I live in La Vega, a province from The Dominican Republic, an island, the second in size in the Caribbean. La Vega province and its city is a very special town because is rich in agriculture land and crops production. This province is one with the most natural resources reserves and national parks in this country; for its richness on natural resources, it is recognized as the “ecotourism province”. Every year hundreds of tourists from countries such as, United States, Spain, Italy, Holland, Canada, Germany, and many others, come to these places seeing the sights surrounded by nature and national parks.
Another condition that makes this province a real good place to live it’s its location in the north central part of the island; distanced from the coastal area, making it safer and protected by the mountain chains, preventing the entry of hurricanes and big storms during the hurricane season, so people don’t worry that much when hurricanes gets to the island; for this reason all these conditions mentioned above, make of this town one of the best provinces to live in it.
One more interesting characteristic of this province, is its cultural richness, and that is famous by having the most colorful and popular carnival in this country, (Carnaval Vegano, La Vega’s Carnival). Every Sunday on February, people all over the province and the country gather on the streets to admire the cultural expressionism of “Diablos Cojuelos”, (Limping Devils), the main character of this cultural festivity. The Diablo Cojuelo, is a personification of the devil, a person or group of people dress up in big colorful costumes with grotesque’s masks; the costumes are full of sleigh bells, decorative stones, and feathers. Also the limping devils carry a “vejiga”, its main instrument, which is a ball attached to a whip, filled with air, used to hit in the buttocks people who mock the limping devils; making this the interaction between people and the limping devils alongside the streets and sidewalks. These costumes with its grotesque’s masks basically have the function to satirize the devil, since this is a pagan celebration performed before the Catholic Easter.
On the other hand, although in this city people manage to live happy and bless by nature and its natural resources, there are some problems, primarily socio economic problems that make citizens live less productive. In terms of unemployment, this city has great disadvantages, for example. This city lacks companies that can offer jobs to the hundreds of young people that every year graduates from the universities, also there are low payment rates within these companies that are not enough for family living. So even though this province is rich on natural resources and agricultural land, not many people work in these productive areas; therefore there are many unemployment people. That same condition cause that young people emigrate the city, going away to live at the capital Santo Domingo, or moving to countries like the United States or Spain and other countries from Europe as well, increasing emigration of labor force.
Also another disadvantage we can find in this city it’s related with garbage disposal or waste management. Yet in this city there are not official policies performed by the city hall, as educational programs for citizens to learn how to dispose garbage correctly. Therefore in the city, one may find garbage all around the streets, sidewalks, roads, and at public places such as parks, public buildings, and schools; indeed anywhere. At the moment, sanitation workers when they are picking up the garbage, you can see they place on the back of the trucks big bags to separate the recyclable things they find like, plastics, glasses, card boards, metals and other stuffs, because the citizens still don’t know how to recycle correctly the garbage. At the same time, everybody in the city live among garbage. The city looks awful and garbage make it looks like everybody who lives in this city is uneducated, and don’t know how to dispose garbage correctly.
To me this is so sad, and for other people like me who really feel worry about that condition, because at least at their homes they separate the garbage, even though most of the citizens don’t do it.
In conclusion, living in La Vega province is really pleasant, primarily because is surrounded by nature, full of green plants, and a great biodiversity, also people try to be happy as much as they can, even though their limited resources; however in this city we still need a real person, committed, concerned and serious (mayor) to be in charge of the city to impulse real politics about educational programs on waste management and recycling programs to benefit the city and its citizens.