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Today, Friday the 16th of August the Dominican Republic comerorates a very important date in their history – the restoration of their independence. This holiday celebrates the getting back of the country’s sovereignty after being handed to Spain.
For it so happened that 17 years after regaining Independence in 1844, Pedro Santana, then President of the Dominican Republic decided that it was easier to hand the country over to Spain instead of ruling himself.
So for a short period of time we were, again, under Spain’s power, until one of the Dominican Republic’s original liberators, Gregorio Luperón hung the Dominican Flag at the “Cerro de Capotillo” (Capotillo Hill), an action known as the “Grito de Capotillo”, thus declaring the start of the Restoration War fought from 1863 through 1865 between nationalist Dominicans and Spain.
The result: On the 16th of August 1863, Spanish forces finally left and the Dominicans claimed their Independence once again, a day remembered every year on August 16th as “el día de la Restauración Dominicana” (the Day of the Dominican Restoration).
On this day every year, the President makes a speech on his performance throughout the year, highlighting the progress of the country. Or every 4 years, when there is a newly elected President, this is the day in which he (or she) takes power.
Luckily this year it also happens to land on a Friday, so not only can we commemorate such an important date in Dominican history, but we can also take this opportunity for a long deserved break and even perhaps do some internal tourism…. many of our preferred destinations are Punta Cana (Hmm a visit to the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino sounds nice), Las Terrenas in Samaná or maybe to the mountains in Constanza. And if you just prefer to stay in Casa de Campo, which offers more than enough for a perfect weekend, I am sure we will have lots of activities for the long weekend! Check out www.todo.fm for the full calendar of events!
The Restauration Monument in Santiago