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Tourism Minister David Collado announced the month was the best January in the history of the Dominican Republic, with almost one million visitors arriving.

Tourist arrivals were 948,582 visitors, for a 52% growth in arrivals through the country’s airports and ports. Air arrivals were 674,737 tourists, up 27% compared to 2022. Sea arrivals, in turn, were 273,845, up 191% compared to 2022.

Deputy Minister of Tourism Jaqueline Mora explained that as far as cruises are concerned, January 2023 was the month with the highest arrival of cruise passengers in the country’s history. The 273,000 cruise arrivals in January 2023 compared to the previous all-time high of 186,000 set in January 2017.

In terms of air visits, January 2023 saw an increase of 27% over the same month in 2022 and 13% over January 2019, with Punta Cana airport being the most used...

The Dominican government signed a new air transport agreement with Canada on Thursday, 2 February 2023 that will expand flight operations between the two countries. Tourism will benefit but also trade and connectivity.

The agreement authorizes airlines to operate beyond the current established frequencies. More airlines, flights and new destinations will soon be announced.

The agreement establishes that market conditions will determine frequencies and capacity of the agreed services. Traffic rights up to the Sixth Freedom are granted for passenger, cargo and combination flights.

The agreement covers charter or non-scheduled flights and provisions for code-share operations and ground handling services.

Airlines and airports of both countries will be able to operate direct flights and connections from any airport in the Dominican Republic and Canada.

For his...

President Luis Abinader attended the Miami Travel Roadshow on 30 January 2023 to promote travel to the Dominican Republic. He spoke of how the Dominican Republic had promptly recovered its tourism industry after Covid-19 and of the new developments at the leading destinations.

He described the new development at Punta Bergantín, a beach and film site, going up next door to Playa Dorada in Puerto Plata. He announced the country’s first star memorabilia-styled Planet Hollywood hotel would open at the site. Planet Hollywood Hotels & Resorts has been nominated for Travel and Leisure’s 2023 World’s Best Awards. There are others in Cancun, Mexico and Costa Rica in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Punta Bergantin, is the newest development in Puerto Plata, where resort tourism in the Dominican Republic got its start. Punta Bergantin is promoted by movie...

President Luis Abinader was in Pedernales on Sunday, 5 February 2023 for the groundbreaking for the first two Pedernales-Cabo Rojo Tourism Development Project resorts. Therrestra-Estel and Cocaro Development are the first two companies to build resorts under the Pro-Pedernales public-private alliance.

The all-inclusive resorts will operate as an Iberostar and a Hyatt Inclusive Collection Part of World.

The construction is expected to cost US$240 million for 1,100 resort rooms in the Cabo Rojo beach area. This is a first phase of the tourism development of the region that is scheduled to reach 12,000 hotel rooms in the next 10 years. At present, the entire province has around 200 rooms located in small hotels. The population in the province is around 53,000.

The Pedernales-Cabo Rojo Development Plan contemplates works with...

President Abinader signed into law three bills that are expected to stimulate ecotourism development in three provinces – Duarte, Hato Mayor and El Seibo. The declaration awards developers the tax incentives in Tourism Promotion Law No. 158-01, that dates back to 2001.

Law No. 8-23 declares the province of Duarte as an ecotouristic province. The law includes articles that target the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources and the promotion of cultural manifestations, for the benefit of economic and social development of province inhabitants.

The law creates the Ecotourism Development Council of the Duarte Province for the promotion and regulation of ecotourism activities in the province and executing of sustainability policies. The law creates a provincial fund for the development of ecotourism and sets aside RD$60 million per year in the National Budget...

After two years on hiatus due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, La Vega was once again filled with color and joy with the start of the La Vega carnival on the first Sunday in February. Around 150 groups are parading this year. Thousands of people came from all around the country to watch the start of the legendary carnival that parades the main streets of La Vega city.

