5 Things You Should Know About
The Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is rich with history, beauty and untouched secluded spots ready to be explored. Often people are surprised by the fact the island is much larger than they imagined, but what surprises us is how many interesting new facts we learn about this amazing country every day. Here are some of our top facts that you probably didn’t know about the Dominican Republic.
1. The Dominican Republic was a WWII refuge for Jews
The beautiful people of the Dominican Republic have always been welcoming, and this fact certainly exemplifies that. Back in 1938 when world leaders gathered to find solutions for the growing number of Jews seeking safety from the Nazi’s, the Dominican Republic was the only country willing to offer a safe space for 100,000 refugees. In the end, only 854 immigrated and lived in our neighboring town of Sosua where they were all welcomed into the local community. Today the relationship still exists, and we see tons of visitors coming in from Isreal every year.
2. Baseball is the national pastime
When you think about the Dominican Republic, endless tropical beaches, perfect peeling waves, and warm winds often spring to mind, but the national passion doesn’t include any of these. Baseball has been a part of the island since the late 1800’s, and now almost 40% of players in US leagues come from the Dominican Republic including Pedro Martinez, Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, and Sammy Sosa.
3. The island is full of treasures
The Dominican Republic is packed with precious stones and metals including some of the oldest and most valuable amber found in the world, larimar which is a gemstone that is found exclusively on the island, and gold, lots and lots of gold. Amber and larimar are commonly used in jewelry and you can visit the amber museum in Puerto Plata for the story behind the stones. Alternatively, you can visit our mini-museum inside our very own Yocahu jewelry store, offering authentic and genuine amber and larimar jewels. To find out more about these stones, see our articles about larimar and amber. To go on a hunt for your own amber while you are visiting Cabarete, check out our Top 5 Tips for Finding Amber in Cabarete.
4. The Dominican Republic is a Humpback Whale Sanctuary
The DR is home to two Humpback Whale breeding grounds, out of only a handful in the whole world. These whales are a national treasure and are warmly welcomed back to their protected waters every season (January to March). During this time, you’ll be able to spot them frolicking in our backyard, or you can go on a boat tour and get even closer to the action. You can find out more in our whale-watching in The Dominican Republic article.
5. The DR is famous for its rum around the world
The Dominican Republic is well known for its excellent rum globally thanks to its ‘smoother’ taste from the lengthy and natural process of distillation. This original process of aging in old sherry casks gives the rum its unique and delicious flavor. The most well-known brands from the DR are the three B’s, Barceló, Bermudez, and Brugal. If you’re visiting, you can always tour the Brugal factory where you can see the process taking place and even try a few samples along the way. If you’re looking to stock up on your trip, take a look at our top five rum picks from the Dominican Republic.We are always interested in hearing more about the Dominican Republic, so if you want to contribute some “things you should know about the Dominican Republic” feel free to comment below.