National Hispanic American Heritage Month 2002
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National Hispanic American Heritage Month 2002

Latin Music — Cuba and music are synonymous. Cuban music, is famous all around the word. In the '40s and '50's it was the world famous Cha-Cha-Cha, which even now, despite its age, still is one of the main dances used in judging international championship Ballroom Dance competition. And there has always been the Son and the Rhumba with its Afro-Cuban beat. Now, in the last year of the millenium, it is Salsa that is hot and taking the world by storm. In the meantime, all around we hear of the Rhumba, the Mambo Kings, the #1 song in Europe: Mambo No. 5 and Buena Vista Social Club.

Of course, Cuba is well known in the world for its cigars, its white-sand beaches, its sugar, its boxers and its baseball. In fact, if many have said that Cuba is baseball, all can safely say that Cuba is music: The pulsating beat of its Rhumba, the romance of its Guajira, the nostalgia of its Son, the magical sounds of the Mambo and the energy and exuberance of its Salsa: That is Cuba.

Dominican Republic
In Honor of St. Domingo: Beaches — The Dominican Republic has some of the best beaches in the world: white sand, coconut palms and many with a profusion of green vegetation. The main ones are described in the text below. The beaches vary enormously in development, cleanliness, price of facilities, number of hawkers and so on. Boca Chica and Juan Dolio, for instance, are very touristy and not suitable for anyone seeking peace and quiet (except out of season); for that, Bayahibe would be a much better bet (although development is under way here). The best-known beaches are in the east of the Republic, including: Boca Chica, Juan Dolio, Playa Caribe, Guayacanes and Villas del Mar in San Pedro de Macorís; Minitas (La Romana), Bayahibe, Macao, Bávaro, Puerto Escondido (Higüey); Anadel, Cayo Levantado, Las Terrenas, Playa Rincón and Portillo in Samaná and Sánchez; Playa el Bretón at Cabrera, Playa Grande in the Province of María Trinidad Sánchez and Laguna Gri-Gri at Río San Juan, where you can also visit the beaches of Puerto Escondido, Punta Preciosa in the Bahía Escocesa and Cabo Francés Viejo. Northeast of Puerto Plata, recommended, although in many cases fully developed, beaches include Cabarete, Ermita, Magante, Playa Grande and Sosúa. At Puerto Plata itself are Playa Dorada, Costámbar, Cofresí, Long Beach, Boca de Cangrejos, Caño Grande, Bergantín, Playa de Copello and Playa Mariposa. Towards the northwest and the Haitian border there are beaches at Bahía de Luperón, Playa de El Morro, Punta Rucia, Cayos los Siete Hermanos and Estero Hondo. The Montecristi area, outside the national park, is due for development.

In the south the best beaches are Las Salinas, Monte Río, Palmar de Ocoa, Najayo, Nigua, Palenque, Nizao and those south and west of Barahona. The majority of beaches have hotels or lodgings, but those without are suitable for camping. Source

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