When Christopher Columbus finally landed in 1492 after his long voyage across the sea, he entered the land that is today the Dominican Republic. Since then, the republic has fought for independence, first from Spain, and then Haiti, which forms the second half of the island of Hispaniola, on which the Dominican Republic is located.
Of all the Caribbean islands, the Dominican Republic is the one that is most geographically diverse. Here is the highest mountain, the deepest valley, rainforests, deserts, swampy bogs and white beaches.
As the republic is less prosperous than most other Caribbean nations, the prices are low and this, along with the beautiful scenery and a friendly and hospitable population, attracts hordes of holidaymakers. Tourism is actually the country’s largest industry, as it is in most of the Caribbean.
The Dominican food, music and lifestyle is a pleasant mix of Spanish, African and local Native American culture.
- CAPITAL CITY: Santo Domingo
- LANGUAGE: Spanish
- CURRENCY: Peso (DOP)
- AREA: 48,442 km2
- POPULATION: 10,075,045
People and community
You can be located anywhere in the Dominican Republic. In everything from small communities to larger cities. Dominicans are often relaxed and enjoy helping each other. However, families tend to be very conservative, so it’s good to talk to your host parents before making decisions or going out with friends.
Your schooling will be in a public or private school. According to TopSchoolsintheUSA, the school year runs from August to June, and the school week runs from Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 16:00. The Dominican students wear uniforms in school and each school has a unique uniform. The schools offer leisure activities such as sports, music, dance and theater.
The primarily spoken language in the Dominican Republic is Spanish. If you have a basic knowledge of English or Spanish, it will be beneficial for you. You can come to language classes if needed.
You should taste the traditional breakfast or evening dish called Mangú . It is a tasty puree made from mashed bananas, yucca or auyama and is traditionally served with fried red onions, fried white cheese, eggs or salami. For lunch, Dominicans often get la Bandera Dominicana , which consists of white rice, bean stew (black, red or white) and meat.