Discovered in 1492 by Christopher
Columbus and a small band of adventurers, the Dominican Republic is
now visited by over 3 million visitors a year. A true reflection of
its beauty and value as a vacation destination. Visitors from all
over the world come to discover the golden sandy beaches, crystal
clear turquoise waters, mysterious valleys, majestic mountains and
its wonderfully friendly inhabitants.
History of the Dominican Republic
Columbus named this island La
Espanola, and his son, Diego, was its first viceroy. The capital,
Santo Domingo, founded in 1496, is the oldest European-settled city in the Western
The Dominican Republic enjoys a
stable democratic system and Presidential elections are held every
Under the Constitution the
government is divided into three branches: legislative, executive,
and judicial. Congress is composed of the Senate and the Chamber of
About half of the Dominicans live in
rural areas. Many are small landholders. Dominican people (from
the poorest to the richest) are very friendly and very kind. Their
doors are easily opened to visitors. They like to drink and dance
on Sundays instead of fighting each other about political opinions.
The 2002 estimated population was 8.7 million.
Christopher Columbus discovered this island, the Dominican Republic has
always been primarily a Roman Catholic country. Dominicans, however,
are very open with religions, all beliefs are accepted and protected
Spanish is the official language of the Dominican Republic,
but a growing portion of the population also speaks English.
The Dominican Republic provides
free, compulsory education for children between the ages of 7 and
14. About three-fourths of the population aged 15 or older is