The Dominican Republic is located on the eastern two-thirds of the island of La Hispaniola in the Caribbean. It has a long and rich history and is prominent for the 1492 landing of explorer Christopher Columbus and for being the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas. The Spanish ruled this land for three centuries, after which it was mostly under French and Haitian domination. The Dominican Republic has had a varied and challenging road to independence including dictatorships, occupation, and the final civil war of 1965. Since then, the nearly 10 million inhabitants of the Dominican Republic are moving toward establishing and stabilizing a representative democracy.
With the second largest economy in the region, the Dominican Republic has shifted from its domination in the sugar industry to services, mainly by its advanced telecommunications system. At the same time, the country continues to struggle with unemployment, corruption, and a lack of electrical services. As a result, there is a large group of immigrant Dominicans living in the USA who send home 10 percent of their home country's GDP
Recently, the Dominican Republic has become attractive to the tourist industry with its attractions of year-round golf courses, its mountainous regions, and history. Its moderate temperature is welcoming to tourists also.