The Dominican Republic is part of the chain of islands in the Caribbean. It is part of the second largest island east of Cuba and shares the other half of the island with their neighbor Haiti. The people who are in this region share a vibrant culture descendent of both Hispanic and African origins. Although diversity exists on the island nation, its Spanish influence plays the largest role in its modern culture which is why it’s grouped with other Latin American countries.
Based on reprorts from the Department of Homeland Security, immigration from the Dominican Republic is more recent than most of their counterparts. The earliest record pertained to the period between 1930 and 1939 (U.S. DHS, 2011). During that time, they reported that 1,165 people sought to obtain status here while also having their last residence located in the Dominican Republic (U.S. DHS, 2011). By 2011, that number had increased to 46,036 people, and the most amount of people coming had occurred during the 1990s when 359,818 people fit that description (U.S. DHS, 2011). The Dominican Republic was a strong contributor to the country’s population of immigrants.
The overall growth in the population in the U.S. who previously lived in the Dominican Republic is also supported by other statistics in the Department of Homeland Security’s 2011 yearbook. On average, less than one percent of the new immigrants coming into the country are from the Dominican Republic. Ironically, the first decade for which the number of immigrants from the Dominican Republic was recorded was also the decade with the highest percentage of immigrants from the Dominican Republic. (U.S. DHS, 2011).
There are really no obvious reasons for immigration, such as war, famine, or persecution. In 2011, the Department of Homeland Security reported that of the 53,082,286 non-immigrant admissions made during that year, 266,330 came from the Dominican Republic. While some of those people came as diplomats, tourists, or business travelers, 11,985 came with the intention of becoming students or exchange visitors and/or were temporary workers or family of one planning to find temporary employment (U.S. DHS, 2011).
The population of the Dominican Republic is mostly Spanish-speaking having 98% of people speaking it, which is why it is there official language. The second most spoken language is French at 1.19 % and third is English at .57%. Its local dialect is called Dominican Spanish and has borrowed vocabularies from the Arawak language. Schools are based on a Spanish educational model, with English and French being taught as secondary languages in both private and public schools (Racoma, 2011).
When people visit the Dominican Republic people are surprised that the Spanish that most people know is not exactly the Spanish spoken in the country. The natives speak Dominicanese or Dominican Spanish, which often confuses first time visitors to the country. People say “bien” when they want to say good or fine in Spanish. But in Dominicanese, people use the Dominican slang “tato.” Switching from making their own brand of Spanish words, the Dominicans also have a way of switching letters in words or completely dropping the last letter from a word. When you hear a Dominican saying “pol que” he means “por que.” The letter “l” substitutes the “r. Depending on the area of the country, the “i” is used in place of “r.” Examples are “poi favoi” instead of “por favor.” In the southwest of the country, people use “r” in some words, instead of “l”. “La capital” becomes “la capitar.” These are some regional differences that foreigners get confused about when traveling to the country. Dominicans drop certain letters in words. The letter “d” is dropped in words like “colmado” which becomes “colmao.” “S” is also dropped. They say “gracia” instead of “gracias.” When you hear “Big Ma,” they probably