Kelvin Cruz, mayor of La Vega, said that the La Vega Carnival is one of the best in the world. “We have a country brand in terms of carnival in the Dominican Republic and we are honored to preside and be the capital of this cultural tradition,” he told the press.

With floats, dancing groups and the most colorful and varied characters of Dominican folklore, this important tradition starts around 3pm on Sundays with the appearance of the cojuelo devils, a symbol that for decades has showcased the...

Patricio Correa placing his doll at the airport / Diario Libre

Artists Kilia Llano, Luis Rivas, Angurria, Willy Gómez, Yojairah Objio and Sarah Uribe, Narcizo Rodríguez, Poteleche, Jef Fonts, José Pelletier, José Morillo, Jorge Modafoca and Patricio Correa were contracted to create twelve 11-foot tall faceless dolls in ceramics. The dolls are on exhibit through March at Terminal A of the airport.

The faceless dolls, traditionally known as “Muñecas Limé,” are a symbol of traditional craftsmanship and an icon of Dominican culture. The Limé-style dolls were recreated with the participation of the artists and students from the Puntacana International School (PCIS) and the Ann & Ted Kheel Polytechnic, with the inspiration of Punta Cana as a tourist destination.

Read more in...

Northwell Health, the largest health care network in the state of New York, and Grupo Yunén announced on 27 January 2023 an alliance to offer services in Santo Domingo. The center is set up at the third floor of the Grupo Yunen on Abraham Lincoln Street in Santo Domingo.

The alliance is a boost to medical tourism. Through the alliance, Dominican doctors affiliated with Grupo Yunén will have access to Northwell Health physicians for a second opinion for local medical care.

In addition, local patients will be able to schedule appointments and start their medical records locally and, if necessary, and then be referred directly to hospitals in New York.

The Northwell Health director of the global medicine center, Dr. Eric Cioè-Peña; the senior director of medical relationship management, Josephine Guzmán; the director of the international...

Environment Minister Miguel Ceara Hatton announced on 27 January 2023 the signing of a co-management of the Luperón Bay Wildlife Refuge in Puerto Plata province. Ceara Hatton highlighted that private-public alliances are guarantees for the sustainability of protected areas.

Luperon Bay is a popular place for international sailing. The bay is a safe natural harbor because it has a single entrance in front of the Atlantic Ocean, defined by a rocky coastline on both sides, and a prominent coastal bluff stepped on its east side, called Loma de Las Auyamas. The bluff has a dense coastal broadleaf forest with dense mangrove vegetation.

The Ministry signed the inter-institutional co-management agreement for the planning, management, monitoring and administration with the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM); the Asociación de...

President Luis Abnader announced a billion peso tender for the construction of the long-awaited water system for the mountain village of Moncion, in Santiago Rodriguez province. The town, famous for its casava bread, currently relies on a system built in the Trujillo era, which has far outweighed its usefulness.

Moncion is the site of the Moncion dam and hydroelectric plant that irrigates and provides drinking water to thousands of people in the western part of the Cibao Valley. Nevertheless, the town did not have an adequate water system for itself.

President Abinader said that he knew that he would be asked about the new water supply system during his visit to the area, and he was quite frank when he noted the absence of a local water supply at a place with such a major day and electricity station. Abinader also inaugurated a facility for pre-schoolers...

The Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology (MESCYT) is receiving applications for 2,000 international scholarships available for young Dominicans interested in pursuing master’s and doctoral programs in universities in 16 countries. The applications need to be made online from31 January to 21 February 2023 at the National Scholarship System website.

Higher Education Minister Franklin García Fermín said the government will be investing RD$1.04 billion in the international scholarship program. The announcement event took place in the Pedro Mir Library of the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD).

Higher Education Minister Fermin said the objective is to contribute to the social, economic, cultural, artistic and scientific development of the Dominican Republic.

Likewise, the director of the Government Office of Information and Communication Technologies...

