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KitSurf meeting at Cabarete

North America

 
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a country located on the eastern two-thirds of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, bordering Haiti. Hispaniola is the second-largest of the Greater Antilles islands, and lies west of Puerto Rico and east of Cuba and Jamaica. A legacy of unsettled, mostly non-representative rule lasted for much of the 20th century; the move towards representative democracy has improved vastly since the death of military dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo in 1961. Dominicans sometimes refer to their country as Quisqueya, a name for Hispaniola used by indigenous Taíno people. The Dominican Republic is not to be confused with Dominica, another Caribbean country.
Background Information
The indigenous inhabitants of the island of Hispaniola, on which the Dominican Republic is located, were the Taíno Amerindians. The Taínos were a seafaring branch of the South American Arawaks. Taíno means "the good" or "noble" in that native language. A system of cacicazgos (chiefdoms) was in place, and Marien, Maguana, Higuey, Magua and Xaragua (also written as Jaragua) were their names. These chiefdoms were then subdivided into subchiefdoms. The cacicazgos were based on a system of tribute, consisting of the food grown by the Taíno. Among the cultural signs that they left were cave paintings around the country, which have become touristic and nationalistic symbols of the Dominican Republic, and words from their language, including 'hurricane' (hurrakan) and 'tobacco' (tabakko).

The islands was subsequently explored and claimed by Christopher Columbus on his first voyage in 1492, and Hispaniola became a springboard for Spanish conquest of the Caribbean and the American mainland. In 1697, Spain recognized French dominion over the western third of the island, which in 1804 became Haiti. The remainder of the island, by then known as Santo Domingo, sought to gain its own independence in 1821, but was conquered and ruled by the Haitians for 22 years; it finally attained independence as the Dominican Republic in 1844. In 1861, the Dominicans voluntarily returned to the Spanish Empire, but two years later they launched a war that restored independence in 1865. Later the United States ruled Dominican territory with a military government from 1916-1924.
Climate
The country is a Tropical maritime, with a wet season from May to November, and periodic cyclones between June and November. Most rain falls in the Northern and Eastern regions. The average rainfall is 1346 mm, with extremes of 2500 mm in the North-east and 500 mm in the West. The mean annual temperature is ranges from 21C in the mountainous regions to 25C on the plains and the coast. The average temperature in Santo Domingo in January is 23.9C, and 27.2C in July.
Central Plaza of Santo Domingo
La Fortaleza, Puerto Plata
Map of Dominican Republic