Dominican Republic

Front Cover

Occupying the eastern two-thirds of island of Hispaniola, the Dominican Republic has something for almost everyone – except perhaps obsessive perfectionists. If you can relax and go with the flow you will experience a land of great environmental diversity with a rich and varied culture, a turbulent history, some infuriating idiosyncrasies, and a people whose friendliness is legendary. The Dominicans are flamboyant, irrepressible, generous, headstrong, and resilient. Their culture is a distinctive mix of an easygoing Caribbean nature coupled with Latino verve and showmanship.

For those who choose to break out of the confines of all-inclusive tourist resorts, Culture Smart! Dominican Republic offers a tantalizing insight into this warm, vital, and intriguing people. It takes you on a journey from the unspoiled coastline to the agricultural interior, to the imposing mountains and to the hamlets where time appears to have stood still. It then catapults you into the twenty-first century, through poverty and opulence, to the hustle and bustle of the large cities and the lifestyles of the luxury coastal tourist resorts. It offers practical advice on what to expect and to how to behave in a Dominican home, or in social and work settings.

The authors of this book, both long-term residents in the Dominican Republic, have provided a unique roadmap to the interesting and challenging experiences that await you in this beautiful, varied, and complex country.

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About the author (2010)

Ginnie Bedggood graduated in History from Queen Mary College, University of London, and post-graduated in Public and Social Administration from the LSE, Southampton University, and Brunel University. She worked as a probation officer in Soho, London, in the 1960s and spent seventeen years as a social work academic at Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College, before moving to the Dominican Republic. She has been living in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic since 1992. She is the author of Quisqueya: Mad Dogs and English Couple, a narrative that charts the early adjustment to her new surroundings. Ilana Benady was born in Gibraltar, and studied and lived in the UK for more than fifteen years, graduating in Politics and Social Anthropology from the University of Kent at Canterbury. Her work at the Oxfam headquarters in Oxford took her to the Dominican Republic in 1996. This set off a chain of events that culminated in her moving there in 1999 and marrying Dominican photographer Pedro Guzmán. After several years in the capital, Santo Domingo, they now live in Punta Cana on the east coast with their son Lucas. Ilana is the co-author of Aunt Clara's Dominican Cookbook and 100 Traditional Dominican Recipes.