O – W: Obesity, Peso, Pizza, Quality of Products, Salaries, Shoe Cleaner, Trafficking(Drugs), Truck, Vehicles’ Condition, Western Union, Work Quality

[...Over One Year in Dominican Republic, 12,000 KMs on the motorbike = Best Guide to Real Dominican Republic...]

Obesity - it's quite common issue in Dominican Republic due to genes and fatal food that Dominicans eat every day. You would think that in tropical country, where people usually spend a lot of time outside, there shouldnt by any obesity at all. In Dominican Republic the things are different though. For example, among the ladies in their 30s [...read more...]

Peso - it's the dominican currency. DOP is its symbol; when I am writing this in 2015 is currently trading @ 44.5 to 1 USD. Peso loses its value every year by few percents - like around 5 % every year. This is due to goverment economic policy and also due to the other facts: there are only 10 milions people using this currency (and Dominican Republic is not a Switzerland or Norway at all), country has a big debt (and no military like US to "stand" for this debt) and actually means almost nothing in the world.

dominican republic pesos1000 pesos dominicanos note. Generally speaking - my average daily budget in Dominican Republic

Due to weakness of local currency Dominicans usually save money in USD, which encircles them even more in Catch 22 - the more USD they buy, the weaker peso becomes.

Pizza –in theory it's good and tasty meal - and if made by skilled chef, it may be even healthy meal. Unfortunately - not the pizzas made by Dominicans. They simply dont know how to make a good pizza cake and they sell it for the price that doesnt reflect at all its quality. So if you [...read more...]

pizza made by italianBasic pizza made by Italian guy in Enriquillo, Dominican Republic. Still better than average dominican pizza

Quality of Products - most of the products that you can buy in Dominican Republic - like clothes, motorcycles, household equipment, frying pans and so on - it's all imported from China. And usually their quality is really bad. So dont be surprised if newly bought thing will get broke after 1 month of using it here...

 Salaries - most of the Dominicans, that are "normal" employees working for someone - get ridicoulously low salaries. And considering the fact, that prices of normal daily products like food, cosmetics and so on - are very often more expensive than in Europe...It will make you think and wonder at the same time why there was no revolution yet in this country...

So these are the sample salaries in Dominican Republic ad 2015 - for so called low payed unskilled jobs:

1 USD= 45 pesos

  • lady cleaning in the cheap hotel in Barahona - works 6 days/ week, 10 hours every day - [...read more...]
  • lady working in the factory in Santiago - [...read more...]
  • cleaning ladies in the cheap hotel in small village in Barahona province, 4 hours / day, 120 hours month - [...read more...]
  • guy working in the chicken farm - 40 hours/ week - [...read more...]
  • Haitian worker, working in the construction of the roads and buildings - hard physical work in the heat and temperature of 35 Celsius degrees, around 10 hours day - anything from [...read more...]
  • Haitian guy working as receptionist in some cheap hotel somewhere in interior of DR, Duverge - [...read more...]

Some "better" dominican jobs:

So as you can easily see, people who get paid up to 10,000 pesos/ month can barely feed themselves - and this is reality for like 80 % of Dominicans.

And we are talking here about Dominicans who actually have a job. if you get 20,000 pesos in your job you may consider yourself as a very lucky person - salaries around 30,000 pesos/ month and upper are reserved to maybe 10 % of the people working for the companies and their bosses.

The people who have their own businesses may get better money - like the guys who have their own shops, internet cafes, cafeterias, bars and so on.

So I would say that 80 % of the Dominican population is [...read more...]

 Fortunately, thanks to emigration to US and other richer countries and strong family ties - most of the Dominicans try hard to survive until the end of every month, and most of them - actually succeed in it.

Shoe Cleaner - quite popular profession in Dominican Republic. In the beginning of the XX century, US was a country of so big opportunites that you could make there career from shoe cleaner to milionaire. In Dominican Republic, in XXI century - it's not possible at all. In 90 % of the cases - you will be always shoe cleaner.

So who are the shoe cleaners in Dominican Republic ? Usually they [...read more...]

kids - shoe claners in Dominican RepublicShoe cleaning kids in Dominican Republic

What is interesting here and I still have no idea why - the shoe cleaning services are really popular in Dominican Republic. I dont know if they simply dont have a time to clean their shoes or they just prefer when the other person will do this job for them...Maybe they feel some kind of prestige that way ? That they are so "rich" and "well being" that they may afford shoe cleaner for them...

 Trafficking (Drugs) - is the way of making money and I would say that drugs are responsible in total for [...read more...]

Truck - you would be surprised actually how many BIG trucks ride in the country so small like Dominican Republic. Their drivers drive just like typical Dominicans - which means - almost without any common sense, yet this time - they always have a right to be first on the road - as they are biggest roads users.... So it's not so uncommon to spot some BIG TRUCKS riding 100 km/h on some very narrow  roads with potholes...

dominican republic truckBig truck and small road. Enriquillo, Dominican Republic

Vehicles' condition - not only new SUV ride on the dominican roads. There are also many cars - old, used cars, imported from US - that are in the condition that would give any policeman from US or Europe instant heart attack. Cars without [...read more...]

abandoned car - dominican republic97 % of cars riding in Dominican Republic are IN BETTER condition than car in this picture. Somewhere near Janico, Dominican Republic

I met one time some guy from Austria near hospital in Sosua. He told me that he wanted to ride with his dominican friend from Sosua to Puerto Plata. Like the Austrian said - "he likes adventure and the feel of wind blowing", that's why he loves motorcycles. So he got it. The motorcycle of the Dominican that they were driving was [...read more...]

Western Union - is the basic method to receive money from abroad for the Dominicans. From who ? From their lovers/ friends/ family/ husbands and so on - who live in "rich" countries like US or somewhere in Europe...So if you see long line to the western union office somewhere in Dominican Republic - be sure that Dominicans dont send money there but receive it...

Work Quality - dominicans' work ethics are definetely NOT in the world's top. And I'm telling it after [...read more...]

On the other hand - I saw many examples of good work being done in Dominican Republic and actually many times I was surprised by profesionalism that I saw - one time it was in [...read more...]

On the other hand - if I would be earning dominican salary, I would'nt probably work at all - for such money. And they do, without complaining and very often with smile....

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