You now, if you read newspapers and official reports, or message boards like this one, you may have the impression that 99,9% of the country are poor people who get the minimal salary and only some government officials, businessmen and drug dealers are rich.
But when I drive around Santo Domingo, I see thousands of expensive SUVs everywhere. I see more new Lexuses, Prados, Lincolns and Porsches than I have seen in any US or European city. IKEA is full of people buying something, there are long lines and they all spend thousands of pesos. Their parking lot is always full, half of all vehicles are expensive SUVs. Supermercados Nacional, Jumbos, La Sirena.... any hour, they are full of people buying something. It looks like nobody is working, everybody is shopping. Every time I park at Nacional in Naco, I see at least three or four cars that cost more than 100,000 dollars, other vehicles are new models of Jeep Grand Cherokee, Wranglers, Mercedes, etc. And if you go to Blue Mall, their parking lot looks more like a luxury car exhibition.
I went to the Marmotech store yesterday. It's the most expensive store selling luxury tiles, marble floors, and other materials like that. Most of materials are imported from Europe, prices are crazy high. Both levels of parking were totally busy, not a single space available to park! I spent 15 minutes waiting until somebody left. The store was full of customers, I had to wait 15 minutes to be attended by somebody.
There are so many towers in construction in Naco and Piantini now. The construction here did not slow down during Covid, it speeded up like crazy! And the more expensive they are, the faster they sell! Constructora Cumbre built several towers in my area, prices in their building start from around 400,000 dolars for apartment on lower floors, and up to 700.000 for higher floors or penthouse. And they were all sold at the time they built the basement.
WHO ARE ALL THOSE PEOPLE who spend money on all of that? They can't be all government officials, or drug dealers, or baseball stars, or big business owners, right? They can't be the ones who earn 10,000 or 20,000 pesos per month either.