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Country of the Month: Dominican Republic

By Henna Puthalavan
On March 2, 2018

Every month the International Student Office introduces one foreign country and its culture to Kirkwood Community College students. The first presentation for the spring semester was on Feb. 15 and featured the Dominican Republic, a Caribbean region island.  

Rafael Cuevas Terrero, a Kirkwood student from the Dominican Republic, presented information about his country and their culture during activity hour. Additionally, he had the opportunity to decorate the display case outside the International Student Office with items reflecting his culture and country. 

Cuevas Terrero started his presentation by playing the Dominican Republic national anthem and moved into the geography of his country. Dominican Republic is a part of an island called Hispaniola, with Haiti occupying the other half of the island. Dominican Republic was united with Haiti but became independent after the Dominican War of Independence in 1884. 

Cuevas Terrero showed photos of the country’s three founding fathers and talked about the history of Christopher Columbus’ arrival to the island.  

Cuevas Terrero said, “I feel so glad because I got an opportunity to talk about the culture and history of my country in front of people from another county.”  

He added, “I never imagined lots of people from this countries and from other country were going to hear me. But meeting people from different parts of the world gave me a deep understanding of my people and my country. When I compare my culture with others, it helps me to find some uniqueness of mine.” 

During the presentation, Cuevas Terrero wore a sweater with his country’s name and flag on it. He talked about the food- he stated they eat a lot of plantain and rice. He said, “If a Dominican doesn’t eat rice once a day, it feels like he didn’t eat the whole day.”  

In the question and answer session which took place after the presentation, Cuevas Terrero said Dominicans have a strong culture of music in their lives. 

He said they play music every day and they have a right to play music and dance even in the street. Cuevas Terrero added that after moving here he misses that freedom. 


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