A Tale of Three Beaches

Pick up any guidebook to the Dominican Republic and it will tell you about the fabulous beaches.  Long stretches of golden white sand, warm blue sea, and coconut palms swaying in the cooling breeze.  Well, there are some beaches like that, but also some that are very, very different.

On the left is Caleton Beach.  

It’s about an hour’s drive from where we are in Nagua.  It’s a perfect little lagoon, with white sand, palm trees, clear blue water.

On the right is one of the beaches at Puerto Dorado.  It’s another picture postcard Caribbean beach

Both of these beaches are maintained by hotels for the benefit of Gringos.

And this, sadly, is our local beach.  It’s not maintained by a hotel.  Or by anyone.  Theres’ a real problem here with garbage – the gutters are widely considered to be the waste disposal system.  The gutters lead to the storm drains.  The storm drains lead to the beach (see far right photo).  And so does all the crap.

It makes us mad and sad in equal measure.  This could be sooooo beautiful.


  1. Nicola says:

    Isn’t it such a shame that your local beach isn’t a bit more like the picturesque ones you show above … is there any way you could start some sort of local “beach beauty challenge” whereby the locals, some of the kids school friends etc club together and you try to do a “beach tidy event” … or am I talking out of my “you know what” as it is far too big a task and the rubbish far too toxic to be cleared by individuals rather than a JB Digger or something??? Just thinking what a shame it is that you can’t enjoy your local beach … No doubt you’ve already had similar thoughts … probably just easier to get into the car and travel half an hour away to the idyllic beach down the road, hey?!? XX

    • Al says:

      If I could change only one thing about the way these beautiful, warm-hearted, kind, generous people live it is that they would not drop their litter in the street. It is endemic to the way of life here. I am slowly educating the children that I teach to change their behaviour in this regard but the wider world is a huge challenge. Big change = small steps, right? If we can get the school playground and classrooms litter free I will consider that a big victory. Then maybe we start on the wider world!

  2. Sharon and Beth says:

    Beth is going to show this page to her new Geography teacher.

    • Al says:

      If a class of super bright 11 year olds have any suggestions to help our litter and enviromental problems we’d love to hear them.

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