The Dominican Republic is located on the island of Hispaniola between the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Its exact coordinates are 18.9473° N, 70.4811° W. The Dominican Republic shares the island with Haiti, to the West, and is approximately 48,320 square kilometers; slightly more than twice the size of New Hampshire . The Dominican Republic is approximately eight hundred miles southeast of Florida. There are 27 different climate zones in the country. This results in deserts to rain forests, to fertile valleys (CIA).
There are four major rivers that flow through the Dominican Republic. The Artibonite River is the only river in the Dominican Republic to flow into Haiti. The Yaque del Norte is the longest and most used river. Approximately 80% of the Dominican Republic is mountainous. The county’s natural valleys provide fertile landscape for crops to be grown. The Dominican Republic has many coastal plains, with Santo Domingo being the most popular. Santo Domingo is not only the capital of the Dominican Republic, but it is also the most popular tourist destination (Hispaniola).
The Dominican Republic’s location in the Caribbean Sea makes it a target for hurricanes every year (US Department of State). In 2008 alone, the island of Hispaniola was struck by five hurricanes. Between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, eight hundred people were reported dead or missing (EScience). According to ABC News, as of October 29, only two were reported dead in recent Hurricane Sandy (ABC News).
The Dominican Republic’s natural resources are nickel, gold, and silver. All three of these are exported mainly to the United States. Since agriculture is so successful due to the Dominican Republic’s fertile valleys, surplus crops are also exported (CIA).
The Dominican Republic’s location in the Caribbean makes it a highway for drug trafficking from South America into the United States. Often times drugs leaving Columbia make their way to Haiti, across the border to the Dominican Republic, and then either flown or taken by boat to Puerto Rico as the next stop before the United States. Drugs are smuggled to Puerto Rico because the United States does not scrutinize its shipments as much as foreign shipments (Narconon). The United Sates has been aiding many Caribbean countries in the War on Drugs. Recently, the US Department of Homeland Security decided to fly Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) over the Caribbean in an effort to spot smugglers making their way to the United States. The United States is in the process of gaining support from Caribbean states to continue these missions (FOX News).
Illegal immigration from Haiti is a major problem for the Dominican Republic. Porous borders allow hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants into the Dominican...