OVERVIEW...


This page gives an insight into the structure of life in the DR. It isn't telling you anything specific to getting laid. But it helps you understand the influences that are shaping the country you are visiting and understanding cultural influences gets you closer to your ultimate goal.

The Dominican Republic  República Dominicana) is a nation on the island of Hispaniola, in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are occupied by two countries, St. Martin being the other.

The Dominican Republic has had a checkered history. Named by Christopher Columbus in 1492. The capital, Santo Domingo, was the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas with the first university, first cathedral, and first castle. After three centuries of Spanish rule, the country became independent in 1821, was invaded by Haiti which ruled for 20 years, regained independence in 1844, was occupied again from 1916 to 1924 by the United States and then subject to military dictatorship until 1961. Although the Dominican Republic has moved strongly toward democracy in recent decades, unemployment, government corruption, poor income distribution, and frequent electricity outages remain major Dominican problems.

Surprisingly, the Dominican Republic has become the Caribbean's leading tourist destination!  Over the past 20 years numerous areas have undergone up market resort development in an attempt to maximize this and tourism is fueling the Dominican Republic's economic growth.

The Dominican peso (DOP, or RD$) is the national currency, although United States dollars (USD) and euros (EUR) are also accepted at most tourist sites.  The peso was worth the same as the USD until the 1980s, but has depreciated. The exchange rate in 1993 was 14.00 pesos per USD and 16.00 pesos in 2000, but it jumped to 53.00 pesos per USD in 2003. In 2004, the exchange rate was back down to around 31.00 pesos per USD. As of February 2009 the exchange rate was 35.65 DOP per USD;

The population is said to be is 73% mixed race, 16% White and 11% Black. It is estimated at a little under 10 million people. The capital city, Santo Domingo, has a population of around 3 million. Other important cities are Santiago (pop. 756,098), La Romana (pop. 250,000), San Pedro de Macorís, San Francisco de Macorís, Puerto Plata, and La Vega.

The culture of the Dominican Republic, like its Caribbean neighbors, is a blend of the cultures of the European colonists, African slaves, and Taíno natives. Spanish is the official language.

There is a huge divide between the rich and the poor which generates social barriers and inspires crime.

The family group is extremely important within society. Assets, food, clothes and even responsibility for raising children are often shared by all family members. However, most families are headed by a matriarch as husbands and fathers tend to frequently move on to form new families elsewhere. It is common for mothers and daughters and grandchildren to form the central group of a family with brothers and uncles visiting periodically.

The majority of Dominicans are extremely religious. They visit church regularly and many, especially women, carry bibles. 95% Christian. 85% Catholic.

Primary education is officially free and compulsory for children between the ages of 5 and 14, however most mothers, even the poorest, struggle to send their children to modest private schools.  Relatively few lower–income students succeed in reaching high school diploma level.

Prostitution: For those over the age of 18, prostitution is legal in the island country as long as no third party (such as a pimp) is involved in the transaction.  Social pressures and poverty has led to a rise in prostitution.  In an environment where girls have little chance of employment, prostitution frequently becomes a source of supplementary income. Two small towns have earned a reputation as being centers for unbridled commercial sex... Sosua and Boca Chica

Restaurants around the island reflect many cultures of past immigrants, Chinese, Italian and American. Traditional Dominican food is pretty basic with small quantities of meat or fish sauces flavoring rice, plantin or potatos, accompanied by some other type of vegetable or salad. Deep-fried meat (typically Dominican salami) and/or cheese is very popular. Lunch is generally the largest and most important meal of the day. Lunch usually consists of rice, some type of meat (chicken, beef, pork, or fish), beans, and a side portion of salad. "La Bandera" (literally, The Flag), the most popular lunch dish, consists of meat and red beans on white rice.

Power outages continue to be a serious problem in most cities. Tourist areas tend to have more reliable power, as do business, travel, healthcare, and vital infrastructure. But for the general population, it is common for power to be out for 4 to 20 hours a day. Electrical services have been a headache for more than 40 years. Due to mismanagement from the government, no administration has been able to cope with this problem. Rich people live in areas with private power supplies.

Household and general electrical service is delivered at 110 volts alternating at 60 Hz; electrically powered items from the United States work with no modifications. The majority of the country has access to electricity.

Music and sport are of the highest importance in Dominican culture...

The Dominican Republic is known for the creation of three musical styles...