6 February 2023

President Luis Abinader was in Pedernales, in the southwest for opening of the Armed Forces Vocational School and the start of construction of an extension of the Universidad Católica Tecnológica de Barahona (UCATEBA), to be the first university in this province.

The rector of the UCATEBA, Reverend Father Marco Antonio Pérez highlighted the importance of the new educational center to help prepare the staff for the new tourism developments in the area. The Abinader administration is backing the construction of large tourist hotels in the area and an airport for international arrivals.

Read more in Spanish:

About 10 kilometers of the 14 of the sea-bordering George Washington Avenue (El Malecón) have been illuminated with low-consumption LEDs to beautify and increase security in the area.

Edesur announced that 440 electric lamps have been installed from Abraham Lincoln Avenue to the Syrian-Palestinian Lebanese Club.

Milton Morrison, general administrator of Edesur, said 140 new LED or low consumption lamps were installed, and 54 poles.

The general manager of Edesur Dominicana said these works were carried out in response to the requests of neighborhood councils and passers-by who denounced the darkness of the area.

“The illumination of the main roads of the National District that correspond to Edesur is a priority,” said Morrison.

He said that the goal is not only to beautify each stretch of sea-fronting avenue, but also to increase the level of public safety...

The Central Electoral Board (JCE) will no longer handle requests to change a name. The new Civil Registry Acts Law 04-23 orders that name change procedures be be filed first at the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE), and not at the JCE. The TSE will first study requests for a change of a name, and, if approved, the high court will then send a note to the JCE, which, in turn, will notify the applicant of the authorization to carry out the requested change.

The law authorizes the online issuing of civil registry documents.

Another novel feature is that the law allows for a one-time changing of the last names, but only when the first ID or cedula is issued when the child is 16.

Law 04-23 prohibits parents choosing for the children names that might cause confusion at a later age. Parents can no longer choose a name that might confuse the sex of the child (such as Dolores or Barbara for...

The director of the National Health Insurance (Senasa), Santiago Hazim says there were 21,173 cases of cancer diagnosed among the insurance holders in 2022. Senasa is the government insurance issued and the one that has the most low-income affiliates.

12,130 women and 9,047 men were diagnosed with cancer. He said Senasa invested RD$4.2 billion in health services for those with cancer.

Dr. Hazim said breast cancer was the most frequent. Next frequent was prostate cancer. He urged people to get preventive checkups – mammography for women and prostate-specific antigen test for men or a digital rectal exam.

Other frequent cancers are colon cancer, cervical cancer and skin cancer.

The physician said early detection increases the patient’s survival.

Hazim pointed out that Senasa’s network of service providers has 168 independent doctors, specialists in oncology...

Environmental and Azua community groups reject the operation of the power barge in Azua and have request the suspension of the environmental license issued by the Ministry of Environment.

TSA again postpones request for suspension of barge operations at Puerto Viejo de Azua

The Superior Administrative Court (TSA) postponed once again the hearing of the measure to suspend the operation of power barges using bunker c fuel, in Puerto Viejo, in Azua. The judicial hearing is now set for 17 February 2023.

The lawsuit was filed by the Instituto de Abogados para la Protección del Medio Ambiente (Insaproma), the Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos, Junta De Vecinos La Nueva Esperanza; Fundación Pro-Desarrollo Los Negros; Junta De Vecinos Brisas Del Mar and Juntas De Vecinos Transparencia, against the Ministry of the Environment and the company “Karpowership Dominican Republic, SAS...

According to the newly released “Macroeconomic Situation Report by Gender” regarding contributions to the Dominican Social Security System, to which 2,237,967 people (53.5% of men and 46.5% of women) contributed last November, women have on average a slightly higher average wage (2.1%), as they receive a higher salary in occupational groups with higher academic degrees.

As of November 2022, women earned on average higher wages than men in public administration, transportation and warehousing, and construction. Although in these activities, except for the first, men have a higher share, women are occupying positions with a higher degree of qualification. More women every year than men graduate from Dominican universities.

