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Portal:Dominican Republic/Selected article/1 The peso oro is the currency of the Dominican Republic. Its symbol is "$", with "RD$" used when distinction from other pesos (or dollars) is required; its ISO 4217 code is "DOP". Each peso is divided into 100 centavos, for which the ¢ symbol is used. It is the only currency which is legal tender for all monetary transactions, whether public or private, in the Dominican Republic.

The first Dominican peso was introduced in 1844. It replaced the Haitian gourde at par and was divided into 8 reales. The Dominican Republic decimalized in 1877, subdividing the peso into 100 centavos. A second currency, the franco, was issued between 1891 and 1897 but did not replace the peso. However, in 1905, the peso was replaced by the U.S. dollar, at a rate of 5 pesos to the dollar. The peso oro was introduced in 1937 at par with the U.S. dollar, although the dollar continued to be used alongside the peso oro until 1947. (more...)

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Hospital San Nicolás de Bari

Today a preserved ruin, the oldest hospital built in the Americas, the Hospital San Nicolás de Bari was constructed in different stages between 1503 and 1552 at the behest of governor (and namesake of the hospital)Nicolás de Ovando. This grand project was in keeping with the desire to emulate European princely courts, and looked to Renaissance Italy for inspiration.[1] At the time of its completion, the wards could accommodate up to 70 patients, comparable to the most advanced churches of Rome.[2] It is likely that the model for the Hospital de San Nicolás was the large Hospital of Sancto Spiritu in Rome.[3] The complex forms part of the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo World Heritage Site. (more...)

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Portal:Dominican Republic/Selected article/3 The culture of the Dominican Republic is a diverse mixture of different influences from around the world. The Dominican people and their customs have origins consisting predominately in a European cultural basis, with both African and native Taíno influences.[4]

The Dominican Republic was the site of the first European settlement in the Western Hemisphere, namely Santo Domingo founded in 1493. As a result of over five centuries of Spanish presence in the island, the core of Dominican culture is derived from the culture of Spain. The European inheritances include ancestry, language, traditions, law, the predominant religion and the colonial architectural styles. Soon after the arrival of Europeans, African people were imported to the island to serve as slave labor. The fusion of European, native Taino, and African traditions and customs contributed to the development of present-day Dominican culture. (more...)

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Portal:Dominican Republic/Selected article/4 The economy of the Dominican Republic is the ninth largest economy in Latin America, and is the largest in the Caribbean and Central America region. It is an upper middle-income[5] developing country primarily dependent on mining, agriculture, trade, and services. Although the service sector has recently overtaken agriculture as the leading employer of Dominicans (due principally to growth in tourism and free-trade zones), agriculture remains the most important sector in terms of domestic consumption and is in second place (behind mining) in terms of export earnings. Tourism accounts for more than $1 billion in annual earnings. free-trade zone earnings and tourism are the fastest-growing export sectors. According to a 1999 International Monetary Fund report, remittances from Dominican Americans, are estimated to be about $1.5 billion per year. Most of these funds are used to cover basic household needs such as shelter, food, clothing, health care and education. Secondarily, remittances have financed small businesses and other productive activities.[6] (more...)

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Satellite view of Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo is the capital and largest city in the Dominican Republic and the largest metropolitan area in the Caribbean by population.[7] In 2010, its population was counted as 965,040,[8] rising to 2,908,607 when its surrounding metropolitan area was included.[9] The city is coterminous with the boundaries of the Distrito Nacional ("D.N.", "National District"), itself bordered on three sides by Santo Domingo Province.

Founded by Bartholomew Columbus in 1496, on the east bank of the Ozama River and then moved by Nicolás de Ovando in 1502 to the west bank of the river, the city is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the Americas, and was the first seat of the Spanish colonial rule in the New World. Santo Domingo is the site of the first university, cathedral, castle, monastery, and fortress in the New World. The city's Colonial Zone was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.[10][11] Santo Domingo was called Ciudad Trujillo (Spanish pronunciation: [sjuˈðað tɾuˈxiʝo]), from 1936 to 1961, after the Dominican Republic's dictator, Rafael Trujillo, named the capital after himself. Following his assassination, the city resumed its original designation. (More...)

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Boating on Sanoa Island

Saona Island (Spanish: Isla Saona) is a tropical island located a short distance from the mainland on the south-east tip of the Dominican Republic. It is a government protected nature reserve and is part of Parque Nacional Cotubanamá. It is a popular destination for tourists from all over the Dominican Republic, who arrive in fleets of catamarans and small motorboats on organized excursions every day. The Island is known for its beaches, and has been used on a number of occasions by film-makers and advertisers looking for a stereotypical "deserted island" setting for their film or product. It is promoted amongst European visitors as the setting for the Bounty chocolate bar advert. Read more...

