The Dominican government is quite forward thinking and is intent on continued economic relationships with the United States, Canada, and the rest of the world. Tourism naturally makes up a large component of the economy and keeping tourists and foreign investment is a priority for this government and the country as a whole. This is still the third world and this means many issues for the country including moving the people into the 21st century in terms of education and a global view. The DR government is investing in the future in excellent ways such as a new solar electricity plant, subway system in the Santo Dominigo, aiport revitalization in Puerto Plata, etc. For in depth information about the ecomony, people, trade zone, problems, etc., please visit Wikipedia's informative site.
Two thirds of the population live in cities with the other third living in rural areas. For many people who have moved to the DR from North America or Europe, the people of the DR are both a source of delight and confusion. Anyone who is used to a fast paced way of life may find the island pace to be slow, and the people not in too big a hurry! However, if you ever require assistance or want to make a new friend, the people of the Dominican Republic are warm and receptive to newcomers and will often go out of their way to lend a hand.
Most people who live here enjoy a more simple way of life than in Europe or North America. Due to the tropical climate, Dominicans enjoy a very outdoor lifestyle with windows open all year and doors left ajar for neighbours to wander in and visit. Dominican communities are close knit, and homes are close together. It is definitely an "everybody knows everybody" environment.
Poverty is still a fact of life for many people of the DR. Wages are still very low for many people, and higher education an impossibility. While great strides have been taken to alter the flow of poverty, it will take many more years for the poorest of the country to change their way of life. Foreign investment is providing better jobs and helping to boost struggling small areas.