Playa Crystal will be located on the North Eastern shore of the Dominican Republic – on the island of Hispaniola. Isn’t it interesting that we’ll be building on unspoiled land in a Country that was discovered as the “New World” centuries ago? The Dominican Republic was chosen for many reasons as a location for our resilient community. While many of our team members currently live and work here, we’ve determined that due to many contributing factors it is also the best place to call a more “permanent” home. Here are some of the reasons why –

Dominican Republic Political Structure –

The Dominican Republic has a stable government and a very “laid back” way of handling most political issues. While there are elements of “The Wild West” in parts of the Dominican, most people operate overall with a decent moral compass and an eye on what is beneficial for the future of the Country. Bribery is common like nearly every country, but is more over “lunch money” rather that hard extortion leading to violent crimes. The governmental system is a three branch democratic structure, and as of this writing is transitioning into a new presidency – as the current president, Leonel Fernandez, has served the maximum term. Fernandez has been a well-liked president, and since 1994, the D.R. has seen excellent growth and direction for the future. While all this is interesting to note, it, in the scheme of things, really is not that important. What is important is for you to know that there are now strict regulations from a “big brother” telling you what you can do, when you can do it, where you can do it, and how you can do it. The likelihood is very low that a resilient community of any sort will encounter political disturbances as would be common in places such as the US. While many media sources indicate that the Dominican Republic has heavy government corruption, “marked income inequality”, and major power grid issues, this is simply misleading and therefore untrue. One of the key elements that we wished to keep in mind when considering a Country for placement is the “risk” that said Country may become a “Police State”. Simply put, there is nothing that points to the Dominican Republic government bearing down on the Country in any “crisis” situation.

Dominican Republic Economy –

The Dominican Republic is a unique Caribbean nation. It has the second largest economy in the Caribbean and Central America. While the tendency is for one to think of the Dominican as a nation reliant on tourism, that really is not the case. Yes, tourism is strong in areas such as Punta Cana, Cabarete, and Juan Dolio to name a few areas, but that is not what makes this island important for our resilient community. The Dominican Republic has an abundance of aggregate, sugar cane, and cattle – all of which are a major part of the Nation’s gross domestic product. This also means that the island can sustain itself when need be. One thing you will likely never encounter in the Dominican Republic is starving people and a lack of simple building supplies. While some say that the Dominican Republic suffers from the immigration of Haitians from neighboring Haiti – the reverse may also be true. Many Haitians are happy to be part of the Dominican Republic and do contribute to society in ways that help the economy to flourish. The point to take home from all of this is that if one industry was to die off in the Dominican Republic then it would not be detrimental to the Country as a whole. it would simply be another form of “business as usual”.

Dominican Republic Land, Geography and Climate –

Now here’s the greatest part of the Dominican Republic. Can you imagine a Caribbean nation multiple climate zones? We can, and the Dominican Republic is it. Picture this – at any given moment in the Dominican Republic you are either two hours by car to the mountains or two hours by car to the ocean. In between is a vast area of alternating jungles, valleys, river zones, and even lowland prairie type lands. We’ve situated ourselves along the north eastern seaboard on the way up to the mountains. Here you may get a peak at the ocean and bluffs below, but still be comfortable temperature wise during the sunny mid-days. The humidity is not as harsh as on the beach and the nights are not as chilly as one would find in the high mountain villages (up to 10,164 feet above sea level). We are able to take advantage of the abundance of solar energy the island has. It is the Caribbean and it is sunny indeed. Overcast skies are certainly not a common occurrence. As a back-up, wind energy can be used well in this part of the Dominican Republic. Ocean currents are strong here, and the northern coasts are a common playground of kite surfers as well. Lastly, it is a fact that the Dominican Republic is the only Caribbean Nation with drinkable fresh groundwater. Hurricanes? Not likely. Hurricanes are a rare occurrence as well here (at least on this part of the island) due to the unique pressure zones created between the mountains and the coast. Try not to pay too much attention to the American Media. We do get the occasional tropical storm, which for us would be wonderful as it brings heavy rains. Speaking of rain – the Dominican Republic receives an annual rainfall of around 54 inches (with extremes of 98.4 inches annually). This is excellent for our positioning near a tributary stream running into the river off the mountains. The majority of our energy will be supplied by hydro power. Our water needs (not necessarily drinking water) will be sourced from rain catchment systems. This is what you would describe as an abundance.

Considering the land itself, most Dominicans come from an agricultural background – which again is excellent for us. Nearly everything you can imagine is grown here. Mangos, Pineapples, coconuts, avocados, potatoes, batatas, palm, suger cane, rice, beans, tomatoes, peppers, corn, papaya, cabbage, and the list goes on and on. There will always be more than enough to fill the table each and every night.

Everything this Country has is all that we need for a great Resilient Community.