Merengue, a type of lively, fast-paced  dance music with syncopated beats Latin percussion, brass instruments, bass, and keyboard,

Bachata, predominantly guitar and percussion based, melodic ballards popular with most age groups. Its subjects are often romantic; especially prevalent are tales of heartbreak and sadness.

Reggaeton, a hard pounding, heavy beat music popular with younger generations.  

Baseball is by far the most popular sport in the Dominican Republic today. After the United States, the Dominican Republic has the second-highest number of baseball players in Major League Baseball. Some of the Dominican players have been regarded as among the best in the game. Historically, the Dominican Republic has been linked to MLB since Ozzie Virgil, Sr. became the first Dominican to play in the league. Among the outstanding MLB players born in the Dominican are: Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, Pedro Martinez, Albert Pujols, José Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, Miguel Tejada, Juan Marichal, and Sammy Sosa.

Crime: Unemployment is high. So are the prices of imported goods. Combine that with low prices and you have the formula for crime and civil disturbances. Consequently many tourist centers outside the Capital are often walled communities and tourist hotels generally vet people entering and often refused entry. You should be cautious on the streets, especially places like banks, currency exchange offices and ATM machines where people are known to be handling money. Even supermarkets are possible hang outs for petty thieves and pick pockets.

The Dominican Republic has reportedly become a trans-shipment point for Colombian drugs destined to Europe as well as the United States and Canada.  In 2004 it was estimated that 8% of all cocaine smuggled into the United States had come through the Dominican Republic. But this type of organized crime is not something you are likely to encounter. Opportunistic crime is far more likely so be sure you read our SAFETY guidelines.

It is hard to travel through the country without becoming aware of military personnel. Approximately 50% of the country's 32,000 military forces are used for non-military activities such as security providers for government-owned non-military facilities, highway toll stations, prisons, forestry work, state enterprises, and private businesses.

The army has approximately 20,000 active duty personnel. The air force operates two main bases, one in the southern region near Santo Domingo and one in the northern region near Puerto Plata. The navy operates two major naval bases, one in Santo Domingo and one in Las Calderas on the southwestern coast, and maintains 12 operational vessels. The armed forces have organized a Specialized Airport Security Corps (CESA) and a Specialized Port Security Corps (CESEP) to meet international security needs in these areas. The Secretary of the Armed Forces has also announced plans to form a specialized border corps (CESEF). Additionally, the armed forces provide 75% of personnel to the National Investigations Directorate (DNI) and the Counter-Drug Directorate (DNCD).

The Dominican National Police force contains 32,000 agents. The police are not part of the Dominican armed forces, but share some overlapping security functions. Sixty-three percent of the force serve in areas outside traditional police functions, similar to the situation of their military counterparts. Generally speaking the police and security forces are best avoided. They are marginally better than the thieves but less efficient. Corruption abounds.

The Dominican Republic has five major highways, which take travelers to every important town in the country. The three major highways are Autopista Duarte, Autopista del Este, and Autopista del Sur, which go to the north, east, and western side of the country. A 106–kilometer toll road that connects Santo Domingo with the country’s northeastern peninsula.

Phone communication. Verizon,  Claro, Tricom CDMA, Viva CDMA/GSM and Orange GSM.

Holidays...

January 1                                    New Year's DayNon-working day.

January 6                                    Catholic day of the Epiphany    Movable.

January 21                            Dia de la AltagraciaNon-working day.     Patroness Day (Catholic).

January 26                            Duarte's Day    Movable.     Founding Father.

February 27                            Independence Day    Non-working day.     National Day.

(Variable date)                    Holy WeekWorking days, except Good Friday.

May 1                                    Labour DayMovable.

Last Sunday of May            Mother's Day

(60 days after Easter Sunday).    Catholic Corpus Christi    Non-working day.     A Thursday in May or June

August 16                            Restoration Day    Non-working day.

September 24                            Virgen de las MercedesNon-working day.     A Patroness Day (Catholic)

November 6                            Constitution Day    Movable.

December 25                            Christmas DayNon-working day.     Birth of Jesus Christ

active:    SEXinSantoDomingo.com  ~  SEXinLaRomana.com  ~  SEXinStMartin.com  ~  SEXinANTIGUA.com

SEXinSOSUA.com  ~  coming shortly: SEXinBocaChica.com  ~  SEXinColombia.com  ~  SEXinCuracao.com

This website is part of the SEXintheCARIBBEAN.com network. Local knowledge from frequent visitors.

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