Every year, thousands of people from other countries come to Canada to start a new life. They come with many different talents and skills and the hope of contributing to their new society. Your interest in reading this cultural profile may be due to your involvement with the HOST Program, where you will have the opportunity to meet people from the Dominican Republic and introduce them to life in Canada. You may have a Dominican colleague at work or Dominican students at your school. This profile will help you understand something about the Dominican Republic and the lives of the people there.
Economic problems in the Dominican Republic have prompted many Dominicans to leave their country in search of a more stable life in Canada. Although Canada may seem quite different from the Dominican Republic, there are also many similarities. Dominicans will have many of the same questions that you might have if you moved to a new town or city. For example, they will wonder where to find a job, which schools their children will attend, where to shop and what their new community is like. 
   Did you know?
The aboriginal name for the Dominican Republic is Quisqueya, which means in the Taino language, "Mother of all lands." 
Although this culture profile provides insights into some customs, it does not cover all facets of life. The customs described may not apply in equal measure to all newcomers from the Dominican Republic.
   Summary Fact Sheet
Official Name: Dominican Republic
Capital: Santo Domingo
Type of Government: Representative Democracy
Population: 8 million
Area: 48,730 sq. km
Major Ethnic Groups: Mulatto (mixture of European, African and indigenous), European, African
Language: Spanish
Religions: Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, traditional beliefs
Unit of Currency: Dominican Peso
National Flag: Two white bands forming a cross, dividing the area into four rectangles (top left and bottom right blue, top right and bottom left red)
Date of Independence: February 27, 1844