The difference is also because more men are employed in the lesser-paying informal sector than women – 61.7% men compared to 52.9% women.

Women...

A Saturday, 4 February 2023 armed robbery at a jewelery store in East Santo Domingo went horribly wrong for at lest two of the alleged thieves. This happened after the getaway vehicle crashed and the thieves tried to make their escape on foot. A video on the Diario Libre website shows the lifeless body of one of the men on a sidewalk on Las Americas Avenue in East Santo Domingo after an exchange of gunfire with the police. Another of the alleged thieves was also wounded and later died of his wounds. Two other members of the assault team are now being pursued by the police.

According to the store owner, the robbers took over 7000 grams of gold. The jewelry store with the interesting name of Baticueva, or Batcave, enjoys over 46000 followers on Instagram.

Read more in...

The carnival season began in the Dominican Republic on Saturday, 4 February 2023 with the parades in Punta Cana. Carnival is a time when the old traditions are expressed in costumes, dances, and chants.

With the passing of the Covid-19 restrictions, carnivals are being held across the nation, with the major shows in Punta Cana, La Vega, Santiago, Bonao, Cotui, all Puerto Plata, all culminating in Santo Domingo on 5 March 2023 when the Great Carnival Parade will take place along the sea-bordering Malecon.

Here are a few notes and hints from Diario Libre on where to go and what you will see.In La Vega there will be 140 carnival groups attending, spread out in what they are calling 96 “caves,” along with 30 different carnival figures and the ever-present, and oh-so-dangerous “diablos cojuelos” and their inflated animal bladders that are attached to a rope and the...

The last Shen Yun performances in the Dominican Republic are scheduled for 6 and 7 February in Santiago de los Caballeros at the Gran Teatro Cibao. What is promoted as a Chinese original dance spectacle is surrounded by controversy.

The Embassy of China protested the performances, saying it was part of a cult not allowed in China. Epoch Times, a publication started by a Chinese citizen who migrated to the United States after the Tiananmen Square tragedy, defends the performances. The New Yorker shares insights into the controversy.

Major League Baseball reports the passing away of Ralph Avila, the Cuban expatriate who engineered the Dodgers’ rich pipeline of Caribbean baseball talent. Avila was who signed Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez. He died Monday, 30 January 2023 at his home in Florida. He was 92.

MLB reports that Avila, spent 55 years with the Dodgers, beginning in 1966. He became a scout in Latin America for general manager Al Campanis in 1970. In 1986, Avila helped with the planning of the Dodgers’ academy in the Dominican Republic and was named vice president of the facility in 1991, serving in that position until his retirement in 1999. He continued in an advisory role until 2021.

Avila was involved in the signing of more than 50 future Major Leaguers, including Pedro Martinez and his older brother, Ramon, and likely Hall of Famer Adrián Beltré, in addition to Raul Mondesi, Rick Rhoden, Mariano...

The Dominican Republic is tied in third place with Colombia, Curacao, Panama, Puerto Rico and Cuba. Venezuela defeated the DR on Sunday, 5 February 2023 in 12 innings to take the lead of the short Caribbean Series being placed in Venezuela. The DR had earlier lost to Mexico. Venezuela is now tied with Mexico. This means the series is not yet decided.

The next games are:Monday, 6 February:Cuba vs Colombia 9:30amDominicana vs Panamá 1pmCuraçao vs Puerto Rico 2pmMéxico vs Venezuela 6:30pm

Tuesday, 7 February:Cuba vs Puerto Rico 12pmPanamá vs México 1:30pmColombia vs Dominicana 5pmVenezuela vs Curaçao 6:30pm

Wednesday, 8 FebruaryPanamá vs Cuba 9:30amCuraçao vs Dominicana 1pmPuerto Rico vs México 2pmVenezuela vs Colombia 6:30pm

The playoffs start on Thursday, 9 February 2023.

