Uncovering The Spanish-Speaking Jewel of the Caribbean
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
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
- emerged from a history of:
Domination/influence by other countries (Spain, England,
Slavery (from the peaceful
to the many Africans)
'Caudillismo' (self interested local land 'Barons')
and a variety of varyingly 'corrupt' governments throughout the last two centuries (latest of which,
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
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
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
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
There is a dark
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
We are, at least, now hopeful that the new administration, led
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
"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...
...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...
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
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:
...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:
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
. 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.
As The Season of Good-will and Generosity Approaches... ;-)
We are still working towards making this website 'ad free', but we need a TINY bit of help!
The button below will allow you to to make a small payment directly ($1 or £1) to Al G Smith (manager of the Visiting-the-Dominican-Republic website). Simply choose your preferred currency. Thanks very much.
HELP US reach our objective?:
Just click the images below to start exploring the wealth of information about the Dominican Republic featured on site:
How much do you need to retire to the DR in comfort?...