The DR just hosted the II African, Caribbean and Pacific Summit. The visiting delegates, from heads of state to journalists, had ample praise for Dominican hospitality. For sure you also will be treated to Dominican hospitality.
Gringo was a name given by the Mexicans during the Mexican-US War.
because US troops were wearing green uniform, well so I have being told.
In the Dominican Republic, a Gringo is a person who's Nationality is Mainly U.S. American, but Canadians my be called Gringos too, white chicken are called Pollos Gringos (gringo hens), anyone with Blond Hair and green or blue eyes and pale skin is a gringo, including many white dominicans.
This is not a derogative name, is just how Dominicans reffer to Americans or Canadians since Canadians and Americans often share the same customs and languaje.
I've been to the Dominican Republic 7 times (my next visit is on December 11th) and have always received the utmost respect from the Dominican people. Any prejudice I've received has been from other tourists, not from the local people. You're going to love the wonderful Dominican hospitality!!
If your experience in the US is typical, then the DR will offer no suprises. Latin American countries seem to have this comical fascination with white skin. The underclass is predominantly non-white while the newspapers, TV, professional and leadership positions are almost exclusively white. This is true, despite the fact that whites are overwhelmingly in the minority in this country. Remarkable.
The typical Dominican almost looks like the typical African-American in the United States. If a Dominican was in Baltimore, or Detroit, or Houston, there would be no way you could tell they were from another country unless they started speaking.
As a tourist, (regardless of skin color), you are a guest, and treated similarly. Quite simply, you are bringing dollars into the economy, an asset valued worldwide. Also, you are a US citizen, backed by the might and force of the US army. That is respected in the DR. For that reason, do not expect to be treated poorly here (however, do expect plenty of tourist-type scams to get your money).
The country seems unspoiled by pollution, overdevelopment, or high crime (unlike Puerto Rico). There is an abundance of natural coastline, beaches, and palm trees. Expect lots of sun, cool ocean breezes, warm weather, and clear, star-filled nights. You will not be disappointed if you are looking for a vacation on this tropical island.
However, from the perspective of the non-white US citizen, it becomes clear that the vast majority of Dominicans have little power, influence, or opportunity in their own country. It is reserved for a very small white minority. It is very disturbing if you spend any time considering it. It is as if you are in South Africa before Apartheid ended.
L.s your version of how the word "gringo" came about, you may be right .But when you claim that it is used to discribe an American or a Canadian because they share a commom language. You are totally wrong. If you ever whatched a movie where a Mexican bandido called a guy a "gringo". I can assure you he didn,t mean it as a term of endearment. So any time you hear words such as (kike, kraut, spick,mick, nigger,jap, chink,wetback) they are deragotory term discribing ones nationality. Reason so call "gringos" overlook the comment its because they probably consider the "source".
No I would disagree with you on this one. When the word first came about it was meant as an insult but did not have the affect they (Mexicans) had hoped for. Maybe in Mexico it still might have some of the insult still attached to it, but I have been told by many different sources (both US and Spanish) that for places like Dominican Republic and Panama. Gringo is mostly used for someone from North America, mostly US. I have seen many conversations were the word was used and not meant in a mean way just a matter of fact way. Maybe I have been mislead, but that is my understanding. Mexico might be different.
You probably don't have to worry much about this. Dominicans for the most part, think of Americans as blonde/blue eyes. Remember, this was the model we saw on TV and movies. This is changing though. Most likely, you'll be mistaken for a Dominican
In one sense you are correct -- it is sometimes said with vehemence or nestiness in Mexico, but rarely so in the DR. Many Dominicans in fact are hesitant to even use the term, prefering instead "norteamericano" (North American).
I lived in the DR for four years (up until last month) and my wife is Dominican. For a long time after moving there when people would ask me where I was from, I would make fun of my accent by smiling and saying "claro, no hay duda que soy gringo." Some laughed heartily, but I noted that others were a bit uncomfortable about the joke. At one point a kind Dominican lady just a bit older than I said softly, "Don Keith, 'gringo' is an ugly, crude word that people here with any education would never use, and certainly not for someone as Dominican in his heart as you. Please use 'norteamericano' if you feel you have to classify yourself at all."
"unspoiled by pollution"??? You must not have wandered at all out of the resort areas. Take a hard look at the Ozama River in Santo Domingo, or the rivers surrounding Santiago or the rivers near any of the mining firms. Sit in afternoon rush hour traffic in Santo Domingo with your windows down and then tell me that there's no threat of air pollution. Check the "beaches" along SD's Malecon covered with litter, or for that matter, the trash-lined streets of the major cities. The DR is developing some serious pollution issues it must address soon.
"unspoiled by...overdevelopment"??? I'm not so sure. There are no real zoning laws in the DR, and the few on the books are not enforced. Anyone living in SD can attest that some parts of town are growing out of control. But it's not just limited to SD. As someone who first visited Puerto Plata-Sosua and Bayahibe in the mid-1980s, I think those two areas have been overbuilt. They've lost much of their beauty and charm and development has outstripped the local environment's ability to deal with the human concentrations there. Respectfully, Keith
"The underclass is predominantly non-white while the newspapers, TV, professional and leadership positions are almost exclusively white."???
You're overstating it.
While I would agree that tends to be true for the business sector in the DR, I strongly disagree about the other categories you list. I have met many of the print journalists in the DR, and a large number of them would not be considered white nor claim to be. Professionals? I have met many and I also taught many, and my experience is that there is a pretty representative spread of the Dominican population in most of the professions [possible exceptions: high-priced medical specialities and high-powered corporate lawyers, although I can think of at least one in the latter category who is among the DR's best known and he is not white by any stretch of the imagination]. Leadership positions "almost exclusively white"???? Have you taken a good hard look at the President's picture lately? [<A HREF="http://www.presidencia.gov.do/perfil.htm">http://www.presidencia.gov.do/perfil.htm</A>] Or that of the president of the Dominican Senate? Or for that matter, a huge portion of the Congress? Or the Mayor of Santo Domingo?
I'm sorry, but while I can agree with many of your other statements, on these you're off-base.
And comparing the DR to apartheid-era South Africa is flat-out nonsense. Regards, Keith
Keith, you are 100% correct in your view that the DR has no connection to apartheid. I would say the idea that apartheid exists in the DR is one of more far fetched statements that has been posted here in a long time. . .