How "3rd world" is the Dominican Republic?

Jul 12th, 2008, 05:04 PM
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How "3rd world" is the Dominican Republic?

A group of international dancers, with dancers from 9 countries will be performing in my home town. My family volunteered to host up to 3 of the dancers. Yesterday I was informed that the dancers staying with us will be from the Dominican Republic. The director also said that we will need to do things like show them how to flush the toilet, use the shower, the proper way to sleep in an "American" bed (between the sheets,) etc. I have read that the Dominican Republic is considered a 3rd world country, however these "tips" seem a bit over the top. I would love any help I could get with this, do I really need to explain these types of things? If not are there things that I should explain? If so, what?

We will also be preparing meals for our guests and I would love any food advice, what to cook....or not.

Unfortunatly they are not able to give us any more information as this is the first stop the dance team will be making. We don't know what part of the country they are coming from, ages or anything like that. We have been told we will have at least 2 men, they don't know about the 3rd person yet.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
mjslacker is offline  
Jul 12th, 2008, 07:14 PM
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I teach students from the Dominican Republic. All of them have had an appropriate education before they come to the US. They are poor but I doubt you will have to teach them how to flush toilets sleep between sheets etc. If they are traveling to the US I am sure they know our customs. If they are teenagers or young adults they like to eat the same things their American peers eat.
tch912 is offline  
Jul 13th, 2008, 05:40 PM
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I have never heard anything so ridicuous in my life.
That director sounds very uninformed and prejudiced to me.
He/she sounds like the people who sued to ask me if we had houses whre I live when they found out I lived in the Caribbean.
Being from a poor country does not mean you don't have beds or toilets for God's sake!
Barbara1 is offline  
Jul 13th, 2008, 05:41 PM
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oh, BTW, Caribbean people love rice or rice and peas and chicken and fish.But I am sure they will eat anything.
Barbara1 is offline  
Jul 14th, 2008, 12:50 PM
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Thank you all very much for the responses. All the research I did myself led me to believe that the director was perhaps "mis-informed," or just didn't know. The Dominican Republic seems to be very "modern" compared to some 3rd world countries. (Or at least what I have found on the internet makes it seem that way.) However I figured it was better to ask then to make a fool of myself one way or the other, once our guests have arrived. So thank you all again.
mjslacker is offline  
Jul 14th, 2008, 02:00 PM
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I might suggest that even though Barbara is correct in what they like to eat, that you not make that as their food in their stay. I'd recommend making some American dishes that aren't too daring/crazy and make a variety so there is some choice. Find out if there is anything they CAN'T eat (i.e. not serving Pork to Muslims) and work around that only.

Imagine if you went to a foreign country and they made you a cheeseburger and pork chop...while you'd appreciate the effort, maybe you'd be a little disappointed that you didn't get even a little local flair (and chances are they can't make a cheeseburger as well as we Americans can!)

That being said, make sure you have backup provisions just in case they DO have their hearts set on beans and rice, or just take em out!
rsimper is offline  
Jul 14th, 2008, 02:43 PM
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Very 3rd world
wbg9898 is offline  
Jul 14th, 2008, 04:50 PM
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My guess is that they will be just fine and very appreciative of their hosts. I would let them know that they can ask any questions on how to work things. I would show them how to work shower faucets if they are funky looking.
I would have some rice and beans on hand because I know my sister in law from DR serves them often. I would make some american food for them to try and I am sure they would love pizza and hamburgers and french fries. They seem like a universal love.
You could ask them when they arrive if they have any food allergies or food restrictions. Than you definitely know what not to make.
I am sure they will have fun!
girlonthego is offline  
Jul 17th, 2008, 08:59 AM
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Hey Everyone, Thanks again.
Just a quick note, my understanding is that they will not speak English, and I don't speak Spanish...Simply talking with them is going to be an adventure.

I think a good ol' American BBQ is sounding like a great idea... We have a couple friends that speak Spanish so maybe we will do that the first night. That way they will have someone to talk with and ask questions of, if they have any.

Thanks again and I will be sure to let you know how it turns out.

mjslacker is offline  
Jul 18th, 2008, 05:16 AM
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It's a good bet that they will be able to speak some sort of English to communicate. Otherwise it should be a great education for you.

