of Spanish colonial rule in the “New World.” After more than 1,300 years of Spanish rule, the Dominican people declared their independence in November 1821. During the colonial period, three races coexisted: the indigenous or “Taínos”, Spanish and African, whose miscegenation left considerable legacies to the national culture. that with time acquired the appropriate character. .
Until the end of the 16th century, the island of Hispaniola maintained the interest of the Spanish colony for the benefits generated by its natural resources and the sugar plantation system. The leader of the independence movement José Núñez de Cáceres, wanted the Dominican nation to unite with the country of Gran Colombia. However, once it was no longer under Spanish rule, the newly independent Dominicans were annexed by their more powerful neighbor Haiti in February 1822. After the 1844 victory in the Dominican War of Independence against the Haitian government, the country it fell under Spanish colonial rule, the only nation in the hemisphere to do so after gaining its independence. The crown was permanently ousted during the Dominican War of Restoration of 1865.
The Dominican Republic has the ninth largest economy in Latin America and is the largest economy in the Caribbean and Central America region. Although it has long been known for agriculture and mining, the economy is now dominated by services. In the past two decades, the Dominican Republic has stood out as one of the fastest growing economies.
The Dominican Republic is the most visited destination in the Caribbean. Year-round golf courses are among the country’s top attractions. A geographically diverse nation, “Pico Duarte” is the highest mountain peak in the Caribbean and “Lago Enriquillo” is the largest lake and lowest elevation point, located at sea level.
The country is also the site of the first cathedral, castle, monastery and fortress built in all of the Americas, most of them located in the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo, an area declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Music and sports are of great importance in Dominican culture, with merengue and bachata as the national dance and music, while baseball is the favorite sport.
Ecotourism has also been an increasingly important issue in our country, with cities like Jarabacoa and neighboring Constanza, as well as destinations like Barahona, Bahía de las Águilas, and others that have become more important in efforts to increase sustainability.
Most visitors from other countries must purchase a tourist card to enter the country, depending on the country of citizenship.
The Dominican peso (DOP or RD $) is the national currency, with the United States dollar (USD), Canadian dollar (CAD), and the euro (EUR) also accepted at most tourist sites.
Dominican cuisine is predominantly Spanish, Taino, and African. The typical cuisine is quite similar to what can be found in other Latin American countries, but many of the names of the dishes are different. A breakfast dish consists of eggs and mangú (boiled banana puree). For more hearty versions, the mangú is accompanied by fried meat (Dominican salami, typically) and / or cheese. Similar to the Spanish tradition, lunch is generally the biggest and most important meal of the day. Lunch usually consists of rice, meat (such as chicken, beef, pork, or sh!), Beans, and a serving of salad. “La Bandera” (literally “La Bandera”) is the most popular lunch dish; It consists of meat and red beans on white rice. Sancocho is a stew often made with seven varieties of meat. Meals tend to favor meats and starches over dairy products and vegetables.
Many dishes are made with sofrito, which is a mixture of local herbs used as a wet way to eat and sauté to bring out all the flavors in a dish. Throughout the south-central coast, bulgur, or whole wheat, is a main ingredient in quipes or tipili (bulgur salad). Other favorite Dominican foods are chicharrón, yuca, casabe, pastelitos (empanadas), sweet potatoes, yams, leaf cakes, chimi, tostones (a plate of fried plantain). Some goodies that Dominicans enjoy are arroz con leche (or arroz con dulce), bizcocho dominicano (lit. Dominican cake), beans with sweet, cold cold (snow cones), and caña (sugar cane). The drinks that Dominicans enjoy are Morir Soñando, rum, beer, Mama Juana, mabí, coffee and chaca (also called maiz caqueao / casqueado, maiz con dulce y maiz con leche), the last item found only in the provinces of South of the country. country like San Juan.
Musically, the Dominican Republic is known for the worldwide popular musical style and genre called merengue, a type of lively, fast-paced rhythm and dance music consisting of a tempo of approximately 120 to 160 beats per minute (although it varies) based on the musical elements such as drums, brass, stringed instruments and accordion, as well as some exclusive elements of the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, such as the tambora and the güira.
Bachata, a form of music and dance that originated in the countryside and rural slums of the Dominican Republic, has become quite popular in recent years. Her themes are often romantic; stories of heartbreak and sadness are especially frequent. In fact, the original name for the genre was amargue (“bitterness” or “bitter music” or blues music), until the rather ambiguous (and mood-neutral) term bachata became popular. Bachata grew out of the pan-Latin American romantic style called bolero, and is still closely related to it. Over time, it has been influenced by the merengue and by a variety of Latin American guitar styles.