â€œThe Dominican Republic, best known for its beautiful beaches, lavish resorts, and for being the first place that Christopher Columbus and his men settled in the New World, is an island nation in the Caribbean. There is much more to this country, beginning with its people whose optimistic, energetic, and cheerful character is immediately engaging and endearing. Dominicans are a proud people who have withstood innumerable setbacks due to an unstable political history and to physical devastation occasioned by hurricanes and earthquakes,â€ (Brown xvii).
The Dominican Republic might be seen as a poor country, but in reality it is a country rich in colors, culture and customs. The history of the Dominican Republic is one of many hardships and tragic stories. Unlike the history of many neighboring Latin American countries, the Dominican Republic gained independence from their next-door neighbor, Haiti, rather than Spain. Their history is also â€œtragically unique because of the brutality of the long dictatorship of Raphael Leonidas Trujillo,â€ (Brown xvii). This significant yet catastrophic portion of history has had a negative affect on the social mobility of Dominicans in New York City.
As a result of the stock market crash in the late 1920â€™s in the United States, the economy of the island completely crumbled. â€œThe exterior debt of the country was estimated at $20 million. There was also a floating interior loan of $3 million that had come to due. To make matters worse, the capital was besieged by hurricane Xenon, which leveled the capital city and severely hurt agriculture in the eastern and southern parts of the country (Brown 31). At the time that the Dominican Republic needed a leader desperately, Raphael Trujillo came into office. The Trujillo era is known as a brutal and a savage dictatorship.
The Trujillo era had negative and positive affects on the lives of the people in the Dominican Republic.