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Six hundred Austrian and German Jewish refugees settled this small community during World War II. After the war many of them returned to Europe or went to the United States, and most who remained married Dominicans. Only a few Jewish families reside in the community today, and there's only the original one-room wooden synagogue. Sosúa is called Puerto Plata's little sister, and consists of two communities—El Batey, the modern hotel and expat residential neighborhood, and Los Charamicos, the dense Dominican quarter—separated by a cove with one of the island's prettiest beaches. The sand is soft and the color of light amber, the water clear and calm. The walkway above the beach is packed with tents filled with souvenirs, pizzas, and even clothing for sale. The town developed a reputation for prostitution in the 1990s, but much continues to be done to eliminate that and to clean up the more garish element, and it continues to have a seedy nightlife.
With numerous supermarkets, banks, pharmacies, restaurants, schools, and all the necessities for day-to-day living, the town lends itself well to the expat lifestyle. Sosúa has the Dominican Republic's largest concentration of German residents and tourists, and it sometimes seems that you can get schnitzel here more easily than sancocho.
The up-and-coming Dominican families are coming back to the big houses on the bay, even as upscale condos and hotels are springing up to cater to higher-paying tourists. An example is Sea Horse Ranch, a community just two miles out of town with a rental pool of villas with private pools and landscaped yards.
Sosúa at a Glance
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