Caribbean rhythms make for exciting sundays in Santo Domingo’s Colonial Zone

Sunday is the official day for dancers of Caribbean rhythms to meet and dance in Santo Domingo’s Colonial Zone, right alongside one of the country’s oldest colonial buildings.  Between 5:00 and 10:00 p.m., Dominicans and international tourists come together in what has become a tradition in the city’s Colonial Zone.

The live music provides just the right ambience for this street party, where experienced and not-so-experienced dancers come together.

The party takes place with the Monastery of San Francisco as a backdrop.

The event has become such a cultural statement that Santo Domingo’s City Council declared the Sunday event as part of the city’s “artistic patrimony.”

The New York Times has called the outdoor dance party one of the best attractions in Santo Domingo.

The Sunday afternoon festival is not a commercial event. It’s a weekly festival where people of all ages and important musicians come together to play their favorite Caribbean rhythms.

The Sunday afternoon event began in January 2008 when several friends decided to come together to play music from Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Felix Baez, an engineer by profession and amateur musician, headed the project with other musicians and music lovers. Later on the Ministry of Tourism began to sponsor the event.

Music from all over the Caribbean is played at every event.  There’s merengue music (from the Dominican Republic), salsa (from Puerto Rico) and “boleros” (slow, romantic songs).

When in Santo Domingo make sure you do not miss this Sunday afternoon music gathering. Only then will you understand the slogan:  “Santo Domingo is a City of Joy.” (Photos: Chino Bujosa)

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