The Dominican Republic occupies the eastern two-thirds of the island Hispaniola which it shares with Haiti. Pico Duarte in the Cordillera Central Mountain range peaks at a little more than 10,000 feet in elevation. They also have a small lake below sea level.
The DR has a population of more than 10 million people. The language is Spanish and the dominant religion is Catholic. Men shake hands firmly when they greet. Women will kiss eah other once on the right cheek. People are animated in their conversation, point with puckered lips instead of a finger. Wrinkling one's nose indicates one does not understand, rubbing one's fingers and thumb together signifies money, and an upright wagging forefinger means "No". To express disapproval, one points (with lips) at the object or person and rolls the eyes. Tapping one's elbow with a closed fist means that someone is cheap. "Come here" is indicated with a palm down and fingers together waving inward. One says "pssst" to get another's attention.
The main meal is at midday (comida) and often lasts 2 hours.
Most meals feature rice along with such favorites as habichuelas (beans). A meal of rice, beans, and chicken is nicknamed la bandera referring to the colors of the national flag.
There is a bout 16% unemployment with the balance severely underemployeed.