Beaches With History: Bavaro Beach, Meliá Hotels International And The University Of Seville Take Tourists Back To A Time Of Legends, History, Battles And Pirates
Meliá Hotels International continues to move forward with the implementation of initiatives that bring customers closer to the rich heritage of the destinations in which it operates. For this reason, the hotel company has been working with the University of Seville to highlight part of the historical heritage of Bavaro Beach in the Dominican Republic through an exhibition to be held from 26 October until March at the Melia Caribe Tropical hotel. The exhibition provide a tour of the local culture and Dominican cuisine from the sixteenth until the eighteenth century, helping enrich the attractions of the area both for visitors and the local community.
The exhibition “Beaches with history: Bavaro Beach” cover topics related to place names in the area and also explain to visitors the origins of the names of cities, regions, or geographic features that evoke passages of history unknown to most of them.
Dominican lands were the first to appear in the American gazetteer: the “Fuerte de Navidad” (Fort Christmas) was built with the remains of the Santa Maria which ran aground on December 25, 1492, and was the first defensive structure in the Americas. The network of fortifications gradually grew, and today nourishes the historical and architectural heritage of the Dominican Republic. Bavaro Beach began to appear on Spanish maps in the second half of the eighteenth century. The origin of the name is unclear, although it seems that a native of the German region of Bavaria once settled in the area.
The “Canal de la Mona” (Mona Passage) off the coast of Punta Cana, the reef that links Samana with Saona Island, or Higuey, all have a rich history generally unknown to the local public and tourists who choose this part of the Dominican Republic for their vacations. The area has a past that once made it the site of legends, shipwrecks, battles such as the storming of Santo Domingo in 1586 by the pirate Sir Francis Drake, or the looting of Port au Prince by the French Sir Henry Morgan in 1668.
The exhibition also aims to highlight links to the gastronomic heritage. The arrival in the Dominican Republic of varieties of food from Spain such as pulses, olive oil, beef, pork, chicken and rice, and their combination with local foods such as sweet potatoes, yams and corn, led to an original type of Creole cuisine with delicious dishes now available for tourists but whose origin is often unknown.
The project is part of the “Caribbean fortifications. Interdisciplinary Protection and Appreciation Protocols for Military Heritage” network funded by the Spanish Ministry for the Economy, and aims to join forces with other European research projects to develop innovative content to be made available to private companies and public institutions.
Meliá Hotels International has been operating in in the Dominican Republic since 1991 with 5 resorts and more than 4,000 employees, from a different perspective.