It’s Carnival Season in the Dominican Republic

Dominican CarnivalThe most exciting and and most important cultural season of the year in the Dominican Republic is here: Carnival. Or as we say here in the DR, Carnaval. 

Last Saturday night, with the end of January, Puerto Plata held its annual Gran Gala de Carnaval and the selection of Puerto Plata Carnival Queen. Aside from the beauty pageant side, the four-hour packed show was a gorgeous showcase of the DR’s cultural diversity, with various comparsas dancing in vibrant costumes, iconic Dominican carnival characters (more on that later), and an infectious energy that is just a snippet of what’s to come this month.

Unlike other Caribbean countries, the Dominican Republic celebrates carnival with parades for six weekends–not just the days preceding Lent–in every major city and province, including Santo Domingo, Santiago, La Vega, >> Continue reading »

Christmas in the Dominican Republic


The holidays have passed, but now that I have a loaned computer again (my Mac has been in repair since late November) I couldn’t help but share my Christmas experience in the countryside of the Dominican Republic. It was one of the most memorable celebrations I’ve experienced overseas.

My friend Alejandro invited me to spend almost an entire week in his hometown of Mamey, north of the country. Mamey is the kind of small place I always imagined growing up–homes tucked in rolling hills, and days surrounded with your extended family, friendly neighbors who know your name and familiar sounds of Continue reading »