He was quietly sitting on a concrete bench in an area of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. This is an area where locals shop the market that is filled with chickens, fruit, shoes and even cellphones. It is an area that tourist rarely visit, but filled with thousands of daily shoppers buying food and merchandise for their families.
Santo Domingo is the capital of the Dominican Republic and one of the Caribbean's oldest cities. The city was founded in 1496 and some of the roads are still made of old cobblestone.
I was told that many of the clothes and shoes that are sold on the streets come from Haiti. Evidently, people donate clothing by the truckload in Haiti and some Dominicans will meet with Haitians at the border to gather the clothing and then sell it to support their families.
The population in Santo Domingo is around 3-million, according to some of the residents who live in the city. lthough, the last census in 2010 showed just under 1-million. However, the census is next to impossible to get accurate counts as many live on the streets, under bridges and share small apartments with multiple families. 3-Million is likely more accurate. When you are in Santo Domingo you literally brush shoulders with thousands of people as everything is so busy.
The city and the villages in the Dominican are filled with trash on every corner, some trash burning in the streets. The water is unsafe to drink for both locals and tourist. Therefore, water is sold in plastic bags, jugs and bottles.