The Dominican Republic has more than 9 million inhabitants, of which approximately 35% reside in the capital city.

• Language: Spanish is the official language.

• Currency: Dominican Peso (DOP). There are in circulation bills in denominations of RD$ 2,000 /1,000 / 500 / 100 / 50 / 20 / 10. There are also coins of 25, 10, 5 and 1 peso. Other coins of 0.50, 0.25, 0.10, 0.05 and 0.01 cents are out of use. The exchange rate fluctuates depending on the market; however, the rate has been standardized between RD$33 and RD$36 per US dollar. The euro fluctuates between RD$45 and RD$50. For further and up-to-date information regarding the exchange rate, please refer to the Exchange Market section on the website of Banco Central de la República Dominicana: http://www.bancentral.gov.do

• Government: The Dominican Republic is a representative democracy, consisting of the President and the bicameral National Congress, which has a Senate and a Chamber of Deputies.

Constitutionally, the government has three branches known as “Poderes del Estado”: Poder Ejecutivo (Executive branch), Poder Legislativo (Legislative branch) and Poder Judicial (Judicial branch).

Executive Branch: It Is headed by the president, democratically elected every four years, who acts as the head of government. The president is responsible for administering the public funds and for commanding the armed forces and the police departments. Current president: Dr. Leonel Fernández Reyna (2008-2012).

Legislative Branch: Its members legislate in favor of the different sectors of the nation’s life. The members of the National Congress are also elected by popular vote every four years, in a separate election from the Executive Branch.

Judicial Branch: The judges of the Supreme Court are elected by a Council presided over by the President and which includes members of the legislative and executive branches as well. It administers justice through tribunals. Its main function is to protect the rights established by the law.

• Political Parties: The most influencing in the Dominican Society are:

PLD (Partido de la Liberación Dominicana) (Dominican Liberation Party). Current government under the designation of the President, Dr. Leonel Fernandez. Created by Prof. Juan Bosch. Distinctive colors: mulberry and yellow.

PRD (Partido Revolucionario Dominicano). PRD (Partido Revolucionario Dominicano) (Dominican Revolutionary Party). Created by Prof. Juan Bosch and Dr. José Francisco Peña Gómez. Distinctive colors: white and blue.

PRSC (Partido Reformista Social Cristiano). ), (Social Christian Reformist Party) Created by Dr. Joaquín Balaguer Ricardo. Distinctive colors: Red and yellow.

• Energy: Electricity is distributed by the government, which provides part of the total energy used and also hires private providers. The electric power is 110/220 volt cycles. Installing a source of alternative energy, such as generators or inverters, is highly recommended as a precaution in case of energy failure.

• Mass Media: In the Dominican Republic we count with more than 200 radio stations with a wide modulate frequency (AM) and Modulate Frequency (FM) and 7 television station (VHF) that broadcast national wide through channels: 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13. In addition, there are UHF and many cable companies with near 100 international channels from USA, Latin America and Europe.

The Dominican press and publishing have several newspapers that are distributed by subscription, sold in newsstand or even free of charge. The majority of national newspapers have Internet access. The most important are: Listín Diario, Diario Libre, Hoy, El Caribe and El Nacional.