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Punta Cana: More Than Just a Vacation Destination

A poor country thrives on tourists

This+house+is+very+similar+to+the+average+house+in+Dominican+Republic.
This house is very similar to the average house in Dominican Republic.

This house is very similar to the average house in Dominican Republic.

Sydney Upcraft

Sydney Upcraft

This house is very similar to the average house in Dominican Republic.

Sydney Upcraft, Print Editor

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Oftentimes, popular vacation destinations, such as Jamaica, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, rely on the tourists coming in to support them. When traveling to one of these places, or anywhere else in poverty, it is often warned to be careful of belongings and where you go, but seeing it is an entirely new thing.

Punta Cana is one of these places, a town in the Dominican Republic that is majorly overtaken by resorts. In fact, not many can live too near to the resorts, as the land around is often consumed by the tourists that stay in comfy resorts. Travelling just a bit out of the territory shows the poverty that makes its home in Dominican Republic. The majority of “houses”, if they can even be called that, in Punta Cana, or other areas of the Dominican are made from slabs of metal roofing as well as anything else that can be found around them. These houses often don’t contain air conditioning, and only rely on the breeze. Fences around this area are made from sticks and barbed wire, not fashioned into a traditional fence. The reliance of these things comes from the money made at resorts, of which is brought home to these houses to help keep their families alive. Even with this, according to the Borgen Project, a third of the Dominican Republic makes less than $1.25 a day. The majority of those who do not work at a resort, farm, resulting in even less money.

The land is plentiful in Dominican Republic, allowing many to farm quite easily. The hard part is containing the livestock. The heat can often get to the animals and without sufficient water sources, some end up dead along the side of the road. The fencing, as well, can be hard to put up, resulting in the, often, cattle or horses, being rounded up into a small area. As far as food, due to the climate, coffee and chocolate is often made here. One of the Dominican’s biggest exports is coffee to places like the United States and Canada.

Seeing the other side of such areas really brings a whole new meaning to “don’t judge a book by its cover,” or perhaps, in this case, it should be, “don’t judge a country by its travel brochures.”

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Punta Cana: More Than Just a Vacation Destination