“You either love Curaçao, or you hate it!” said Frans, the driver and guide from my guesthouse, as we began our hike along a craggly clifftop. An intense sun whipped our faces, while the sea breeze cooled us sporadically and waves splashed furiously our way as if trying to reach us.
Love is more of what I felt for Curaçao after glancing at the immigration arrival form postcard that the flight attendant handed me on the flight. With a pink and white background, one side requested my basic traveler data while the other promised: “Life is better at the beach.”
Dushi! I said under my breath–the local papiamentu word for sweet that I had read was popular on the island. I wished all of my Caribbean destinations had the same delightful approach to entry.
The next two weeks I spent breathing, tasting, and feeling Korsou confirmed my initial instincts.
When gregarious Frans picked me up, I’d already been waiting on the curb for him. But it wasn’t his fault. The lightning process of getting through immigration (remember the dushi form), coupled with Copa Airlines’ swift luggage unloading meant that I had >>
While the rest of the world is done with Carnival celebrations, the Dominican Republic is still in the thick of its weekly celebrations. There are four Sundays of parades to go in different parts of the country–including the grand finale in Santo Domingo in early March.
Last Sunday I attended the city of Santiago’s Carnival–one of the most colorful, popular and culturally interesting you can attend. The celebrations center around the city’s most popular sight, the Monumento a los Heroes de la Restauracion (commonly known as Monumento de Santiago), giving the already-colorful event a gorgeous, green backdrop.
Dominicans have their own way of doing things–and that includes carnival. Carnaval dominicano is pure art and creativity, history and culture. The main attraction isn’t hundreds of women in feathers and barely-there bikinis, but rather, folkloric characters and personalities that date back to the colonial times and share an aspect of Dominican life or society–whether Taino, Spanish or African. Each one of >>Continue reading »