We had a dream!
and it led us to
build a website!


Can two people have the same dream?

Can a dream be achieved by learning how to build a website?

Well we think the answer to both questions is a resounding YES!

Up until a few months ago we had a dream that we discussed 'ad nauseam' but were in a quandry as to how to achieve it...

So what was (is!) that dream you might be asking?

We had a dream that we wanted to do something positive for our lovely country, the Dominican Republic...You know, you may have picked up on the comments we have made in and around this website that the DR has not experienced good fortunes of late, at least 'economically'.

The seeds that inspired a dream

Indeed, if you have read our history pages you will have gotten some idea that the DR of today has gradually - since the time of Columbus - emerged from a history of:

  • Domination/influence by other countries (Spain, England, US...)

  • Slavery (from the peaceful Tainos to the many Africans)

  • 'Caudillismo' (self interested local land 'Barons')

  • Dictatorship (The Trujillo 'Era'!)

  • and a variety of varyingly 'corrupt' governments throughout the last two centuries (latest of which, Mejia and his cronies who alledgedly 'led' – or should that be 'bled' - the country to the brink of financial ruin by 2004, and left the Banks with massive debt caused by fraud!)...

    In other words the road to stability and success, for the DR, is still proving a long and laborious one!

    Many tourist who visit our homeland, seeking sun, sand and some other diversions from their own 'hard working lives' see only the insides of 'all-inclusive deal' hotel grounds. Sequestered in the cosseted world of waiters, barmen, and hotel management intent on keeping them well served, happy (and drained of their holiday cash) during a stay of maybe a week or two.

    Those 'braver souls' who actually want to see the 'real' DR, and get out and about will experience a completely different world.

    All is not well in 'Paradise'!!

    The Dominican Republic is not a perfect paradise! Though for many (including us) it comes pretty close in a lot of ways...BUT...(and as you will see its a big but) the perfection of the island is tarnished by the fact that many of the local inhabitants live in abject poverty.

    Less than 20% of the population of the DR control well over 80% of the wealth. The vast bulk of Dominicans live in a world which is 'hand to mouth'. They scrape by, they absorb the economic crises as best they can, they keep their families together...and by and large, and perhaps most importantly... they keep SMILING.

    Even now as we are co-ordinating the development of this website project, which is incredibly important for us (and I'll make it clearer why in a moment) we are both residing in the UK. We are in almost daily contact with our family, much of which is still living in the DR, especially as we need to research information regularly for our site even whilst we are so far away...they are our 'eyes and ears on the ground'.

    Why we think we are the 'lucky ones'...

    We've always considered that our family is one of the 'luckier ones'. Our father (sadly no longer with us) was a well respected watch-maker and repairer and a man of acknowledged good character. Our Mother, also sadly now departed, was the kindest, most tolerant and understanding person I have known (she had to be to live with our father...good character doesn't always equate with good-temper!)

    We always had bread on the table, though we were by no means even well-off. My father often worked away for 6 months to a year at at time (in the US, as many Dominicans do) to provide for us.

    We had a decent education, and as we grew up both Esther and I got good jobs in the DR before we decided to fulfil our desires to travel and see the world! So we've been lucky one way and another.

    There is a dark side

    BUT (yes I finally got to that big but) we know that visitors to the DR today will see how impoverished many people are. Children, skin and bones, begging on the street without shoes or decent clothes. You WILL see them especially if you are visiting the larger Cities like SD and Santiago.

    The DR, like all countries one way or another, has its darker side too. We hope that efforts to 'clean up' the sleazy side of the DR are progressing well. A few years ago, for instance, the now popular (and respectable) family resort of Sosua was literally 'closed down' for more than a year to try and put an end to wide spread prostitution (both men and women, and yes, sickeningly in some cases even children).

    There are still 'black spots' on the face of the sunny DR, and whilst many of the population are desperately poor, then inevitably some individuals will resort to desperate measures to feed themselves. So we know that there are still problems and such things as the dark issues of a minority of 'perverted' tourists who seek illegal pleasures, exploiting the desparation of our most impoverished citizens.

    We are, at least, now hopeful that the new administration, led by

    Leonel Fernandez Reyna , who we believe is a good man, can juggle the 'economic and political balls' effectively and steer clear of corrupting influences so that at last the DR may be taken to new levels of prosperity.