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Portal:Dominican Republic/Selected article/7 Cerveceria Nacional Dominicana (CND), is the primary beer producer in the Dominican Republic, the company is owned by AmBev and Grupo León Jimenes. It was founded in 1929 by the American entrepreneur Charles H. Wanzer. It was the first brewery in the Dominican Republic and the largest in the Antilles and Central America with sales of 3.8 million hectoliters. It first released its major brand Presidente in 1935, and has since expanded to other brands such as Bohemia Especial, Presidente Light and Ambar. The first two are pilsener beers that fall in the category of lager beers, and the latter is the company's first incursion into dark beer. CND also distributes Miller products and Heineken. Its current brewery complex was opened in 1951. It employs 2,500 people and produces up to 500 million liters of beer. Read more...

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Portal:Dominican Republic/Selected article/8 Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in the Dominican Republic do not enjoy the same rights as non-LGBT residents, and face legal and social challenges that are not experienced by other people. While the Dominican Criminal Code does not expressly prohibit homosexuality or cross-dressing, it also does not address discrimination or harassment on the account of sexual orientation or gender identity, nor does it recognize same sex unions in any form, whether it be marriage or partnerships. Household headed by same-sex couples are also not eligible for any of the same rights given to opposite-sex married couples, as same sex marriage is constitutionally banned in the country. Read more...

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Portal:Dominican Republic/Selected article/9 The Dominican Independence War gave the Dominican Republic autonomy from Haiti on February 27, 1844. Before the war, the island of Hispaniola had been united under the Haitian government for a period of 22 years when the newly independent nation, previously known as the Captaincy General of Santo Domingo, was unified with Haiti in 1822. The criollo class within the country overthrew the Spanish crown in 1821 before unifying with Haiti a year later.

In 1844, the members of La Trinitaria chose El Conde, the prominent “Gate of the Count” in the old city walls, as the rallying point for their insurrection against the Haitian government. On the morning of 27 February 1844, El Conde rang with the shots of the plotters, who had emerged from their secret meetings to openly challenge the Haitians. Their efforts were successful, and for the next ten years, Dominican military strongmen fought to preserve their country's independence from their Haitian neighbors. Read more...

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Portal:Dominican Republic/Selected article/10 The Parsley Massacre (Spanish: el corte "the cutting"; Creole: kout kouto-a "the stabbing") was a mass killing that took place in October 1937 against Haitians living in the Dominican Republic's northwestern frontier and in certain parts of the contiguous Cibao region. Dominican Army troops, who came from different areas of the country, carried out the massacre on the direct orders of the Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo. Haitian President Élie Lescot put the death toll at 12,168; in 1953, the Haitian historian Jean Price-Mars cited 12,136 deaths and 2,419 injuries. In 1975, Joaquín Balaguer, the Dominican Republic's interim Foreign Minister at the time of the massacre, put the number of dead at 17,000. Other estimates compiled by the Dominican historian Bernardo Vega went as high as 35,000.

In the spring of 1938 Trujillo ordered a new campaign against Haitians, this time in the southern frontier region. The operation occurred over several months, and thousands were forced to flee. Although known to Dominicans simply as el desalojo (the eviction), this campaign also resulted in hundreds reportedly killed. Unlike in the northern frontier area, some witnesses recalled Dominican civilians cooperating in the killing. Read more...

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Los Haitises National Park in Samaná as seen from San Lorenzo bay

Los Haitises National Park is a national park located on the remote northeast coast of the Dominican Republic that was established in 1976. It consists of a limestone karst plateau with conical hills, sinkholes and caverns, and there is a large area of mangrove forest on the coast. Other parts of the park are clad in subtropical humid forest and the area has an annual precipitation of about 2,000 mm (79 in). The park contains a number of different habitats and consequently has a great diversity of mammals and birds, including some rare species endemic to the island. Some of the caverns contain pictograms and petroglyphs. The park has become a popular ecotourism destination but the number of tourists allowed to visit is limited. Read more...

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Map of Santo Domingo, 1873

Ciudad Colonial (Spanish for "Colonial City") is the historic central neighborhood of Santo Domingo and the oldest permanent European settlement of the Americas. It has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is also known as Zona Colonial (Colonial Zone) or more colloquially as "La Zona" (The Zone) . The Ciudad Colonial is located on the west bank of the Ozama River, which bisects the city. It covers 1.06 km2 (0.41 sq mi) bounded by a walled perimeter.

