|Who are the people?|
Europeans established the first permanent New World colony in the Dominican Republic. Although many Dominicans continue to preserve their Indian heritage, the folk culture has been shaped by European traditions as well as by the influence of Africans brought to the area as slaves. In some rural areas, African customs are particularly evident in the way people dress, eat, and build houses.
Dominicans are cheerful, hardworking, and community oriented, often forming strong bonds with their families and neighbors. Unfortunately, a shortage of employment opportunities causes many families to move from place to place in an effort to earn income to provide for their children.
One common way of making a living is to engage in small-scale business activities such as sewing, bread making, or bicycle repair. These types of microbusinesses constitute 33 percent of employment in the Dominican Republic.
Dominican families are generally large and may include cousins or foster children. Girls in impoverished communities often marry as teenagers. As a result, it is very likely that your sponsored child’s mother is quite young.
What is it like to live there?
|The Dominican Republic is comprised of three main regions: the fertile valley of the north, bathed by the Yuna, Camu, and Northern Yaque rivers; the eastern agricultural plains dominated by sugarcane crops and cattle pastures; and the dry southwest region, which is the poorest, least fertile part of the country.|
The Dominican Republic enjoys warm temperatures throughout the year, but the weather is coolest between December and March. Hurricanes often strike between June and September.
Although the country has experienced economic improvements in recent years, the poorest communities remain untouched by the changes. Families living in rural villages typically have minimal farming equipment and earn very little money from what they harvest. These families rarely own the land on which they live and work.
In the cities, many families face unemployment due to a lack of training. Many parents try to earn a living selling fruits and vegetables or working as gardeners, but it is difficult to earn sufficient income to meet the needs of their children. The country is home to more than 2.1 million people living below the poverty line. Most are located in Santa Domingo, the largest city in the Dominican Republic.
How You Can Pray for Your Sponsored Child