    AND SO TO OUR DREAM...

    "At last!" - I hear you say...no doubt it was all getting a bit depressing,...and hey, this is a 'happy holiday site' isn't it?!

    Esther and I recognised that one way we could 'help' our country was to present an honest, down to earth, insiders view of the DR, on a website that was easy to use and 'packed to the gills' with all the sort of information that anyone thinking of visiting the DR might need...be it...

  • For a vacation

  • To start a business

  • Or even to live there permanently.

    ...and no matter what 'sad' things I have talked of, those who DO live there today know why even the poorest people smile so much the DR is basically a WONDERFUL place to be!

    We recognise that, whilst we hope that the DR does not fall prey to the developers to such an extent that it loses its essential character (like many other Caribbean resorts have already, to be honest!) that TOURISM and PROPERTY INVESTMENT, bring much need injections of 'foreign exchange' into the country.

    There is no getting away from it, the DR NEEDS tourist, and tourists get a good deal, in fact a GREAT deal there...

  • Sun/warmth all year round

  • A brilliantly contrasting range of terrains – mountains, forests, deserted beaches, etc...

  • Fascinating cities

  • A rich and varied culture

  • Fantastic food

  • Marvellous music

  • Happy smiling, beautiful people (it's not only Miss World who looks like that in the DR, you know! ;-D )

  • ...and so on

    So making the effort to build a website to provide as much 'objective' PR as possible for our lovely homeland became the way we started to make a dream come true..

    Dominican Websites: A 'mixed bag'!

    We looked (and still look daily) at many other web sites that also include information about the DR. A large proportion of them are bogged down with 'Java and flash', riddled with pesky 'pop-ups' and aggravating 'net marketing' stuff. They are hard to navigate, poorly written, full of false or dead links, short on worthwhile information...in brief most of them are - as my 'caustic' English friend likes to say - 'SIMPLY RUBBISH!!'.

    Admittedly there are a few well established, and pretty decent, sites out there promoting the Dominican Republic, and more strength to them, we say.

    We just 'Dreamed' of doing our own 'little bit for the DR' to inspire and encourage visitors –

  • To consider a visit to our homeland!

  • To get the most out of their stay by helping them plan effectively

  • To provide them with good, reliable contacts for this purpose

  • To provide accurate information for anyone with a query about the DR.

    Our hope is to maintain 'online' the same sort of 'good character' our Father had 'in life'...and that was based on honesty, integrity and respect for others.

    But HOW do you achieve a DREAM?

    Well, I guess we can't put it off any longer, so we invite you to...make a cup of tea or coffee...perhaps grab yourself a 'cookie' (or two)...and set aside the next few minutes to relax and take a look at:

    "How we learnt to build a successful website"

    ...or take a look at this link directly for a lot of free, helpful information about what to consider when you build a website, and a genuine offer that might just convince you to have a go:

    Want to build a website? Here's an unbeatable free trial offer

    In this day and age it is the exception rather than the rule, it seems sadly, that something proves to be even better than it claims to be. But we have found that this is one of those rare exceptions!

    In a time when most business people seem to have 'forgotten' that the customer is always right (even when they are wrong!)...and that making a success of something is much more likely to happen if you 'exceed the expectations' of your 'clients' or 'visitors' (call them what you will) - we were lucky to discover the very best company to help you

    build a website

    . So that as an individual(or maybe a small business, club or group) you are guaranteed to make a 'big impression' on the internet.

    So please do take time-out to learn a little more about how we discovered how a successful website is created and began, only a short time ago to start to turn our 'dream' into a reality. But don't just have to take our word for it, as there are hundreds of good examples of others who are already doing the same! So do be sure to take a look at some of the many examples of creative and successful websites built by ordinary folk who are also making their dreams come true.

    "Why did we build a website: OUR DREAM"

    by Ruth & Esther

    Do you want to know the best way to build a website?




    Go to the top of - We had a dream - to build a website! page

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    NOTE: PLEASE Do not be 'put -off': The Paypal button will take you to Paypal login to make a 50c donation, you will see it is payable direct to 'Al G Smith' (that's me below!) who manages the Visiting-the-Dominican-Republic website, you can even check me out at algsmith.com, if you've nothing better to do, lol! -- Thanks again!

    Al G Smith website manager Visiting-the-Dominican-Republic dot com

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