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Trip to La Romana, Dominican Republic

I visited my hometown of La Romana in the Dominican Republic at the end of April 2021, and stayed for 10 days. I spent most of my time in Buena Vista Norte, but visited many places, such as Casa De Campo, Altos de Chavon, Central Romana, Caleta, Romana del Oeste where the O&M University is Located, and other parts of town.

As always, I like to visit different Baseball fields like the Play de Las Cenizas, or Buena Vista Sur, and drop off donations such as baseballs, gloves, bats, and any other items I can get my hands on.

Baseball glove donation Joshua Marius
Mizuno infield glove and Rawlings Major League Baseballs for Donation

By chance I came across a legend Baseball Coach in La Romana, known as Oscar Rivera (Liga Oscar Rivera). He drafted me into the Selección Nacional in 1997 hosted by the Asociacion Nacional de Ligas y Clubes (ASONALICLU), and I played alongside several baseball players that made it into professional leagues: Danny Richar and Edwin Encarnación.

Liga Oscar River Buena Vista
Ocsar Rivera’s Pre-Infantil Baseball Players in Buena Vista Sur, La Romana

The donations were put to good use, with a glove being awarded to an outstanding baseball player.

Baseball Coach Oscar Rivera
Baseball Coach Oscar Rivera and two outstanding players

Later in the afternoon, I visited the renovated Casa de Campo hotel to re-live some memories. 

Casa de Campo Hotel Pool
Pool at Casa de Campo Hotel

Next, I visited Altos de Chavon, an amazing replica of a 16th century Mediterranean village, with an amazing canyon view, restaurants, museum, and the world famous Chavon School of Fine Arts.

Rio Chavon and Canyon
View to Rio Chavon
Altos de Chavon Church
St. Stanislaus Church
Altos de Chavon School of Art
Altos de Chavon evening Dining
Evening shots taken a few days later
Altos de Chavon La Cantina Restaurant
Church with La Cantina restaurant on the right
Altos de Chavon Museum
Chavon Regional Archeological Museum

Chavon also has the famous Anfiteatro (Amphitheater), inaugurated by Frank Sinatra in 1982 for the live HBO special, “The Concert of the Hemispheres.Altos de Chavon has also hosted Shakira, Duran Duran, Elton John, Sting, Andrea Bocelli, Gloria Estefan, Alejandro Fernandez, Rokabanda, Marc Anthony, Spyro Gyra, Michel Camilo, Juan Luis Guerra, Air Supply, Julio Iglesias and Placido Domingo.

Altos de Chavon Amphitheater
Chavon Amphitheater
Altos de Chavon Amphitheater

My final event for the day was a nice walk in the Casa de Campo Marina

Marina Casa de Campo
Restaurants with front view to the Marina
Yachts at Casa de Campo Marina
Smaller boats
Large yacht Casa de Campo marina
Ruscello 126 foot yacht

The next day I visited my School, Abraham Lincoln School and also the Club de La Costa in the Central Romana.

Abraham Lincoln School La Romana
Club de La Costa La Romana
Club de La Costa La Romana
Ocean view at Club de La Costa
Waiters at Club de La Costa
Some of the staff at Club de La Costa I have known for over 20 years

During these visits, I try to volunteer my time as well, so I contacted the Fundación MIR to present my latest project ideas. I was able to meet with their Director and assistant, and discuss some projects in the Ballroom world I would like to see in the Dominican Republic, starting at the schools and charities.

Campo Nueva Esperanza Fundacion MIR
Meeting with Fundación MIR’s Director and Assistant at Campo Nueva Esperanza

While I lived in the Dominican Republic, I volunteered my time for the Fundacion MIR and installed technology equipment as well as provided technical support. During my visit, I took the opportunity to repair several laptops for the Nuns to use during their teachings at the Campo Nueva Esperanza

Nuns Campo Nueva Esperanza
Nuns at Campo Nueva Esperanza
Joshua Marius Charity Laptop Repair
Joshua Marius Charity Laptop Repair
Even older laptops can be transformed into powerful learning and teaching tools

Later during the day I re-entered Casa De Campo and visited Playa Minitas.

Minitas Beach Casa de Campo
Minitas Beach Casa de Campo

The next day, during the evening I broke my usual routine and went to Caleta, where I had dinner at the Captain Kidd restaurant. 

Captain Kidd La Romana

The view and ambience in the evening were amazing.

Captain Kidd Restaurant La Romana

After having a good experience, I visited the next day for lunch.

Captain Kidd La Romana
Captain Kidd La Romana
Captain Kidd La Romana
Captain Kidd La Romana Lighthouse

It’s normal for me to drive around my native town of La Romana and interact or photograph people. A quick conversation with street vendors or homeless people will make you appreciate many things you have in life.

Plantain Seller La Romana
A plantain seller pushing a cart in 90°F / 32°C Heat for miles

Before heading out to the airport, I saw a man in a wheelchair with an amputated leg, and what appeared to be the only food source he had left: A single mango. I decided to approach him, say hello and gave him my entire breakfast.

Homeless Veteran La Romana

When my trip came to an end, I took the renovated and safe highway Autopista del Coral from La Romana to Punta Cana Airport. I did perform the required COVID-19 test 3 days before, which I handed at the Airport. At the time of my visit, a negative COVID-19 test within 3 days of departure was required in order for re-entry into the US. So far, this has been one of the best trips I have taken back to my country. 

Punta Cana Airport
Punta Cana International Airport (MDPC)

If you would like to visit La Romana, and need information or recommendations, please Contact me.