The Dominican Republic (DR) is a country on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola; the other country on the island is Haiti. The DR has a variety of different landscapes, beautiful beaches along its coastline, mountain ranges and fertile plains. It is a very popular tourist destination, home to many fancy hotels and golf resorts.
There is a lot to discover about the Dominican Republic! Here are few facts to get you started:
- The island was discovered by Christopher Colombus in 1492 and became the first place that the Europeans settled in the New World.
- The official language is Spanish, although English, French and German are widely spoken.
- Did you know that the climate there is sometimes called “the Endless Summer”? It is warm and sunny almost everywhere in the country all year long.
- Nestled between the rolling hills of the Northern Corridor mountain range, the 27 waterfalls of Rio Damajagua are known as one of the best eco-adventure sites in the DR. You can jump, slide and swim through a natural water park.
- Baseball is a big deal to Dominicans. Over 800,000 children play organized baseball in the DR and professional U.S. baseball leagues currently boast more than 100 players who originated from the DR.
The flag of the Dominican Republic is the only flag in the world to bear the image of the Holy Bible. The Bible symbolizes truth and light, and the golden cross above it represents redemption from the bondage of slavery.
Though slavery to other humans is no longer a legal threat, poverty still enslaves a large portion of the Dominican people.
- Half of the country does not have access to clean water, and over half of the country does not have sanitary toilets.
- 41% of people live below the national poverty line of $1.90/day (2013).
- Since the main industry of the Dominican Republic is tourism, rural areas are often overlooked when it comes to government investment. In a country that is home to hundreds of luxury tourist resorts, one in five citizens is chronically undernourished.
- In the southwestern rural areas of the DR, five out of 10 young people are school dropouts.
You can be part of releasing Dominican children from poverty in Jesus’ name, and become part of their world! Click here for more information about sponsorship.