Dominican Republic

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Dominican Republic


The Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. It is the second largest of the Greater Antilles. The country is approximately 18,712 square miles, or twice the size of the state of New Hampshire, occupying the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola (Goodwin, p.116). Beata Island off the southwestern coast and Saona Island to the southeast are also part of the Dominican Republic. Along Haiti to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the south and east, the island has an Atlantic shore to the north. The coastline measures a total of 1,392 kilometers (May, p.193). Its international boundary with Haiti extends 358 kilometers from Pedernales on the southern Caribbean The total population of the Dominican Republic is 8,443,000. More than one-third of the people (3,166,000) live in the capital, Santo Domingo, which also happens to be the only major urban center in the country (Goodwin, p.116). coast to Pepillo Salcedo in the north.


The Dominican climate is classified as tropical maritime (Goodwin, p.116). This climate is characterized by high humidity and yearlong trade winds. The country experiences the highest rainfall in the northern region with approximately 1500mm/year; the rainfall is lightest along the Haitian border (May, p.195). The island is located in the hurricane belt and lays victim to one or two hurricanes per year, inflicting major damage upon the lives of its citizens.


Two-thirds of the Dominican Republic’s landscape consists of highlands, while the remaining third is composed of gently rolling lowlands. Its mountain ranges are parallel to each other with the Cordillera Septentrional and the Cordillera Oriental in the north and the Cordillera Central, Sierra De Neiba, and Sierra de Bahoruco positioned in the west. The highest point in the country, as well as in the West Indies, is Pico Duarte, a summit in the Cordillera Central mountain range. The lowest point can be found in the country’s only lake, Lake Enriquillo, in the southwest. Within the numerous mountain ranges exist many plains. All of the mountains are well drained by abundant rivers that originate in the Cordilleras and empty into the Caribbean Sea (Haverstock, p.9).


The land is composed of 22% crops, another 17% pastures and 45% of the country is woodland (May, p.201). The primary crops in the Dominican Republic are sugar cane, coffee, cotton, cocoa, tobacco, rice, beans, potatoes, corn, and bananas.

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