Everyday Risks in Dominican Republic

By Doyice Cotten

Photo 1

Photo 1

Tourism in third world countries is always interesting and exciting, but it does come with some risks. I took my camera on my visit to the small town of Juan Dolio, D.R. The risks that I depict here are similar to those in most any Caribbean or Central American country. They just emphasize the point that it is more important that you be alert to risk when out of the U.S.

Photos 1, 2, and 3 show the need to look where you are going. Likewise, Photos 4 and 5 show an effort by someone, presumably the town government to prevent pedestrians from stepping into holes by the sidewalk. These photos might impress upon you that you should listen to your guide when he or she tells you “Look where you step. If there is something you want to look at, STOP, look at it, and then watch your step as you continue walking.”

Crime in these countries is a concern for tourists; however, it is also a problem for local families as well. Broken glass atop a high fence surrounding a home is a low tech way to retard burglars. A more sophisticated effort is made by the homeowner in Photos 6 through 10. Note the four-pronged defense this homeowner uses. First, there is the high wall. Second, note the sign on the wall that reads Hay Perro (there is a dog). Third is the coiled razor wire atop the fence which would discourage most intruders. On top of all this, note the signs that read Peligro! Alto Voltaje – isn’t it strange that danger! High voltage with a lightning bolt appears ominous in any language. Look carefully at Photo 9 and you can see that the fence is connected directly to the power lines overhead. Also, examine Photo 10 for a close-up look at the razor wire. So while criminals sometimes present a risk, it appears there is some risk in the business of crime.

In last week’s post, we saw a worker high in a palm tree. In Photos 11, 12, and 13 is a worker hanging high on a building working around the windows. It is interesting that they are using some mechanical device for lowering and raising him on the building.

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