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Dominican Republic Life and Culture

The Dangers Of The Dominican Republic, Perception From The Inside

I have been reading and collecting information on the web about some social security-related issues in my country Dominican Republic, and honestly, I have read some things that I cannot understand from my perspective of native Dominican, some news has taken out of context and others very exaggerated.

 I understand that a person who visits the country or plans to visit for a few days, may have a very different concept of the social security of the native living in the country, many individual experiences also influence, I have over 30 years living in the Dominican Republic and I can explain from my perspective some things about social security, maybe this information is useful for you.

If you want to know more tips about the security in the Dominican Republic, I wrote a topic about it, you can read it at this link: https://www.kiskeyalife.com/security-in-the-dominican-republic-updated-guide-and-local-tips-for-tourist/

Recently I read an article where they cataloged the Dominican Republic as one of the 3 most dangerous countries to walk at night, I was really surprised; I think many people including Dominicans could assert such information (paranoid thinking), from my perspective that information is exaggerated.

I was born and raised in a downtown neighborhood called Cristo Rey, it is one of the most popular and oldest neighborhoods in Santo Domingo, and one of the most violent, I no longer live in that place, but I miss the warmth of its people and surroundings.

The only bad experience I’ve had in my whole life living, where I witnessed a robbery of a friend I lived in Cristo Rey, while walking at night with my friend, we were surprised by a young man with a knife threatened my friend and asked him to hand over his cell phone, I was standing right next to my friend and carried a bag with money with me, I also carried a bicycle in my hands (I walked with my friend) the robber didn’t even look at me.

Why did the robber pounce on my friend and not on me?

I was carrying a bag with money and more valuable things, but I also wore a sleeveless shirt and I looked much more stocky than my friend, I looked somewhat sweaty and disheveled, my friend instead wore his cell phone exposed on his belt and He was very well dressed, from that bad experience I was very clear:

“A robber chooses his victim according to his appearance”

Since that day I was never a victim or witness of any criminal act in the city, and I had the audacity to walk with large sums of money in different parts of the city at night, including the infamous Duarte Avenue. (Yes, I know, I was very stupid and confident).

The technique I used was always the same, I carried my money in a normal bag as if it were garbage or something cheap that I just bought; I did not carry backpack; I walked fast, wore simple clothes, looked at everyone seriously and was always very aware of the environment.

A really small country where the bad news run

The Dominican Republic is literally an island, it is a tiny country, it barely has an area of 48,442 KM2, when some bad news occurs the information “spreads like gunpowder”, in Santo Domingo, for example, there is a population of 965,000 inhabitants, it is a fairly small city where we see repeated faces in every corner. Crime and robbers are evils that exist in all parts of the world, to a lesser or greater extent, but in such a small city where news and events impact so much, things magnify, sometimes in an exaggerated way.

The good thing about living in such a small country is that, when someone commits a horrendous crime here, they literally “have nowhere to run,” and in my opinion, the national police are very, very effective, when they decide to find someone, they find it. Wherever it is, in this country it is impossible to hide, if they are really after someone.

In the Dominican Republic The Safest and most Protected places are the tourist areas

Social security is not the same in a sector like Cristo Rey in the city like Santo Domingo than a tourist area in the Dominican Republic, tourist areas are like “sacred places” robbers and thieves have nothing to look for there, the level of Difficulty and risk for them is too high, although steals could be caused by carelessness or deceit and misunderstanding.

In the Dominican Republic, according to CESTUR statistics, In 2017, with 6.1 million tourists, 104 cases of robberies were reported (1.6 per 100,000), and in 2018, with 6.5 million tourists, 89 cases (1.4 per 100,000),

The chances of a tourist being a victim of robbery are minimal, and if it is within some resort facilities they are reduced to virtually nil.

There are no poisonous animals in the Dominican Republic

This is another information that I read on the web recently, of a variety of supposed “poisonous animals” that exist on the island, really in the Dominican Republic there are no poisonous animals that can seriously compromise the life of a human being, the snakes that exist here they have no poison, there is no danger of walking in the mountains and wild nature here, except for the occasional bite of some insect.

I have walked in many places of wild nature, and the animal that I have a little respect for is the ferret, sometimes it can be very aggressive and attack, but they are usually very elusive.

Dominicans have the attitude of protecting each other

I’ve seen some videos on YouTube, of assaults on the streets and buses in other cities around the world, where thieves and robbers attack people in front of everyone and nobody does anything, I realize that in the Dominican Republic they could never do something like that, they dock and steal here, but thieves have to do it quickly and in few crowded places, because otherwise they are exposed to citizens attacking them. Here people act as a pack, protecting each other in those cases, here it is not so easy for a thief to act in public being seen and that nobody does anything, everyone attacks him.

 

Be very careful when driving in the Dominican Republic

This is the real danger in the Dominican Republic, The Dominican Republic is one of the countries with more traffic accidents worldwideunfortunately, we Dominicans lack a lot of road education, they drive very negligently and the rules are not respected, in the city, speed limits are exceeded everywhere, the Public transport creates chaos by parking cars in any corner waiting for passengers, people are extremely aggressive and desperate driving here.

Outside the city,  it is also dangerous, drivers make reckless overtakes and sometimes animals cross the avenues, you must be very careful if you plan to drive in the Dominican Republic.

Be careful with your credit card in the Dominican Republic

Some relatives and friends have had bad experiences with cloned credit cards, it turns out that here in the Dominican Republic they are experts in cloning credit cards, be very careful when using it, I do not recommend using it in street commercial establishments, the ideal is to use it is shopping malls and commercial establishments with reputation and trust in the country.