I arrived in the Historical Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo. It’s late in the night as I cruise through the lit up Caribbean. The Colonial Zone is very historical and is listed as one of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites. It is mentioned as having the first cathedral, hospital and university in the Americas after Christopher Columbus’ arrival in 1492.
The oldest city in the Americas, Las Damas Street, is still located in the Colonial Zone this day.
The Colonial Zone is documented in European and African history. The zone was one of the ports of entry for the first enslaved Africans arriving in the Americas.
The Africans even built the Gate de la Misericondia (Gate of Mercy) to protect the city from pirates. The founding father of the Dominican Republic, Juan Pablo Duarte, has statues and even streets named after him. I arrive at El Beaterio hotel on Calle Duarte which is located right next to Parque Duarte (the park named after Juan Pablo Duarte). The hotel was a hidden paradise with amazing service and very beautiful scenery.
As I wake up from my overnight flight, I am just thrilled and overexcited to get ready to explore the Island. I wake to the Haitian front desk agents and request breakfast. I am greeted by a very sincere and warm-hearted Dominican housekeeper and cook. She greets me in Dominican Spanish dialect. She reminds me of my abuela(grandma) and warns me to avoid the tourists. I thank her and compliment the meal she prepared with love. I dash out and began to explore the wonderful island. Next week we will discuss the rich culture in the Colonial Zone and everyday living for the locals. Don’t be afraid to drop a like or comment on the post. Peace!