What if you were born in The Dominican Republic? Life, work, education

One out of three citizens is unemployed, the average salary is less than 500 dollars a month, though locals say the actual number is closer to $300. The education process starts when you’re 6 years old and lasts until you’re of adult age. Only then can the average kid fulfill his deepest desire. Get a hotel job. In whatever position, for any wage.

As per my declaration, I left my comfortable hotel room to move further inland to get a bit more familiar – as familiar as I can get as a tourist, anyway – with the local culture. The traveling conditions weren’t perfect, but the trip was very was atmospheric.

As per my declaration, I left my comfortable hotel room to move further inland to get a bit more familiar – as familiar as I can get as a tourist, anyway – with the local culture. The traveling conditions weren’t perfect, but the trip was very was atmospheric.

Poverty. The best way to describe the status of the average Dominican.

Poverty. The best way to describe the status of the average Dominican.

When you venture outside the city, everybody – and I mean every single person – looks at you and sees someone who could give them some money. Everybody needs cash. Make eye contact with someone and you’ll be sure to here ‘one dollar, please?’

When you venture outside the city, everybody – and I mean every single person – looks at you and sees someone who could give them some money. Everybody needs cash. Make eye contact with someone and you’ll be sure to here ‘one dollar, please?’

laundry1024x576

If you compared the American lifestyle to the Dominican lifestyle, it’s clear that we live in paradise. But the locals still find a way to be happy. I haven’t met a single complaining person. The motto around here seems to be – things are bad, but stable.

[full_size]

girl-1024x632

[/full_size]

mama

The school. A tiny, dilapidated shack with a few tables. That’s all they need.

The school. A tiny, dilapidated shack with a few tables. That’s all they need.

[full_size]

class

[/full_size] school2

[full_size] school3

[/full_size]
I’m wondering what this kid is really learning. Entrepreneurship or obedience?

I’m wondering what this kid is really learning. Entrepreneurship or obedience?

boy3 boy2

Hotel work, reception work, any work. Most Dominicans don’t even think about college, though some actually have that dream and follow it. But not right away. Most of them decide to get a job first and think about school later.

Hotel work, reception work, any work. Most Dominicans don’t even think about college, though some actually have that dream and follow it. But not right away. Most of them decide to get a job first and think about school later.

Don’t worry, be happy.

Don’t worry, be happy.

I asked them about the opportunities that life in the Dominican Republic gives them. ‘Plenty of opportunities. This is a land of opportunities!’ The American mentality.

I asked them about the opportunities that life in the Dominican Republic gives them.
‘Plenty of opportunities. This is a land of opportunities!’
The American mentality.

[full_size]

cigar

[/full_size] chill

They’re better off than us. They don’t have to complain about the weather and unemployment is just another given in life. However, similar to us, they’re not crazy about their government. Dominicans list corruption as one of the biggest issues hindering their country’s progress. Easy access to drugs is also on the list. Their island is a transit zone between South America and Miami. Drugs are highly illegal, but obtaining them is a walk on the beach. Literally. Just go to a beach and somebody will offer you something as soon as your foot touches the sand.

Groceries are cheap. Obviously, it depends where you’re buying. You can eat a meal in a restaurant for a dollar, though I haven’t had the courage to do so yet. Outside of the tourist zone, I paid three dollars for a bunch of candy bars. Tourist-dedicated shops sell single Snickers bars for 5 dollars each.

Speaking of which. Tourism is booming. There’s new hotels popping up all over the place. They’re cheap to build, as most of them have straw roofs. You won’t find any gigantic resorts, like you would in Egypt. There’s no bigger and smaller hotels, just hotels that take up huge areas and ones that don’t. The various trips and expeditions I’ve seen on offer are very expensive. I’ve never seen more expensive ones, to be honest. A simple guided expedition, no matter where, starts at 100 dollars which really makes me want to go on a cruise with the local fishermen. We’ll work out the payment. Despite the prices, tens of thousands of such trips are sold out every week. The loveable Nelson, a worker of the travel agency located within my hotel, told me they send 11 thousand tourists on various trips every week. 11 thousand tourists times 100 dollars times 50 weeks in a year gives us a 55 million dollar turnover. And that’s just one agency out of hundreds. Indeed, this is a land of opportunity, but only for the few chosen ones. The average Dominican, born into poverty and living in poverty, learns that the number one goal in life is survival. Simple as that. Just stay positive.

Fanpage:
JasonHunt Media | 45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York City, NY 10111
jasonhunt-media     jasonhunt