Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Colonial Gem

Right in the middle of the Colonial Zone, off the beaten path, are the ruins of the monastery of San Francisco. I have always thought this could be a real jewel. Perhaps a concert venue, amphitheater sort of place with a nice restaurant and gallery.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The CNN List

CNN recently featured a gallery of 20 beautiful places for people to put on their list of attractions to visit in the Dominican Republic. Their selection included:
Northeast: Moron and Rincon beaches in Samana, and El Limon Waterfall and Los Haitises National Park.
Puerto Plata: The cable car to Mount Isabel de Torres botanical gardens, Damajagua Falls, and La Isabela, the first European settlement site.
Montecristi: El Morro beach.
Santo Domingo: the Santo Domingo Cathedral, Ozama Fort and the Presidential Palace.
La Romana: Altos de Chavon, Las Maravillas cave and Playa Bayahibe beach.
Higuey: Basilica La Altagracia church.
Punta Cana: Juanillo Beach (Cap Cana) and Punta Cana beach.
Santiago: El Monumento.
Peravia: Las Dunas de Bani.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Dengue and Hotel

According to the latest Epidemiology Bulletin, 7,579 cases of dengue have been registered so far this year, resulting in 95 deaths, mostly among children.

The Ministry of Public Health is calling a meeting of heads of pediatrics and internal medicine around the country to discuss the figures.

National Health Service (SNS) director Ramon Alvarado said that dengue fever should not be fatal and that it was a matter of providing the correct treatment at the right time.

In an interview on CDN Radio 5-7pm talk show yesterday, Monday 12 October 2015 deputy minister Dr. Nelson Rodriguez attributed a good number of the deaths to negligent and inadequately trained doctors. He said that no patient should die from dengue, but the disease requires close monitoring and treatment for patients. Several cases have also been blamed on misdiagnosis by doctors. During the show, Dr. Senen Caba, former president of the Dominican Medical Association, said that the government's failure to provide primary healthcare units was more to blame for the high death rate.

Read more in Spanish:

In better news: During his visit to Santo Domingo for the re-opening of the renovated Renaissance Jaragua Hotel & Casino, the area vice president for the Caribbean for Marriott International, Andrew Houghton, said that everything is new at the seafront Jaragua, from the air-conditioning system, the rooms, the lobby and the restaurants to the pool. The company invested over US$40 million in the makeover.
Marriott International has three properties in operation in the Dominican Republic, all in Santo Domingo: the Renaissance Santo Domingo Jaragua Hotel & Casino (on the Malecon), the Courtyard Santo Domingo (on Av. Maximo Gomez) and the JW Marriott (on Av. Winston Churchill). Houghton said the company is planning other investments in the Dominican Republic.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Swimming With Seaweed

dr1 reports:

The executive vice president of the Dominican Republic Hotels & Tourism Association (Asonahores) Arturo Villanueva said that hotels are absorbing the high cost of removing the seaweed from the beaches. The problem has mainly been affecting the southeastern beaches of La Romana, Juan Dolio, Guayacanes, Boca Chica and La Caleta. In Punta Cana and Bavaro, hoteliers have been hard at work dealing with the seaweed for several months.

It is now obvious that it is a large-scale natural phenomenon and no one has any idea how much longer the sargassum bloom will last. Explanations for the sudden invasion of tons of algae on Caribbean shores include the changing weather patterns and warmer temperatures in the region.

Deputy Minister of Coastal and Marine Resources at the Environment Ministry, Ydalia Acevedo Monedro said that there is nothing that can be done to stop the flow of the seaweed and the only option is to collect it to remove it from beaches.

She said that it was usually a seasonal issue but this time it had been much worse than normal.

Boca Chica is now in a state of emergency due to the sheer volume of seaweed and there is now almost nowhere to swim as the whole bay and part of 60-meter beach are covered. Mayor Daniel Ozuna says they do not have the funds to solve the problem and asked for government help in order to tackle it.