The flag is red, white, and blue, with the form of a white cross separating red and blue quadrants. The coat of arms is in the center of the cross. At the top of the crest is the motto: Dios, Patria, Libertad; below the crest is the motto: República Dominicana



NAME:                                  República Dominicana

                Country named the Spanish of Domingo (Sunday; i.e., the Lord's Day).

INDEPENDENCE DAY:      February 27

POPULATION:                     9,800,000 (2008)

ETHNIC GROUPS:               Mulatto (73%); white (16%); black (11%)

CAPITAL:                             Santo Domingo (2,100,000)

LANGUAGE:                        Spanish (official)

RELIGION:                            Roman Catholicism (95%)

LIFE EXPECTANCY:           2008: men, 71; women, 75

LITERACY:                           1997: 66%; 2007: 67%

GOVERNMENT:                   democratic republic

                President:              Leonel Fernández Reyna

ECONOMY:                          Tourism, sugar processing, nickel, gold, textiles, cement, tobacco

MONEY:                                Peso (DOP); 1997: 33.1 = $1.0 USD

GEOGRAPHY:                      Mountains, valleys, coast

INTERNET CODE:               .do



            600                  Native inhabitants called Taínos settled the island of Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti) and they displaced earlier inhabitants.

            1492                Hispaniola (and Dominican Republic) discovered by Columbus on his first voyage.

                                    Native population in 1492: 500,000.

                                    December 24-25: Columbus' ship, the Santa María, shipwrecked at Cap Haitien on the north coast. Columbus established a settlement called La Navidad (Christmas).

            1520                Native population: none.

            1697                France gets the western third of the island, which they call Saint-Domingue (1804: French Saint-Domingue becomes Haiti).

            1821                The Spanish two-thirds of the island, known as Santo Domingo, becomes independent from Spain.

            1822                Haiti conquers Spanish Santo Domingo for 22 years.

            1844                Santo Domingo becomes independent of Haiti and becomes known as the Dominican Republic (la República Dominicana).

            1861-1863       The Dominican Republic peacefully returns to the Spanish Empire without war.

            1863-1865       The Dominican Republic wins war of independence from Spain.

            1930-1961       Dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo.

            1962                Juan Bosch elected president.

            1963-1965       Military golpe de estado deposes Bosch.

                                    The military establishes a military dictatorship.

                                    A civil war begins in the Dominican Republic against the dictatorship.

            1965                The United States invades the Dominican Republic in order to restore democracy.

            1966-1996       Joaquín Balaguer is elected president many times.

            1996-2008       Leonel Fernández Reyna elected president to two two-year terms.


GOVERNMENT:        Constitutional Democratic Republic, Representative Democracy


            Julia Alvarez (novelist, poet, essayist). She was born in 1950 in New York City, but she lived in the Dominican Republic from 1950 to 1960. Her father was active in the civil war against TRulioo in 1960, and the family fled back to the United States. She has written the following highly acclaimed novel: In the Time of the Butterflies (1994). She teaches at Middlebury College, and she owns a coffee plantation in the Dominican Republic.