Have a BITE of Dominican history: Who was Juan Pablo Duarte?

“Vivir sin Patria, es lo mismo que vivir sin honor”. J.P. Duarte

When you walk through the Colonial Zone in Santo Domingo or you get around Dominican Republic it’s easy to hear the name “Duarte” associated with some streets, addresses, shops or some buildings.

Have you ever been curious to know who Duarte was? Today Bite my Vibes would like to make you discover and enlighten the personality of Juan Pablo Duarte and his role in the Dominican’s history.

Juan Pablo Duarte, was born in Santo Domingo and he studied in Spain from 1828 to 1833, where he showed his vision near to the liberal and socialist ideas popular in Europe at that time. He is commonly considered to be the architect of the Dominican Republic and most of all one of the founding fathers of the nation. When he came back to Dominican Republic he immediately realized that Dominicans were hostile of Haitian Rule and they all wanted to achieve the indipendence. Haiti had control of Dominican Republic for a long while organized movement against Haitian domination began. Clearly, Duarte with his principles provided the inspiration and the begin of the fight for the achievement of independence from Haiti.

Juan Pablo Duarte
Juan Pablo Duarte

In 1838 he founded La Trinitaria (The Trinity), a secret reformist movement and organization of people which aim was fight against the Haitian occupation and get back the indipendence of Dominican Republic.In 1843 it was the first time they tried to expel from Dominican Republic the Haitians and they didn’t succeed so easily; so Duarte run away from the country and he spent part of his life in exile.

During his exile in Venezuela, Duarte developed his ideal of liberalism and socialism and he started a real promotion activity called pro-indipendence manifesto. The manifesto was most of all supported by the Trinitaria. On February 27, 1844, Pedro Santana lead an army of independence supporters and pushed out all Haitian officials. Dominicans still celebrate this day as Dominican Indipendence Day. When Duarte came back in the country he wanted to start the future of the new Dominican Republic but he had strong disagreements with Pedro Santana because he acted as a dictator and he directly opposed to his ideals of liberty and independence.

Finally, Duarte was sent out of the country in exile by Santana and the history told us he would spend his last days away from the nation this made him a political martyr in the eyes of next generations.

Nowadays January 26 that is the birthday of Juan Pablo Duarte, it’s a national holiday in the Dominican Republic because considered a founding father of the Dominican nation. The Dominican Independence Day is on February 27 and every year Dominican people give tribute and honor to Duarte one in the “Puerta del Conde”, in the capital of Santo Domingo.

Independence Day in Dominican Republic
Independence Day in Dominican Republic

If you find yourself in Dominican Republic for sure you will have the opportunity to visit the tomb of Juan Pablo Duarte rests at the Altar de la Patria in Santo Domingo and the statue of Duarte in Duarte Park that is used as a focal point for celebrations. Do you know that the highest mountain in the Dominican Republic is called Pico Duarte and in New York City is there also Juan Pablo Duarte Square in his honor?

We think that this article can be interesting if you travel to the Dominican Republic, to know a bit of history of the nation.To perceive and immerse yourself in Dominican culture with Bite my Vibes!                So let’s come and have a bite of Dominican History with us!

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