It is an important section of the city due to the high number of landmarks, including Alcázar de Colón, Fortaleza Ozama, Catedral de Santa María la Menor, and others. Read more...

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Portal:Dominican Republic/Selected article/13 Grupo León Jimenes, C. por A., is one of the largest companies in the Dominican Republic with annual revenue of approximately $600 million and is headquartered in Santo Domingo. This corporation enjoys virtual monopolies in two local markets—beer and cigarettes—as well as having banking and printing operations. It brews Presidente, Bohemia, Miller and Heineken beers, and makes Marlboro cigarettes. It is also the parent company of La Aurora S.A., the oldest dominican cigar factory and the maker of Aurora and León Jimenes cigars. The executive vice-president of La Aurora S.A. is Guillermo León Herbert. Read more...

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Santiago de los Caballeros or simply Santiago (English: Saint James of the Knights) is the second-largest city in the Dominican Republic, and the fourth-largest city in the Caribbean. It is the capital of Santiago Province and major metropolis in the north-central region of the country. The city's metropolitan area has a total population of 1,173,015 inhabitants. Santiago is located approximately 155 km (96 mi) northwest of the capital Santo Domingo with an average altitude of 178 meters (584 ft).

Founded in 1495 during the first wave of European settlement in the New World, the city is the "first Santiago of the Americas". Today it is one of the Dominican Republic's cultural, political, industrial and financial centers. Due to its location in the fertile Cibao Valley it has a robust agricultural sector and is a leading exporter of rum, textiles, and cigars. Santiago is known as "La Ciudad Corazón" (the "Heartland City"). Read more...

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Portal:Dominican Republic/Selected article/15 Irrigation in the Dominican Republic (DR) has been an integral part of DR agricultural and economic development in the 20th Century. Public investment in irrigation has been the main driver for irrigation infrastructural development in the country. Irrigation Management Transfer to Water Users Associations (WUAs), formally started in the mid-1980s, is still an ongoing process showing positive signs with irrigation systems in 127,749 ha (46% of total irrigated land in the country), being managed by 41,329 users (57% of all users). However, the transfer process and the performance of WUAs are still far from ideal. While WUAs show a significant increase in cost recovery, especially when compared to low values in areas under state management, a high subsidy from the government still contributes to cover operation and maintenance costs in their systems. Read more...

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Aerial view of Puerto Plata

Puerto Plata, officially known as San Felipe de Puerto Plata, is the ninth-largest city in the Dominican Republic, and capital of the province of Puerto Plata. The city is a trading port. Puerto Plata has resorts such as Playa Dorada and Costa Dorada, which are located east of the city proper. There are 100,000 hotel beds in the city. The first aerial tramway of the Caribbean is located in Puerto Plata, in which visitors can ride up to the Pico Isabel de Torres, a 793 meter high mountain within the city.

The fortification Fortaleza San Felipe, which was built in the 16th century and served as a prison under Rafael Trujillo's dictatorship, lies close to the port of Puerta Plata. The amber museum, is also a well-known attraction in this city. La Isabela, a settlement built by Christopher Columbus, is located near Puerto Plata. In April 1563, the Spanish settlement became notorious when the English slave trader Sir John Hawkins brought 400 people he had abducted from Sierra Leone. Hawkins traded his victims with the Spanish for pearls, hides, sugar and some gold. This was the start of British involvement in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Read more...

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  1. ^ Bailey, Galvin Alexander. Art of Colonial Latin America. New York: Phaidon Press, 2005, ISBN 0714841579, p. 133
  2. ^ Palm, Erwin Walter. Los Monumentos Arquitectónicos de La Española, Con una introducción a América. 2 vols. Ciudad Trujillo: Universidad de Santo Domingo, 1955
  3. ^ Bailey, p. 132
  4. ^ Esteva Fabregat, Claudio «La hispanización del mestizaje cultural en América» Revista Complutense de Historia de América, Universidad Complutense de Madrid. pp. 133 (1981)
  5. ^ "Country and Lending Groups". Archived from the original on 24 May 2008. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  6. ^ Meyers, Deborah Waller. Migrant Remittances to Latin America; Reviewing the Literature, Washington DC; Inter-American Dialogue 1998
  7. ^ City Mayors: Local government in the Caribbean
  8. ^ IX Census
  9. ^ "Expansión Urbana de las ciudades capitales de RD: 1988-2010" (in Spanish). Santo Domingo: Oficina Nacional de Estadística. 1 May 2015. ISBN 978-9945-8984-3-9. Archived from the original on 14 July 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  10. ^ Colonial City of Santo Domingo – UNESCO World Heritage Centre
  11. ^ Comisiones Nacionales: UNESCO