"Dominicana de pura cepa" Top 5 Page for this destination Dominican Republic by marielexoteria

Dominican Republic Travel Guide: 3,021 reviews and 6,814 photos

And proud of it!

Fernando Villalona, "El Mayimbe", said it best:

Dominicano soy - I am Dominican
de mis raíces nunca voy a olvidarme - I'll never forget my roots.


No hay tierra tan hermosa como la mía - there's no more beautiful country than mine.

No matter how far I am....you can't take the country out of me even if I'm taken out of the country (by choice) hehe.

I have traveled around my country as a child, so I don't have pictures of all the places I've been and I certainly do not remember all of them. I update as I remember, so my DR page is a bit of an ongoing under construction page :-)

Hay un país en el mundo (written in 1949)

This poem was a celebration to my country, written by national poet Pedro Mir (1913-2000) while he was exiled in Cuba. You can read the whole poem (in Spanish only) here. The translation here is by me.

Hay - There is
un país en el mundo - a country in the world
colocado colocado - located
en el mismo trayecto del sol, - on the same trajectory as the sun,
oriundo de la noche. - native of the night.
Colocado - Located
en un inverosímil archipiélago - on an improbable archipelago
de azúcar y alcohol. - of sugar and alcohol.
Sencillamente - Simply
liviano, - light
como un ala de murciélago - like a bat's wing
apoyado en la brisa. - supported by the breeze.
Sencillamente - Simply
claro, - clear,
como el rastro del beso en las solteras antiguas - like the trace of a kiss on the old single women
o el día en los tejados. - or like the day on the roof ridges.
Sencillamente - Simply
frutal. Fluvial. Y material. Y sin embargo - fruity. Riverlike. And material. And yet
sencillamente tórrido y pateado - simply torrid and kicked
como una adolescente en las caderas. - like a female teenager's hips.
Sencillamente triste y oprimido. - Simply sad and oppressed.
Sencillamente agreste y despoblado. - Simply rustic and depopulated.

En verdad. - In truth.
Con dos millones - With 2 million people
suma de la vida - sum of life
y entre tanto - and in the mean time
cuatro cordilleras cardinales - four cardinal mountain chains
y una inmensa bahía y otra inmensa bahía, - and one vast bay and another vast bay,
tres penínsulas con islas adyacentes - three peninsulas with adjacent islands
y un asombro de ríos verticales - and an amazement of vertical rivers
y tierra bajo los árboles y tierra - and soil under the trees and soil
bajo los ríos y en la falda del monte - under the rivers and at the skirt of the mount
y al pie de la colina y detrás del horizonte - and at the bottom of the hill and behind the horizon
y tierra desde el cantío de los gallos - and soil from the roosters' song
y tierra bajo el galope de los caballos - and soil under the horses' gallop
y tierra sobre el día, bajo el mapa, alrededor - and soil above the day, under the map, around
y debajo de todas las huellas y en medio del amor. - and under all the traces and in the middle of love.
Entonces - Then
es lo que he declarado. - this is what I've declared.
Hay - There is
un país en el mundo - a country in the world
sencillamente agreste y despoblado. - simply rustic and depopulated.

Some facts about Dominican Republic

- Capital: Santo Domingo.
- Population: 8,562,541 people as of the census of 2002.
- Spanish is our official language, but English, French, Italian and German (among other languages) are widely spoken on tourist cities.
- Dominican Rep. is a democracy with a president, a senators' chamber and a deputies' chamber. Right now our President is Dr. Leonel Fernández Reyna.
- We have elections every 2 years because we have separate elections for the president and the senators/deputies but the term is 4 years for both.
- Our most popular sports are baseball and basketball.
- We share the island of Hispaniola with Haiti.
- We are surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the north and the Caribbean Sea on the south.
- The colonization of America started here.
- 145 films have had scenes shot here (as of Oct 2007 and according to IMDB), including "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl", "Apocalypse Now" and "The Godfather: Part II".
- Some of our firsts of the New World include:
** First fortress
** First cathedral
** First university
** First hospital
** First street.
- We have a hurricane season going on every year between Jun 1st and Nov 30th (but don't let that discourage you from visiting, we're used to it).
- It's been said that we have 2 independence days: *the* independence day from the Haitian domination Feb 27th. Then in 1861 the country was annexed to Spain until 4 years later we declared ourselves free and independent "from any foreign sovereignty or the island will sink" (loose translation) on Aug 16th.

Some Famous Dominicans
In no particular order:

- Juan Luis Guerra: merengue and bachata composer, writer and singer, Grammy winner and a pride to all of us Dominicans.
- Oscar de la Renta: fashion designer.
- Sammy Sosa: baseball player with the record of 60+ home runs in 3 seasons (1998, 1999 and 2001) and the record of more home runs hit in a month (Jun 1998).
- Juan Marichal: first Dominican pitcher to become a member of Coopertown's Hall of Fame in 1983.
- María Montez: actress, known as the Queen of Technicolor and the Caribbean Cyclone. Some of her movies are Ali Baba and the 40 thieves and Arabian Nights.
- Michel Camilo: jazz piano player.
- Fernando Villalona: aka El Mayimbe, which is slang for "the boss".
- Zoé Saldaña: actress, making its way into Hollywood. The latest movie I saw with her was "The Terminal".
- Félix Sánchez: 400m hurdles runner, he won our first gold Olympic medal in 2004 on the Athens games.
- Amelia Vega: first Dominican Miss Universe in 2003.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:People smiling all the time and ready to help you
  • Cons:Not as cheap as it used to be, chaotic
  • In a nutshell:Where the New World began
  • Last visit to Dominican Republic: Apr 2009
  • Intro Updated May 3, 2009
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Reviews (38)

Comments (12)

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Jul 16, 2009 at 12:42 PM

    DR will hopefully be our next Caribbean trip - we also know the Día de los Reyes Magos in the Philippines...heard so many good things about DR and so it's definitely on my wishlist - and best of all, it's not too far! Norman :)

  • TravellingSpirit's Profile Photo
    Jun 6, 2009 at 2:24 AM

    Mariel, that poem is beautiful and moving - there aren't many poems that stand up so well to translation.

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Apr 22, 2009 at 8:08 PM

    Welcome back. Great updates. Thanks for letting me know that you have sent me a DR postcard. Can't wait. My guess it will take 6 weeks or more. Cheers, SL :)

  • Herwig1961's Profile Photo
    Nov 26, 2008 at 8:24 PM

    I have been once at this beautiful place.Unfortunately I didn`t know your tips at that time:-)Thanks!

  • Nov 26, 2008 at 8:19 PM

    I could not click onto "post a question". I want to know how to connect with Caribe Tours from SD airport, & what their schedule is for buses to Las Terrenas.

  • jadedmuse's Profile Photo
    Aug 19, 2008 at 5:06 PM

    Dominican Republic is a wonderful country, very special to me and full of warm and happy memories. Saludos, M.

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Jul 19, 2008 at 1:26 PM

    Great page Mariel!

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Mar 9, 2008 at 4:40 AM

    Mariel, you've had a nice informative trip, great! Thanks for sgaring!

  • JessH's Profile Photo
    Jan 29, 2008 at 12:24 AM

    Hello and "miaou" Mariel! :-) I really enjoyed reading your page, especially the local customs and "myth busters". Superb information here, thanks for sharing / Jess :-)

  • budapest8's Profile Photo
    Dec 13, 2007 at 11:58 PM

    You really have the best tips around..What do they call the female version of the sankie pankies?? same name?? I know you could find the same in Cyprus, North Africa and a bunch of other countries..

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