- Location: Caribbean (Greater Antilles)
- Capital: Santo Domingo
- Language(s): Spanish
- Total Area: 48,443 sq km
- Population: 9,423,464
- Currency: Peso
- Curious Alcohol Fact: The mabi drink is fermented bark juice.
- Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: 6.41 liters
- Most Popular Drink(s): Local alcoholic drinks, fruit juices.
The Dominican Republic is also one of the largest islands in the Greater Antilles group of islands and is bounded to the south by the Caribbean Sea and to the north by the Atlantic Ocean. Also to the north of the country lies the Turks and Caicos Islands while the South American nation of Colombia is not too far to the south. Like many of the other nations in the Caribbean, Dominican Republic was ruled by Spanish colonists for centuries. This historical legacy explains why many of the people in the country today have Spanish roots although there is also a considerable number of those with Black ancestry. Santo Domingo, a settlement in the southern half of the country is the capital city and administrative center. The island nation has a climate that has been described as mild tropical and in many of the mountainous areas, it is not uncommon for the islanders to experience heavy rains.
A large proportion of the residents are actually of mixed ancestry, and these people are referred to as mulattos. In addition to the mulattos, there are those of African and European descent too, and there are scattered populations of migrants from Asian nations especially China while the indigenous Taino tribes form a minority. Most of those with European ancestry trace their origin back to Spain. For many of the Africans, they first came to the island to work on the sugar plantations during the infamous Transatlantic Slave Trade. Spanish is the most widely spoken language in the country and in terms of religion, Christianity happens to be the most popular as many of the citizens are adherents of the Roman Catholic faith. There are also followers of Judaism, Islam and traditional African religion.
The mofongo is one meal that I will never forget. Made from fried plantain, spices and chicken, you will surely ask for more. Fruit juices and alcohol are easily purchased.
All over the country, you will be treated to a spectacular music dance called the merengue and is best described as a fusion of African, Caribbean and Spanish flavors. The merengue is the traditional music dance of the country and is usually played with the accordion, marimba and the saxophone. Baseball (called beisbol) is the most popular sport in the country.
- Juan Marichal, (aka the Dominican Dandy) one of the finest baseball players in history is from the island republic.
- Christopher Columbus is said to be buried in the Dominican Republic, at the Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor.
- A pyramidal monument called the Geographic Marker depicting the center of the island of Hispaniola, which is shared with Haiti, is located in the country.
- The capital city of Santo Domingo is actually the oldest continuously inhabited European city in the Americas. It was founded by colonists from Spain in 1496.
Story By World By Shotglass
©2012 World By Shotglass. All Rights Reserved
Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria) for story editing