500 Years of History in Santo Domingo

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Antonio de Montesinos


Sunday was a free day for the students of the School of Public Health.

They chose to tag along with PilotGirl making our way along the shoreline past iconic statues and Colonial rubble.

The top shot is Antonio de Montesinos statue, a Spanish Dominican friar preached against the enslavement and harsh treatment of the Indigenous peoples of the Island.

Built in the shape of a cross, the second shot is the El Faro a Colón monument, a controversial structure that nearly bankrupted the country when it was built 20 years ago for the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Columbus.

Inside is a chapel containing the Columbus tomb they say contain his mortal remains. Italy and Spain claim to have the explorer’s bones as well.

As beautiful as it may be to some, poor neighborhoods surrounding the structure are reluctant to see it as anything other than a ‘white elephant’. When the lights inside are turned on a shortage of electricity prompts an immediate blackout in parts of Santo Domingo.

We put in miles of walking but sometimes there’s no other way to capture the essence, spirit and feel of a city than to be in the thick of it.