About the Dominican Republic
 
The Dominican Republic ("DR") occupies the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. The western third of the island is Haiti.

The DR’s total land and water area is 48,730 km², lying in a tropical maritime climate with little seasonal temperature variation. The country features rugged highlands and mountains with fertile valleys interspersed (the highest point is Pico Duarte, at 3,175 meters above sea level), as well as the lowest point in the Caribbean (Lago Enriquillo, at -46 m below sea level). One of the country’s natural threats is that it lies in the middle of the hurricane belt and is subject to severe storms from June to November.

This Spanish-speaking country of 9.8 million people has had a history of changing ownership, with Spain, France, Haiti, Spain again, and the United States taking their turns at ruling Dominican territory amid attempts at independence and self rule. The twentieth century was marked by repeated U.S. intervention in local affairs. In addition to the history of U.S. support for the Trujillo dictatorship (1930-1961), the United States and Brazil, under the auspices of the Organization of American States, intervened in 1965 in the midst of a Dominican civil war.

The majority of Dominicans are of mixed European and African descent. About 11% of Dominicans are primarily of African descent, including many Haitian migrants and their descendants. About 16% of Dominicans are of Spanish or other European origin. Dominican culture is essentially Hispanic and also has many African, Antilliean, and United States influences. Since the early 1960s, economic problems have led to a vast migration of Dominicans to the US, mainly to large east coast cities. New York City's Washington Heights is so densely populated by Dominicans, it is sometimes referred to as Quisqueya Heights. Quisqueya is believed to be the name given to the eastern side of Hispaniola by its original inhabitants, the Arawak Indians, although this version is disputed by some historians. Dominicans are now one of the largest Latino groups in the US.

The DR is known for a form of music called merengue, which has been popular since the mid- to late-1800s. Of late, bachata and other musical styles are also popular. Dominican music has always been closely intertwined with Haitian influences.

The DR is also well-known for its baseball players. Dominicans are notorious baseball lovers, and almost all major league baseball teams have at least one Dominican ball player.

For more about the DR, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominican_Republic 
 
 
 
 
 

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