The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean nation known for a vibrant culture, island beauty, and production of great Major League baseball players. Read on to learn more about the history and culture of this unique country.
The Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispanola with the nation of Haiti. The D.R. occupies about two-thirds of the island and sits between the islands of Cuba and Puerto Rico in the Caribbean Sea.
The island of Hispanola has been inhabited since 800 A.D. Columbus’ arrival in 1492 wiped out the native population, leading to a colonizing by the Spanish. The country’s official language is still Spanish; although, the country has been occupied by the French and Americans as well as the Spanish.
Since 1978, the country has moved away from dictatorships and toward a more American-style representative government. Currently, Leonel Fernández is serving his second term as the country’s president.
Modern Dominican Culture
Merengue music was created in the Dominican Republic, as well as Bachata, a form of dance centered on love and stories of romance. Ethnic groups in the country include people of African, European and mixed descent, as well as some Asian immigrants. Baseball is the most popular sport in the country, followed by boxing.
The Dominican Republic sends many players to the American Major Leagues. In fact, many all-stars and future hall of famers hail from the country, including Manny Ramirez, Cy-Young award winning pitcher Pedro Martinez and two-time league MVP Albert Pujols.