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Dominicans show a dwindling interest in religion

The Barometro Latinoamericano survey says that while the percent of Dominicans identifying with the Roman Catholic Church in 1995 was 64%, this had dropped to 60% by 2013, and 50% in 2017. 21% of the population self-identified as evangelicals and 28% professed no religion, and 2% reported that they followed other religions.

Rogelio Cruz, responding to a question from a reporter from Diario Libre, attributed the decline of Dominicans identifying themselves as Catholic to the failure of the Catholic Church to adapt to the times and demands of modern society. Fr. Cruz noted that times are much different now than they were 2,000 years ago.

Diario Libre pondered the impacts of pedophile priests and murders involving priests have on the credibility of the church among its followers.

Source: DR1, DiarioLibre

Jan 20, 2018

20-01-18
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Pitahaya farming is profitable

Pitahaya production in the Dominican Republic is on the increase. According to a note in Fresh Plaza online portal, the country has farms in several provinces with 38 hectares planted and able to produce yearly crops valued at almost RD$20 million. Plantations are located in the East, Santiago and Neiba in the southwest. The pitahaya (also known as dragon fruit) has great health benefits and a high demand in international markets.

According to the vice president of the Pitahaya Producers Cluster, Abraham Mora, producers make around RD$33,000 in profit each year for every tarea (1 tarea = 629 square meters) that they cultivate, which is around RD$495,000 per hectare. Mora said that that the 150 pitahaya producers exported the product to Spain and the United States last year.

Source: http://www.freshplaza.com/article/18…hly-profitable

Jan 20, 2018

20-01-18
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Remittances increase

Remittances sent by Dominicans overseas to their relatives in the country reached over US$70 million more up to November 2017, compared with the same time period in 2016. This shows that the rising trend of remittances has continued over the past few years with the amount to November 2017 being US$ 640 million compared with US$570 million from 2016.

According to statistics from the Central Bank, in 2015, the amount of remittances received were US$141.2 million more than the previous year and 2016, the amount received was US$17.2 more than 2015. The average monthly amount of remittances sent in 2017 was US$440 million compared with a monthly average of US$400 million the previous year.

Source: DR1, DiarioLibre

Jan 20, 2018

20-01-18
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United Arab Emirates to donate solar panels for public hospitals

The Dominican Republic is to receive US$3 million from the United Arab Emirates for the installation of solar panels in 1,000 public health medical units across the country. The announcement was made by the executive director of the Dominican National Energy Commission, Juan Rodríguez Nina. Rodríguez Nina said that it was an ambitious project to supply 40% of the energy needed by the public health medical centers.

This support is part of a global agreement, the United Arab Emirates-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund for a total of US$50 million. The fund is targeted to developing renewable energy projects across the region, such as solar, inverters and others. Minister for Climate Change and the Environment, Zani Bin Ahmed al Zeyudi, presented the agreement for funding projects in the Dominican Republic in Abu Dhabi. Amer El Kadi, consular assistant at the Dominican Republic Embassy in Abu Dhabi attended the ceremony and expressed his thanks to the UAE.

Announced in January 2017, the UAE fund is a partnership between the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC), which leads the initiative; the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), which provides the grant financing; and Masdar, which is responsible for technical management and international, competitive project tendering. The Fund intends to announce projects with up to 16 Caribbean countries over the next two to three years.

Source: DR1, Listindiario

Jan 20, 2018

20-01-18
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The profitable business of smuggling Haitians

Trafficking in undocumented Haitians seeking work in the Dominican Republic is a profitable business for many. The trafficking goes on all year round, while authorities step up the controls every January at the border area when thousands of Haitians that had returned to their home country for the Christmas holidays, make the trek back to the Dominican Republic where they make a living.

An unnamed former military told El Dia reporters that the Haitians will pay RD$5,000 to the smugglers for the trip to the central city of Santiago from the border. He said in Dajabón he counts around 60 other persons dedicated to the Haitian smuggling business.

The military said he works full time now on smuggling in people after he was cancelled from his job in the military in 2011. He said he has smuggled in Haitians whose final destination is Santo Domingo, Bavaro, Puerto Plata, Samana, but mostly works transporting the undocumented immigrants to Santiago. He said the effort is possible with the complicity of Dominican military. Military are posted at 16 road checkpoints leading from the border.

He explained those who want to make the trip are concentrated in transfer houses near Dajabón, especially in communities such as Las Matas de Santa Cruz, Gozuela and Santa Maria in Montecristi province and then transferred from there to the cities by the traffickers.

Meanwhile, Diario Libre reported that in the first 13 days of January, more than 14,000 Haitians were stopped at the border. Father Regino Martínez of the Jesuit Order, complained about the smuggling business. He said that while the Specialized Border Security Corps (Cesfront) stopped 14,402 from passing, another 15,000 are let through. He said controls at the border are corrupt and selective. Cesfront reported on Saturday, 13 January detaining 622 Haitians that attempted illegal crossing.

Source: DR1, Eldia

Jan 20, 2018

20-01-18
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62 foreign films shot in the Dominican Republic in 2017

Ivette Marichal, director of the Film Agency (DGCine), reports that in 2017, some 62 foreign films were shot here, including seven that adhered to tax incentives plans under the Films Law (Ley de Cine 18-10). She says the other 55 companies did not require tax incentives and brought productions with budget of RD$197.5 million. The films included TV series chapters, reality show, documentary, video, TV commercials, TV shows, short films and long films.

Marichal mentioned that Barry Jenkins, of Moonlight, shot several scenes of the film “If Beale Street Could Talk”, with a RD$31 million budget. Also, the Survivor Turkey-Greece reality show, with a RD$308 million budget, and the Survivor Challenge Brazil, with a budget of RD$212.9 million, both directed by Mustafa Kazan were filmed here. She also mentioned the comedy “GuzBay Nueva York” directed by Victor Reyes with a budget of RD$46.5 million.

