Dominican Republic

A Tropical Paradise

Historical Background

The history of the Dominican Republic began when Christopher Columbus landed on the island around December of 1492. It was inhabited by the Taino before the spanish conquered the island and named it Hispaniola. Later on, two countries formed on the island: Dominican Republic and Haiti. The two countries lived peacefully until Haiti conquered the Dominican Republic in 1821 and ruled until 1844. Eventually, the Dominicans fought back and took over two-thirds of the island.

Geography

Climate

Tropical Maritime

Very Little seasonal temperature change, but large seasonal rainfall change

Island Characteristics

  • Rugged Highlands and Mountains, interspersed with Fertile Valleys
  • Approximately 48,670 sq. km
  • Capital: Santo Domingo

People of the Dominican Republic

Customs and Beliefs

  • Handshakes must include a greeting and eye contact
  • Arriving 15-30 minutes late is still considered on-time
  • People dress nice for every occasion

Special Holidays

  • Our Lady of Altagracia- January 21

  • Duartes Day- January 26

  • Our Lady of las Mercedes - September 24

National Landmarks

Traditional Dominican Clothing

Dominican Cuisine

Food Characteristics

  • Common Ingredients: Rice, Beans, Plantains, Pork, Chicken, Seafood
  • Type of Food: Creole Cuisine, Island/Caribbean
  • Preparation Methods: many dishes are stews, soups, and fried meats or vegetables

Typical Dishes

  • Sancocho- chicken and plantains soaked in a thick and rich broth
  • Flan- caramel flavored custard
  • Kipes
  • Empanadas
  • Mangu

Meal Pattern

  • Breakfast is served before work
  • Lunch is served at midday and is the largest meal, takes about 2 hours
  • Dinner is similar to breakfast, small meal size

Serving Customs

  • Must dress well
  • Host or Hostess usually has a seating arrangement
  • Meals are generally serves family/buffet style
  • Host may say "buen provecho" (enjoy) as an invitation to start eating
  • Guests are served first

Fun Facts

  • Population: Approximately 10,349,741
  • National Language: Spanish
  • Form of Government: Democratic Republic
  • Primary Religion: Roman Catholic
  • Major Industries: Tourism, Sugar, Nickel and Gold Mining, Textiles, Cement, and Tobacco