The Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a part of the island Hispaniola. It was originally inhabited by the Arawak people. On December 6, 1492, Christopher Columbus landed on the northwestern part of the island and claimed it for Spain. The population of the Arawak people severely declined due to diseases brought by Europeans. In 1596, Spanish settlers founded Santo Domingo which was the first permanent settlement in the new world, he and later the capital city of The Dominican Republic. During the 16th century, the Spanish brought many African American slaves to the island, forcing them to work on sugar plantations. In 1967, France and Spain signed the treaty of Ryswick, which gave the French control over the western third of Hispaniola. In 1804, this region became a part of the country of Haiti. By 1821, the Haitians had conquered the rest of the island. In 1844, the eastern two-thirds were granted independence and became the country of The Dominican Republic.
The flag of The Dominican Republic has a white cross dividing four rectangles of blue and red. In the center of the flag is the nation’s coat of arms. The Dominican Republic’s flag was adopted on November 6, 1863.
The Dominican Republic is located in the West Indies, on the eastern side of the island Hispaniola. The physical geography of The Dominican Republic is very diverse. The country has mountains, white sand beaches, evergreen forests, and deserted areas.
World Land Mass Ranking: 131st
Highest Mountain: Pico Duarte, 3,098 m (10,164 ft)
Longest River: Yaque del Norte River, 298 km (185 mi)
Dominican Republic Population: 10.9 million (as of 2020)
Capital City: Santo Domingo
Capital City Population: 3.4 million (as of 2020)
The Dominican Republic has a tropical climate, with high temperatures year-round. It has a hot and muggy season from May to October and a cooler season from December to March. November and April are intermediate months.
Due to The Dominican Republic’s rich history, Dominican cuisine has African, Spanish, Middle Eastern, and Taíno influences. Fresh fruits, beef, pork, and flavorful spices are all staples of Dominican cuisine. Perhaps the most popular dish in The Dominican Republic is La Bandera, which is a dish made up of rice, red beans, and meat. La Bandera translates to ‘The Flag,’ and represented the tri-colored flag of The Dominican Republic.
The most popular sport in The Dominican Republic is Baseball, which was introduced to the country in 1866. Many Dominican Baseball players have gone on to play on USA Major League Teams. Other sports that are popular in The Dominican Republic include volleyball, football (soccer), and boxing. The Dominican Republic has won a total of six Olympic medals.
Below is a picture of Dominican native and Major League Baseball player Albert Pujols
The culture of The Dominican Republic is a fusion of African, European, and Taínoand customs and traditions. Dominicans are known for their friendly personalities and love of humor. Families are often close, and it is not uncommon for grandparents and other extended family members to all live at home together. Music and dance are crucial parts of Dominican culture. The most common genre of music is called merengue, which is fast-paced and lively.
10 facts about The Dominican Republic
1. The national bird of The Dominican Republic is the palmchat.
2. The DR is the most-visited destination in the Caribbean.
3. The DR is the only country with a bible on its flag.
4. The literacy rate in The Dominican Republic is 93.8%
5. THe DR is the 86th most populous country in the world.
6. The capital Santo Domingo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
7. The Dominican Republic is a presidential republic.
8. The Dominican Republic only borders one country––Haiti.
9. The national Dominican drink is coffee.
10. The DR is a popular destination for weddings and honeymoons.