Dominican Republic Questions and Answers
Read a first hand account of life in the Dominican Republic. Students from St. Michael's School in Santo Domingo were the special online guests when Scholastic visited the Dominican Republic during the 1997-98 school year.
Customs and Culture
Is it nice to live in the Dominican Republic? What is there to do?
If you are economically stable, life in the Dominican Republic is the best in the world. If you are not economically stable, you have to struggle very much. There is a lot to do here. On weekends you can go to the beach, the movies, or out to dinner. You can have lots of fun.
Do your families have cars? How do you travel from place
Yes, we have cars. We travel by plane or car.
What other languages do you speak besides Spanish?
We speak English and a little bit of French.
We speak Spanish mostly, but there are many English schools in the Dominican Republic.
What religion do you practice?
Most of the population here is Catholic.
What kinds of holidays do you celebrate on your island?
We celebrate Christmas, Easter, Semana Santa, and the Holy Week. We also celebrate Thanksgiving, New Year's Day, Halloween, Independence Day, and many more.
What major agricultural crops do you raise?
Our major agricultural crops are sugarcane, coffee, tobacco, rice, bananas, plantains, and flour.
What foods do you like to eat?
I like to eat candies and fruits.
I like hamburgers.
We like to eat fast food, especially pizza. For dessert we like Baskin & Robbins' Ice Cream and Dunkin' Donuts.
We eat pizza (Domino's, Pizza Hut, Pala Pizza), hamburgers (Burger King, Wendy's, La Cotorra, McDonald's) and tacos (Taco Bell, Tacos del Sol, Rey's Tacos). Apart from that, we eat traditional plates like rice and beans.
I eat Chinese food, pizza, and shrimp with cocktail sauce.
What is a very popular food in the Dominican Republic?
Rice and beans are very popular here.
What does it look like where you live?
The Dominican Republic is a tropical island with many beaches.
Where I live it looks like a forest.
Do you have a rain forest in the Dominican Republic?
No, we do not have a rain forest here, but we do have many trees!
What is the most endangered animal in your country?
Eagles are the most endangered animal in our country.
History and Government
I am planning to visit your country in December. What places should I visit?
You should visit the Colonial Zone, Samana, Pico Duarte, Puerto Plata, and La Romana.
What is the government like in the Dominican Republic?
The government here isn't very good. The electric company can't supply enough energy for the whole country and it loses half of the energy it produces.
Do you have a president, a king, a queen, or a prime minister?
We have a president.
In Mexico, I can buy things with dollars. Can you buy things with dollars in the Dominican Republic?
No, we don't use dollars. We use pesos.
How many pesos are there to a dollar?
Fifteen pesos add up to one dollar.
How long do you have to stay in school each day?
We have to stay in school for eight hours a day.
We finish at two o'clock in the afternoon. We have a normal school day!
Do you have school on weekends?
We do not have school on weekends.
At what age do children start school in your country?
We start nursery school at the age of two and elementary school at the age of six.
Do you pay for your education?
No, we don't pay for our education.
Do you have to wear uniforms to school?
Of course we wear uniforms.
How many students are in your class?
We have about 20 to 22 students per classroom.
Are your teachers Spanish?
Some of our teachers are from the Dominican Republic, but some
of them are from other states or countries.
Write about it:
Take another look at the foods the kids in the Dominican Republic like to eat. Do there answers surprise you?
When asked about wearing uniforms, a student replied of course we wear uniforms. Why would he say of course? Do you think that means everyone in the Dominican Republic wears uniforms? Do you think kids in America should wear uniforms to school?