Source: DR1, DiarioLibre

Jan 20, 2018

20-01-18
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Hotels in the Dominican Republic Distinguished at World Travel Awards 2017

Three hotels were recognized at the 24th annual World Travel Awards 2017.

The Rock Star Suite & Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana, the Casa de Campo Resort & Villas and the JW Marriott Hotel Santo Domingo received special awards during the important awards ceremony.

The Rock Star Suite & Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana received the “Suite Hotel Leader of the Caribbean 2017” award.

At the same time, the Casa de Campo Resort & Villas was distinguished in the “World’s Leading Luxury Sports & Villa Resort” and as the “Dominican Republic’s Leading Resort 2017” categories.

The JW Marriott Hotel Santo Domingo was also distinguished as the “Dominican Republic’s Leading Hotel 2017”.

The Avis Rent-a-Car company received the award as the best car rental company in the D.R.

The awards, considered to be the “Oscars of Tourism” by The Wall Street Journal distinguishes the best facilities and services provided by the tourism industry.

Regarding the award received by the Casa de Campo resort, the president and founder of the World Travel Awards, Graham E. Cooke, stated that “this tourism destination is, without a doubt, a main attraction for those travelers looking for superior services, world-class facilities and the best golf courses”.

All winners are chosen by tourism and industry experts, as well as experienced travelers.

Source: Access DR

Jan 20, 2018

20-01-18
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US Department of State alerted US citizens to exercise increased caution when visiting the Dominican Republic

On 10 January 2018, the US Department of State alerted US citizens to exercise increased caution when visiting the Dominican Republic, due to the increase in crime. The DR is now level 2 of four levels of recommendation for travelers from the United States. Level one means “normal precautions” for personal safety and level 2 calls for “increased safety precautions”. Level 3 is a recommendation to reconsider travel and level 4 is a warning not to travel.

For the Dominican Republic the US State Department recommendations are the following:
Be Aware of your surroundings.
Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
The US Embassy also recommends travelers to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in order to receive alerts and make it easier to locate US visitors in the DR in an emergency.

In its country information page, the US State Department alerts to violent crime, such as robbery, murder, and sexual assault, is common. The wide availability of weapons, the use and trade of illicit drugs, and a weak criminal justice system contribute.

Source: DR1, DiarioLibre

Jan 14, 2018

14-01-18
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Minor has drowned in Cabarete

Rescue service agencies have been looking for a minor who disappeared in the waters of the municipality of Cabarete, Puerto Plata on Sunday, 7 January 2018 at around midday.

Marcos Abreu, aged 16 was swimming in the ocean with his friends and then disappeared.
He lived at Kilometer 13 of the Duarte Highway in the National District. Civil defense, the Red Cross and a unit from Ambar Rescue continue to search for the teenager but so far he has not been found.

UPDATE:

Authorities in Puerto Plata province have recovered the body of the 16-year old teenager who drowned in the ocean off Cabarete beach on Sunday, 7 January 2018.

The remains of Michael Mathis Polanco were found near a hotel. Apparently, strong waves and currents washed his body ashore.

Members of Civil defense, the Red Cross, Ambar Rescue and the Air Force base in Puerto Plata had been looking for Polanco since Sunday.

It appears that he had gone swimming in an area where bathing was prohibited due to the strong waves.

Cabarete Beach is internationally renowned for windsurfing and kiteboarding, but sections of the long beach can be dangerous for swimming due to the waves. Several times there have been calls for at least three lifeguard posts, to ensure the safety of those visiting the beach, but so far nothing has happened, even though there are more drownings on that beach compared to others in the area, as reported in the Listin Diario.

Source: DR1, DiarioLibre

Jan 14, 2018

14-01-18
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Castillo Mundo King’s Rolf Schulz deceased

Rolf R. Schulz deceased on Tuesday, January 9th, in Santiago. Rolf was born on August 27, 1942 in Thorn at Weichsel, Germany. His mother was a virtuoso pianist and opera singer. His father was a constructor. Rolf went to college and became a site engineer. He came up with a few improvements in concrete constructions. The cost of concrete constructions declined and patents were registered on his name. These inventions brought, he said, so much money that he could give all of his time to his hobby.

That was collecting Haitian and Dominican art in the form of sculptures and paintings. For this, he built a museum, Castillo Mundo King in Sosúa. He supported many Dominican and Haitian artists and let them exhibit their works in his museum. He also bought a lot of their artwork. His life’s work was noticed by local and foreign media, and there have been made several articles and documentaries about his unique museum with its a collection of artwork. Rolf passed away and we do not know what will happen with his legacy, his museum. We hope it will be maintained and gets a protected status. We wish Rolf’s family and many friends a lot of strength to carry the loss of such a beloved resident of Sosúa.

A group of visual artists, for many years friends of Rolf Schulz, plan a memorial meeting in Castillo Mundo King on Saturday, January 27th from 2 pm. They do this in consultation with his daughter Mirja Kraemer. The artists Teddy Tejeda, Leo Diaz and Adolfo Faringthon will give a memorial speech about the deceased, a video about Dolf’s life and his museum will be shown and there is a violin concert by the violin orchestra of Casa de Arte. Dolf’s sister will be present, his two brothers and his daughter Mirja too. Furthermore, plans will be announced to preserve this unique museum Castillo Mundo King for Sosúa. Anyone who feels involved in this project is welcome at this commemoration.

Source: Sosua News

Jan 14, 2018

14-01-18
Category DR News | Add comments | by admin
Last updated January 20, 2018 at 4:05 PM
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