The Dominican Republic’s Economy

country’s economy is the engine that fuels its daily life and determines the well-being of its citizens. Whether it’s providing transportation systems or jobs and consumer products or public services, a country’s economy has a significant influence on the daily activities of citizens and is the lifeblood of a country. Thus, the health of the […]

Government and Politics

Santo Domingo is the capital and largest city of the Dominican Republic. It has a history that stretches back more than 500 years to the time of brothers Christopher and Bartholomew Columbus. Bartholomew founded the settlement of Nueva Isabella (New Isabella) in 1496, which officially became Santo Domingo in 1498. Santo Domingo is the first […]

People and Culture

Nearly 10 million people call the Dominican Republic home. Most of them are of mixed European and African ancestry. Most Dominicans live in cities, although much of the country’s rural landscape is densely packed. In this chapter you will learn about the Dominican people. You will get a glimpse of their demographics (demography is the […]

The Dominican Republic Through Time

Studying the history of a place is an important process. It helps to examine the various pieces and elements that have come together to form the country and culture being examined—in this case the Dominican Republic. What are these pieces? They range from the first peoples who inhabited the island to the outside influences that […]

The Dominican Republic is home to sugar plantations, four major rivers, many lakes and lagoons, and five important mountain ranges. Although the climate year-round is tropical—earning it the nickname “the endless summer”—temperatures as low as 32ºF (0ºC) are possible in the mountains.

Physical Landscapes

The natural environment forms the foundation upon which all human societies depend for their survival. This is not to say that nature determines the way people live within a particular natural setting. To the contrary, a people’s culture, or their way of life, is determined by human ingenuity—what they have learned and are able to […]

Introduction to the Dominican Republic

For many readers, the Dominican Republic means but one thing—baseball players! It is true that on a per capita basis, no place in the world produces more highly skilled professional baseball players than does this small Caribbean country. But the Dominican Republic offers so much more. In this book, you will learn why the “D.R.” […]


As biologists have learned more about the physiology of plants, the biochemical reactions involved in their growth, maintenance, and reproduction, and in their genetic composition, it has proved necessary to rename the science of botany. The study of plants is no longer a single discipline, but a group of related disciplines that are known collectively […]

Saving the Tropical Forests

Tropical forests cover about 6 percent of the Earth’s land area. It is difficult to be precise about the area, but in 2009 tropical forests of all types probably occupied approximately 7 million square miles (18 million km2). As well as rain forests, the Tropics support seasonal forest, dry forest, and mangrove forest, and all […]

National Parks and Nature Reserves

In 1830 the American painter and author George Catlin (1796–1872) set off on a journey up the Mississippi River into Native American lands at the start of a diplomatic mission led by General William Clark (1770–1838). By 1836 Catlin had visited 50 tribes, and in the following two years he visited 18 more on a journey […]

The Advance of Agriculture and the Retreat of Wilderness

People began to cultivate crop plants about 11,500 years ago in Southwest Asia and more recently in every other part of the populated world. At first, the early crops faced severe competition from wild plants, but in time the farmers overcame them, at least partially. It was not only their chosen plant species that the […]