Bayahibe is a town in the Dominican Republic, located about 10 miles east of La Romana on the shore of the Caribbean Sea. Founded as a fishing village in 1874 by Juan Brito and his family, who came from Puerto Rico, the town is now a touristic destination.
Bayahibe is an indigenous word. Its meaning is not known for sure, but there are many names that include the tainos word Baya. “Baya” is the name given to it to a bivalve mollusk, like clams that are glued to the rocks or roots of mangrove trees. “Jib”, or “Hib” (is the same word) is the name that gave the Indians a sort of sieve manufactured from sticks used to sift cassava flour. Bayahibe Beach, a public beach, is located less than a mile from the town center, and Dominicus Beach is in about three miles distance. Bayahibe serves as an embarkation point for boat tours to Saona Island, a thinly inhabited island with extensive beaches located in a national park. In the vicinity of Bayahibe and Dominicus Beach, numerous large resorts are located.
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries. Both by area and population, the Dominican Republic is the second largest Caribbean nation (after Cuba), with 48,442 square kilometres (18,704 sq mi) and an estimated 10 million people.
The Dominican Republic has become the Caribbean’s largest tourist destination; the country’s year-round golf courses are among the top attractions. In this mountainous land is located the Caribbean’s highest mountain, Pico Duarte, as is Lake Enriquillo, the Caribbean’s largest lake and lowest elevation. Quisqueya, as Dominicans often call their country, has an average temperature of 26 °C (78.8 °F) and great biological diversity.
Music and sport are of the highest importance in Dominican culture, with merengue as the national dance and song and baseball the favorite sport.
Musically, the Dominican Republic is known for the creation of the musical style calledmerengue, a type of lively, fast-paced rhythm and dance music consisting of a tempo of about 120 to 160 beats per minute (though it varies) based on musical elements like drums, brass, chorded instruments, and accordion, as well as some elements unique to the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, such as the tambora and güira. Its syncopated beats use Latin percussion, brass instruments, bass, and piano or keyboard. Between 1937 and 1950 merengue music was promoted internationally by Dominicans groups like Billo’s Caracas Boys, Chapuseaux and Damiron “Los Reyes del Merengue”, Joseito Mateo, and others. Radio, television, and international media popularized it further. Some well-known merengue performers include Johnny Ventura, singer/songwriter Juan Luis Guerra, Fernando Villalona, Eddy Herrera, Sergio Vargas, Toño Rosario, Milly Quezada, and Chichí Peralta. Merengue became popular in the United States, mostly on the East Coast, during the 1980s and 90s, :375 when many Dominican artists, among them Victor Roque y La Gran Manzana, Henry Hierro, Zacarias Ferreira, Aventura, Milly, and Jocelyn Y Los Vecinos, residing in the U.S. (particularly New York) started performing in the Latin club scene and gained radio airplay. The emergence of bachata, along with an increase in the number of Dominicans living among other Latino groups in New York, New Jersey, and Florida have contributed to Dominican music’s overall growth in popularity.
Bachata, a form of music and dance that originated in the countryside and rural marginal neighborhoods of the Dominican Republic, has become quite popular in recent years. Its subjects are often romantic; especially prevalent are tales of heartbreak and sadness. In fact, the original name for the genre was amargue (“bitterness”, or “bitter music”, or blues music), until the rather ambiguous (and mood-neutral) term bachata became popular. Bachata grew out of, and is still closely related to, the pan-Latin American romantic style called bolero. Over time, it has been influenced by merengue and by a variety of Latin American guitar styles.