República Dominicana / Dominican Republic


    The Dominican Republic is in the Caribbean. 

    It is a part of the island of Hispaniola / la Española.  The Dominican Republic shares the island with Haiti. 

    The capital of the Dominican Republic is Santo Domingo.  

    Dominican refer to themselves as "dominicanos".


    World Records


    República Dominicana is home to the oldest cathedral in the Americas. Catedral de Santa Maria La Menor celebrated its 500th anniversary in 2014. In 1514 Christopher Columbus’s son laid the first stone for this cathedral. Since then, it has survived everything from pirate attacks to earthquakes. 

    The Dominican flag is the only flag in the world that has an image of a Bible in its coat of arms.

     La República Dominicana is the only place in the world where the blue, semi-precious stone called larimar is found. It looks like turquoise, and it is called “larimar” because it resembles the color of the Caribbean Sea.

    Founded in 1496, Santo Domingo is the oldest European settlement in the Americas.

    República Dominicana had the largest merengue dance in the world in 2019 (achieved by AZ Films Producciones). There were 844 dancers dancing with the music played by El Merengón. 

    República Dominicana is the home of the smallest geckos -- the dwarf geckos.

     Santo Domingo is home to the oldest university in the New World -- The Universidad Santo Tomás de Aquino (or University of Saint Thomas Aquinas).


    Interesting Facts


    Thousands of Dominican boys believe that baseball, the national pastime and great source of pride, is their only path out of poverty. They hope to play in the big leagues in the US. Almost 40% of players in the United States leagues come from the Dominican Republic, including Pedro Martinez, Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, and Sammy Sosa.

    Dominican are proud of their patriotic foods. La Bandera, meaning “the flag,” is a traditional meal of stewed meat, red beans, and rice. 

    Merengue is a style of dance developed in the Dominican Republic. It involves quick dance steps to match the fast-paced music.

    Dominicans make bananas taste great. They prepare tostones which are small fried plantain patties often eaten as a side dish during meals. 

    The country was called Santo Domingo after Saint Dominic, the patron saint of astronomers. After they won their independence, the people called their country La República Dominicana (the Dominican Republic). 

    Christopher Columbus explored and colonized La República Dominicana on his first voyage in 1492. He named it "La Hispaniola" (De las Casa shortened it to Española). 

    Christopher Columbus' son, Diego, was the first governor of La República Dominicana. 

    The Columbus Lighthouse in Santo Domingo is a massive monument to the explorer. It was opened in 1992.

     Haiti—which shares La Hispaniola Island with La República Dominicana, it is half the size of La República Dominicana, and it is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere—used to rule its neighbor. Santo Domingo declared its independence from Spain in November 1821. Two months later, Haiti invaded and took over. La República Dominicana didn't become independent until February 27, 1844. 

     La República Dominicana was occupied by the United States from 1916 to 1924. 

    Dominicans are the fifth-largest population of Hispanics living in the United States, making 4% of the United States Hispanic population in 2017. 

    La República Dominicana is a very sustainable nation because it produces almost all kinds of food served at breakfast, lunch, and dinner across the country.

     Punta Cana is a very popular resort for tourists.

    Samana is considered one of the best places in the world for humpback whale watching. From December 15 to March, about 2,000 humpback whales come to reproduce in the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It is believed that 85% of the humpback whales are born in Dominican waters.

    Juan Luis Guerra is a Dominican musician (merengue, bachata, salsa and Latin pop), singer, composer, and record producer. He has sold over 70 million records, and has won numerous awards including 21 Latin Grammy Awards, two Grammy Awards, and two Latin Billboard Music Awards. 

    Dictator Rafael Trujillo is considered one of the worst dictators in the world. He ruled with an iron fist for alomost 30 years. This period is considered one of the most brutal periods of the country. His policy was built on terror, fear, control, and total compliance. He was called "El Jefe" (The Boss). Resistance was delt harshly and any rebel usually would "disappear from the face of the Earth." He was assassinated in 1961.