Our history and our identity - Dominican Republic
Every year, all ASPnet schools that work in the "Breaking the Silence" project, make a trip to the "First Colonial Sugar Refineries of America”.
They consists of six monument sites where four of them are located in the provinces of Santo Domingo and San Cristobal. For logistics reasons these are the ones to be visited guided by an expert who will address the slave trade and the operation of the sugar industry. The refineries to be visited are:
DIEGO CABALLERO REFINERY: Hydraulic mill located near Nigua River, property of Diego Caballero, first secretary of the Royal Audience of Santo Domingo. Here they organized the first and largest rearing of goats in the Island, as well as the first vineyard in the year 1535. The site includes the purgerie, water reservoir and channel, warehouse and ovens. There is a channel that transported water from the river to the refinery.
BOCA de NIGUA REFINERY: Horse-powered sugar cane crusher located near the Nigua River built during the 16th century. According to recent archival research during that time it belonged to Francisco de Tostado, a public scribe who arrived at the island in 1502. Rebuilt it reached its greatest splendor in the 18th century when it belonged to the Marquis of Aranda, of noble lineage. The site includes boiler house, crusher, purgerie, warehouse, dryer, furnace and chapel. The second slave revolt of the Spanish colony of Santo Domingo tool place here in 1796.
CASA GRANDE of PALAVE: Horse-powered crusher located near the Haina River. The name comes from the African Bantu language word “ngombe”, meaning “cattle” or “cow”. In the 16th century it is owned by the Genoese Pedro Vázquez de Mella and Esteban Justinián. It is made up of the crusher, owner's quarters, chapel, purgerie and warehouse.
A group of teachers and students of ASPnet Dominican Republic visited last year these places of history, explanations by a guide from Minitery of Culture, a complete day of remembrance. We edify international visitors and our students with the knowledge of this important heritage understanding that our past is intimately tied to our identity and ignoring it is simply not being.