Follow the series at: MLB...

The 4-week Covid-19 positivity rate is now at 2.08%, with the 24-hour positivity rate at 2.87%, as per Covid-19 Bulletin #1,053 dated 4 February 2023. The downward trend in cases continues.

The number of Covid-19 registered cases in the Dominican Republic for Bulletin #1,053 was 17, resulting from 592 Covid-19 lab tests, of which 4 were PCR tests. The seven-day average of lab-reported cases is 22. With very few exceptions, most cases are mild and are treated as a cold at home.

The Ministry of Public Health is encouraging people to up their vaccination status, with a third, fourth or fifth vaccine that are available for free in the Dominican Republic. The analysis of samples from people recently infected with Covid-19 confirms the subvariant of the Omicron strain, known as XBB, is circulating in the country. The new variant is not worse than the Omicron, but does spread rapidly. The symptoms...

The 4-week Covid-19 positivity rate is now at 2.85%, with the 24-hour positivity rate at 3.76%, as per Covid-19 Bulletin #1,050 dated 1 February 2023. The downward trend in cases continues.

The number of Covid-19 registered cases in the Dominican Republic for Bulletin #1,050 was 37, resulting from 985 Covid-19 lab tests, of which 7 were PCR tests. The seven-day average of lab-reported cases is 31. With very few exceptions, most cases are mild and are treated as a cold at home.

The Ministry of Public Health is encouraging people to up their vaccination status, with a third, fourth or fifth vaccine that are available for free in the Dominican Republic. The analysis of samples from people recently infected with Covid-19 confirms the subvariant of the Omicron strain, known as XBB, is circulating in the country. The new variant is not worse than the Omicron, but does spread rapidly. The symptoms...

Read more in Spanish:

A 5.0 magnitude earthquake was felt in the capital city on Wednesday morning. Its center was located near the town of Matanzas in Peravia province (Baní) of the Dominican Republic.

Engineer Andrés Moreta of the Seismology National Center at the state university UASD said that the earthquake lasted two minutes, but people only perceived about 30 seconds. It occurred at 7:11am. The earthquake was along the same fault that caused the M10 earthquake in Haiti in 2010.

The Ministry of Education said that there were no structural damages to public schools.

The last earthquake to cause damages in the Dominican Republic was in December 2003, one of 6.4 magnitude that mainly affected Puerto Plata, with three dead, 30 injured and significant damages to property.

The ruling Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) used its majority to pass amendments to the Electoral Regime Law in the Senate. The amendments also had the support of legislators representing the Social Christian Reformist Party (PRSC) and the People’s Force (FP).

Nevertheless, spokespeople for the former ruling Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) say the bill will not pass in the Chamber of Deputies. The PLD opposes that party members be able to move freely from one party to another and automated vote.

PLD legislators, Senator Yván Lorenzo and the party secretary of affairs, José Dantés call for amendments to instate a regime of consequences for defectors and are against automated vote.

Both Lorenzo and Dantés say that their members will not vote for the bill in the Chamber of Deputies.

Read more in...

The Tigres del Licey are representing the Dominican Republic in the 65th Caribbean Series that begins on Thursday, 2 February 2023 in Venezuela. The Dominican team flew to Caracas on a Sky Cana charter.

The Dominican Republic will compete against Leones del Caracas (Venezuela), Cañeros de los Moches (Mexico), Indios de Mayagüez (Puerto Rico), Agricultores de Bayamo (Cuba), Federales de Chiriquí (Panama), Wildcats (Curaçao), and Vaqueros de Montería (Colombia). Curacao and Cuba have guest status.

The Caribbean Series will be held from 2 to 10 February 2023.

The games will be played at the 36,500-capacity La Rinconada Stadium in Caracas and at the 14,300-capacity Jorge Luis García Carneiro Stadium in La Guaira, Venezuela.

