Dominican Republic

Discoveries International

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Explored and claimed by Christopher Columbus on his first voyage in 1492, the island of Hispaniola became a springboard for Spanish conquest of the Caribbean and the American mainland. The Dominican Republic is now the number one tourist destination in the Caribbean, surpassing Puerto Rico for the first time in 40 years! Kiteboarding is the hottest new water sport in the world and Cabarete is the place to be. This small Caribbean town has the reputation of having the most fantastic kitesurfing conditions on the planet. Barahona, located a three hour's drive west of Santo Domingo, was founded by French-Haitian General, Toussaint L'Overture.

He believed Barahona's location was the perfect spot to build an alternate port to Santo Domingo's. Nearby Lago Enriquillo is the lowest lake in elevation in the Caribbean. The national Dominican drink - rum - is obtained from the distillation of alcohol from sugarcane and its derivatives, enriched through various processes of blending, resting and aging. The history of Dominican rum dates back to Admiral Christopher Columbus, who brought sugarcane from Spain in one of his first trips to the New World. Santo Domingo has many firsts; It is the oldest city in the New World, has the first street in the Americas, Calle de Las Damas and the first cathedral in the New World, Cathedral Basilica Santa Maria la Menor.

The Zona Colonial is an important section of the city because of the high number of landmarks, including Alcazar de Colon, Fortaleza Ozama, Catedral Primada de America, and others. There are also several open air public markets that have been operating for decades. Transportation is a marvel on everything from bicycles to 4 person/chicken motorized scooters to busses. Dignity Documentary: This short preview shows the journey of a group of high school students that discovered they could have a tremendous impact on many peoples lives.

In a little under 6 months the Bellevue High School Microfinance Club raised well over $100,000 dollars from members of their community. Rather than simply give the funds to the poor as a hand out, they donated the funds to Esperanza International who administers micro finance loans to the poorest of the poor, to start or maintain small businesses in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. In the Dominican Republic, baseball is the national pastime and combined with top talent it's no surprise that American Major League Baseball (MLB) boasts over 101 Dominican Republic players. Baseball is played all over the country, by young and old.