The Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation in the Caribbean region on the island of Hispaniola. Part of the Greater archipelago, Hispaniola lies west of Puerto Rico and east of Cuba and Jamaica. Its western third is the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are occupied by two countries.
Prior to colonialization, the Dominican Republic was inhabited by the Tainos Indians. The Dominican Republic capital is Santo Domingo. The Dominican Republic has moved toward a liberal economic model which has made it the largest economy in the region and a democracy. Its current president is Leonel Fernandez of the Dominican Liberation Party.
The Dominican Republic is divided into thirty one provinces as shown above in the Dominican Republic Map. The mainland has four mountain ranges. The diverse geography of the Dominican Republic makes it unique. It has mountain ranges, islands and cays, lakes and coastal lagoons, valleys and plains.
The Dominican Republic is the largest economy in the Central American and Caribbean region. It is fast developing a real estate gem, real estate tourism alone accounted for $1.5 billion in annual earnings Free Trade Zone earnings and tourism are the fastest-growing export sectors.
The Dominican peso is the national currency. Tourism is fast becoming an impetus for economic growth. Projects such as Cap Cana help increase upcoming tourism. The Dominican Republic is almost uniformly Christian. More than 90% of the population adheres to Christianity, mostly Roman Catholicism, followed by a growing contingent of Protestant groups such as Seventh-day Adventist, Jehovah's Witnesses and Pentecostals.
Dominican Republic cuisine is predominantly made up of a combination of Spanish, Taino and African influences over the last few centuries. Typical cuisine is quite similar to what can be found in other Latin American countries but, many of the names of dishes are different. Similar to Spain, lunch is generally the largest and most important meal of the day. Lunch usually consists of some type of meat (chicken, pork or fish), rice and beans, and a side portion of salad. "La Bandera" (literally, The Flag), the most popular lunch dish, consists of broiled chicken, white rice and red beans.
The Dominican Republic is known for the creation of the musical style called merengue, a type of lively, fast-paced rhythm and dance music. Merengue singers include singer/songwriter Juan Luis Guerra, Sergio Vargas, Tono Rosario, Johnny Ventura, and Milly Quezada. Bachata is another popular musical style of the Dominican Republic. Another popular music style is Dominican rock. Recently reggaeton has been an emerging popular sound in Dominican music.
The United States' baseball teams boast many a Dominican player: Sammy Sosa,Pedro Martinez and David Ortiz among some. Baseball is the most popular sport in the Dominican Republic.
Food and drink, music and dance and recreational activities are just some of the reasons why the Dominican Republic is a warm, inviting place to visit and reside. The best coffee and cigars can be found in this inexhaustible country.