The Tainos

Columbus arrived on the Island of Quisqueya on December 5, 1492. He found a civilisation (the Tainos) who had developed a sophisticated social order that embraced daily religious ceremonies, seasonal festivals, and team sports. They were approximately 1 million divided in 5 tribes.

Taino means : good, peaceful man

They lived close to the rivers and the coasts, and survived by fishing and hunting. They also cultivated crops, including tobacco, which at first mystified and later enthralled their European conquerors.

Taino Flag

Though much of the original Taino language has been lost, certain words have been preserved in our language today. Words like barbacoa (barbecue), hamaca (hammock), canoa (canoe), tabaco (tobacco), yuca (yucca) and juracan (hurricane) have been incorporated into Spanish and other modern languages.

Dramatic new evidence about these vanished people is being uncovered by on-going archaeological research conducted throughout the island, with noteworthy recent findings (paintings, potteries, sculptures) in the National Park of the East near La Romana.

The modern Dominican people

Columbus and the Spanish colonizers who followed him used the island as their base for further New World discoveries, and built the 1rst cathedral, the 1rst monastery, the 1rst hospital, .....

Hispanola (the 1rst name of the full island) remained a Spanish possession for three centuries.The French also ruled the island for two brief periods, as did the Haitians.

But with the importation of African slaves in large numbers adding to the Spanish-Taino creole, the modern Dominican people began to emerge.

Their cultural uniqueness is underscored by their food, their music, the arts and crafts, their vocabulary and their relaxed, good-natured approach to life's challenges.

More than 90 % of the population is catholic but the Dominican are very tolerant for all other religion.

Nowadays, there is 9.562.000 people living in Dominican Republic, a third of them in the capital : Santo Domingo.

Agriculture is one of the economy pillar as sugarcane, coffee, tobaco, cacao and 80% of the bio banana's world market.
Industries : tourism, sugar processing, textiles, cement, ferronickel and gold mining.
  The industrial free zone now produce 70% of exports, while tourism and remittances from Dominicans have also grown significantly in recent years.

20 % of the country are classified as natural reserve, therefore there are many national parks to be visited.

Rights of the Foreigner

The Constitution of the Dominican Republic recognizes the following rights which also apply to foreigners :
- The right to life;
- Right to personal security;
- The inviolability of the home;
- Freedom of movement;
- Freedom of action;
- Freedom of expression;
- Freedom of association for economic, social, cultural or any other purpose;
- Freedom of worship;
- Right of privacy which includes correspondance and private documents;
- Freedom of work;
- Free enterprise;
- Protection of private property;
- Protection for a period of time of exclusive rights to inventions and discoveries.

For more informations go to :

Independence Day

The nation won its independence from Haiti on February 27th, 1844, and Dominicans venerate its trio of liberators - Juan Pablo Duarte, Ramón Matias Mella and Francisco del Rosario Sánchez- (as the equals of Washington, Garibaldi and Bolivar).

The flag is blue and red with a white cross. In the center the armorial bearings represent an olive branch (left) and a palm branch (right), a small coat of arms featuring a shield with an open bible in the middle. Above in a blue ribbon is the motto (DIOS, PATRIA, LIBERTAD) : God, Fatherland, Freedom. Below REPUBLICA DOMINICANA appears on a red ribbon.

Current President (2004-2008)
LEONEL FERNANDEZ re-elected in 2008
PLD (Partido Liberal Dominicano)

National anthem : Quisqueyanos valientes