RonUSVI is offline  
Jul 18th, 2008, 06:42 AM
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The Dominican Republic is NOT like some remote amazon tribe. Even the poorest have beds and running water, etc. I as a human being, appreciate your efforts and common sense in doubting this "director". The best thing you can do is be yourself and try not to treat them like aliens as they are obviously talented people. Great suggestions from posters like provide pizza, burgers, fries...but also ask what they would like. I live in Puerto Rico (which is VERY Americanized) where there is a large Dominican population (mostly immigrants), they are intelligent, talented, hard-working, good people.
Again, I suggest be yourself (use that good common sense you show in your writing) and enjoy the experience, you'll make lifelong friends...good luck.
samjaime is offline  
Jul 19th, 2008, 08:27 AM
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Oh my god...
This director is a jerk..

I am dominican and trust me, we are not like that!!
Dominican people have education, some people more than others, but what your director told you is totally insane!!

As Samjaime said.. just be yourself. Everything is gonna be great.

Dominican are easygoing and very friendly, in general.

massielg is offline  
Jul 19th, 2008, 11:55 AM
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You guys have been a woderful help and I really appreicate it. However I have sad news. Yesterday I received a call saying that the Dominican Republic dancers will not be coming as they no longer have permission to leave the country. Admittedly I was nervous about being a host, but I was really disappointed when I was told they were no longer coming.

Then just a few min ago I got another call, they need a host family for a 37yo woman and 16yo girl from Greece. The carpets are shampooed, the house is clean and I already have the time off work, so I really couldn't say no. Now I'm off to research Greece, although I'm going to use the ideas I got here, as far as giving them "American" food, etc. Thanks again for being so willing to help me with this.
mjslacker is offline  
Jul 19th, 2008, 12:08 PM
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Well for those who simply don't know, here's some info on traditional DR foods.

Traditional Fare

Breakfast typically calls for a serving of "Mangu," a mix of plantains, cheese and bacon, which can be found at most hotel and resort restaurants. Mangu has been dubbed the "mashed potatoes" of the Dominican Republic and is a must-try for all visitors. Locals are also known to prepare the dish for evening meals.

A foundation of the native diet, "La Bandera Dominicana," or the Dominican flag meal, is eaten by nearly everyone at lunch time. The most important meal of the day, La Bandera consists of rice, beans, meat, vegetables and fried plantains to ensure energy throughout the afternoon and evening.

Another popular dish is "Sancocho," a Spanish-style stew usually served with rice. Ingredients include various roots, green plantains, avocado and typically chicken or beef, although it sometimes includes a combination of seven meats (Sancocho prieto). Goat meat, a staple in many Dominican homes, may also be used in this recipe. It offers a unique addition to the character of any dish as these animals graze on wild oregano.

"Locrio," or Dominican rice, varies with its preparer. An adaptation of the Spanish paella, locrio is made with achiote (a colored dye produced from the seeds of the achiote plant), since saffron spice is unavailable.

Near Samana, coconut trees decorate the landscape and provide a delectable milk sauce for fish, known as "Pescado con Coco." Throughout the south central coast, "bulgur", or whole wheat, is a main ingredient in "Quipes" (ground beef wrapped in wheat) or "Tipili" (bulgur salad).

Other favorite Dominican dishes include:

"chicharrones de pollo" (diced chunks of deep fried chicken)
"yucca cassava" (type of bread)
"monfogo" (plantain based dish)
"ropo vieja" (seasoned and fried shredded beef served with rice and a side salad)
"pastelitos" (meat-or -cheese filled pastry turnovers).
Canuck_at_Canada_eh is offline  
Aug 27th, 2008, 10:47 AM
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Although some Dominicans in the smaller towns are not as educated as Americans in big towns, they do know all the basic stuff and because there`s hundreds of thousands of Dominicans in the US, the locals stay connected and know US customs pretty well. The people of Santo Domingo and Santiago are just as anyone in America, speak several languages and can travel and adapt to any circumstance. Since most tourist resorts are located near the poorest far away towns, that`s the impression any visitor would have. Visit Santo Domingo and you`ll find yourself surrounded by luxury cars and a elite population with access to the finest things in life.

Real Estate in Sosua, Cabarete and Puerto Plata
richardbloom is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2008, 10:21 AM
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richardbloom - while that is true, just like in the US, you will also find the complete opposite. Working in Santo Domingo for 3 months, we experienced the complete opposite - lucky to get any education because teachers just "choose" whether to go and teach that day, people that don't know how to flush a toilet unless it involves dumping a bucket of water in it to force-flush it, teenagers who are lucky to get one meal of rice each day. Definitely an eye-opener - right in the middle of the "luxury" city of Santo Domingo.
lakeside77 is offline  

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