Dominican Republic – Paradise ends at the walls of the hotel?
In previous posts we praised this paradise island to the skies… However, it is also worth looking at the Dominican Republic from the other side – beyond the five-star all-inclusive hotel, and there begins a completely different life.
Paul mentioned that everyone in the hotel is polite, friendly – it's true, they are like that because that's what their employer expects of them, as much as they expect salaries and tips. Dominican Republic is one of the poor countries and to get a job in a hotel is like winning a lottery ticket. Right at the beginning, our resident told us about how little they earn and you have to tip, because they have whole families to support.
It's hard for tourists to see real life – the only opportunity to do so is usually for them to watch the Dominican Republic from behind the bus window on the way to the tour.
Most hotels are huge complexes, surrounded by a high wall with “guard” at the entrance. They are like cities, where there are restaurants, stores, swimming pools, entertainment, etc. The average tourist has no reason to go outside the hotel, as everything is provided on site. Stepping outside we find ourselves on an empty street, nothing around. We may be generalizing a bit, but we saw quite a few hotels located this way.
Outside the hotel, in small towns you can see poverty at every turn. In fact, just walk a bit along the beach outside the hotel grounds and you'll meet families who have come to spend the day on the beach away from the tourists. We also reached the market just off the sea (every bigger wave almost washed up the thresholds of the stores), where locals sold souvenirs. An atmosphere straight out of an Egyptian bazaar, where there is no way to enter a store just to look at it. Of course, negotiations also welcome 😉
We regret that we could not learn more about the society, culture and customs, but with this there is a reason for another trip to paradise (?) Dominican Republic.