Venezuela had not hosted the competition since 2014, when it was held on the island of Margarita. The last time a Venezuelan team won the title was...

Katerine Motica / INTEC

President Luis Abinader handed the Father Luis Rosario National Youth Award to Katerine Motica.

The Father Luis Rosario award is the grand prize of the National Youth Awards. Motica is recognized for her Jompeame online platform that campaigns for funding to solve needing persons pressing needs.

Other 2022 winners are:Chana de la Cruz, contributions to the rural community;Dayelis Cepeda, contributions to human rights;Peter George Bertrán Ventura for international sports;Edward Espinosa in national sports;Astrid Paolina Gómez, cultural development;Joel Tavarez, business development and entrepreneurship;Enmanuel Jiménez for political leadership;Yonattan Mercado Acosta for the preservation and promotion of natural resources;Jefferson Romero for voluntary social services in favor of the community.Lola Josefina Díaz, for professional improvement;Darwin...

The Dominican Medical Association (CMD) and its Specialized Medical Societies reject Resolution 563-01 issued by the National Council of Social Security (CNSS). The CMD says, the CNSS in an arrogant, disrespectful and irresponsible manner has ignored the physician’s list of demands.

“We reject the content of the resolution, as it leaves everything practically unchanged, forgetting the demand for the expansion of greater coverage for the health problems of the population,” said Dr. Rufino Senén Caba, the CMD president, when speaking on Tuesday, 31 January 2023 in a press conference.

The doctor said the “miserable” annual fee of 8,000 pesos for medicines for affiliates remains the same. He said the resolution did not address the situations of patients with mental disorders, outpatient consultations, the indexation of the rates charged by specialist doctors and the demand for an...

The Dominican chapter of Transparency International, Participación Ciudadana, announced on Tuesday, 31 January 2023 that the Dominican Republic had moved from 128 to 123 in the Corruption Perceptions Index – IPC 2022. The organization states that there is much to be done to fix corruption in the Dominican Republic.

Transparency International issues the index as a guide to actions a country take to combat corruption.According to the CPI 2022 results, the Dominican Republic scored 32/100 and gained four points during the last two years as a result of measures that strengthened the independence of the Public Ministry and other control entities; reinforced transparency in public procurement, in addition to the enactment of the Extinction of Domain Law, a central legal instrument to combat corruption and organized crime.

The Participacion Ciudadana press...

As of 12 December 2023, the public hospital network (SNS) had reported 10,854 deliveries, of which 10,838 were live births, according to a story in Listin Diario. Most of the births were in Greater Santo Domingo and to mothers between the ages of 20 and 29 years.

Of the total births, 36.1% were to Haitian mothers and 0.2% to other nationalities.

As of 12 December, the public hospital network reported 10,854 deliveries in its facilities, of which 10,838 were registered as live births.

Of the live births, 4,242 were registered in the Metropolitan Health Region, 1,222 in hospitals in the National District, especially the Nuestra Señora de La Altagracia Maternity Hospital with 1,039 reported.

In the hospitals of the province of Santo Domingo, 2,887 births were registered, of which 821 occurred at the San Lorenzo de Los Mina Maternity Hospital...

Emely Duvergé / Diario Libre

Migration from the Dominican Republic to Canada has grown exponentially in the last decade, Diario Libre reports. According to data from the 2021 Canada Population Census, Dominican migration increased from 2,820 migrants, between the years 2001 to 2010, to 5,980 migrants between 2011 and May 2021, for a growth of 112%.

Emely Duvergé, certified migration consultant, explains that year after year, Dominican emigration to Canada is more prepared and more competitive, facilitating immersion into Canadian society.

Duvergé explained that in recent years, 97% of Dominicans migrating to Cana have a master’s degree, is very well off economically, and at the time of migrating had good jobs in the Dominican Republic. Duvergé herself emigrated to Canada in 2016.

According to the Canadian census, 441,180 or 40% of the people who migrated to Canada is from...

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