Be sure that there will be music everywhere and the smallest of the children you encounter will be moving their hips and dancing to the merengue and the bachata. The country is very sensual and I dared to say very sexual.
The moves, the looks and the sounds are definitely very sexual. As a young women put it when questioned why at 19 she was a single mother with one child and another on the way., the answer was simple: mucho merenge, marijuana, praias calientes...
Single pregnant teens or young women holding babies is a sight that can sometimes overwhelm you, since they are poor, uneducated and with no future ahead.
A great number of girls work in the resorts, ten to twelve hours a day. But it is their way out and a light into the future.
They are warm, charming and entertaining and will try, when ever they can speak English. English is not mandatory in schools, unfortunately in a country that relies on tourism. Many go to private schools to learn.
`Primary education is provided free for all children from the ages 7 to 14, and although this is compulsory it is rarely enforced, especially in the rural areas. Uniforms are required to attend school and these are not provided by the government, therefore those families that cannot afford to buy them do not send their children to school. Books, pens, pencils, scribblers, and other necessary supplies are also the responsibility of the families and this too adds to lack of enrolment in the schools.
Over the past years however, many non-profit organizations have established themselves in the
Two-year intermediate school and a four-year secondary follow primary education, however the system caters more to the middle and upper class and therefore a large majority of Dominicans will not reach this level. Even at this rate though, over 85% of the population is literate.¨
Many boys and girls cannot go to school because they do not have birth certificates — and many drop out before reaching high school. Even when we do go to school, it’s very difficult to find a job in the community so that we can put our education to use, say some youth.
If you are a woman planning to go to DR alone or with a friend, I would recommend. bring lots of sun protector, be willing to dance and learn some Spanish words and the bachata. Be careful with the mosquitoes and drink lots of water.
But be aware of your surroundings, bring candy and school supplies for the kids. If you choose a monster truck safari adventure, make sure the crew does not drink alcohol the way they did in my trip (except the driver, the reason why I kept going), and make sure they are less noisy and be more specific on the history and customs of the place.
I was not to keen in knowing how long it take a rooster or chicken to die in their cock fighting, have a word of encouragement to young women and kids working in the street.
It is a wonderful country full of possibilities, But there is a need for a new look into the future of their youth.
Be aware of some chaos in the streets - no helmets, 3 to 4 passengers and no night lights.
Go to DR and enjoy the beauty of this part of the country. You will be safe and have a great time!