What I did-
Baseball is the sport of the Dominican Repbulic. Many of the stars in Major League Baseball are Dominican. As a former college player, I had the opportunity to help out with some baseball clinics while there.
Winter league baseball game-
The winter is the offseason for Major League Baseball. Many double AA and AAA players, including many local Dominican players, play in the Dominican winter league during their offseason. The environment at these games is amazing. While I have been to many Major League Baseball games in the United States and the level of play there may be slightly higher, I would much rather attend a Dominican winter league game because of the environment. There are bands in the stands, cheerleaders on the dugouts, and it seems like all of the fans are into every pitch.
While there aren’t really any beaches in Santo Domingo, the southern coast of the Dominican Republic has some very good beaches. I had the opportunity to visit beaches in Juan Dolio, Boca Chica, and Catalina Island.
La Peñita is an amazing spot to go cliff jumping on the southern coast of the Dominican Republic. It has amazing views and crystal clear water.
I had the opportunity to visit a few orphanages just outside of Santo Domingo. There are some amazing people doing some amazing work there.
Explored La Capitol-
There is a large amount of history in Santo Domingo. Christopher Columbus is believed to be buried there, as it was the first place he arrived after departing Europe. The Catedral Primada de America is the oldest cathedral in the Western Hemisphere. Also, there is a lot of interesting history in areas such as the Zona Colonial, the Alcazar de Colon, the Calle de las Damas, the Parque Colon, the Pantheon Nacional, the Plaza de Armas, and Fort Ozama.
Where I ate:
Most of meals I have had in the Dominican have been with friends, and I have not eaten out at many restaurants. However, here are some of the standout Dominican dishes I have eaten there:
Mangú is a dish made from mashed green plantains. Many people consider it the national dish of the Dominican. It is similar to mashed potatoes.
Sancocho is a very good Dominican stew. It contains a vast array of ingredients, and the exact ingredients typically vary.
Arroz Blanco con Habichuelas Guisadas (Rice and Beans)-
Rice and beans is a staple food in the Dominican.
Pollo Guisado is a chicken dish that is usually accompanied by rice and beans.
Tostones are a made by cutting green plantains, pan-frying them, then pressing them and re-frying them.
Maduros (Sweet Plantains)-
While mangú and tostones are made from green plantains, maduros are made from yellow to brown plantains. They are a very tasty side dish.
Where I stayed and how I got around:
I stayed with friends while in the Dominican, and I also rode with them in my travels around the southern part of the island.
My favorite thing:
My favorite thing about the Dominican Republic is the people. I have made some great friends there, and I also enjoy the laid back culture.
My Least favorite thing:
Although I was able to stay with friends while there, the Dominican Republic does not have a large amount of good hostels. Most of the accommodation there consists of resorts.
For next time:
I have been able to see much of the southern coast of the Dominican Republic, but I would like to see some northern areas such as Samaná.
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