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January 16, 2007
  • Punta Cana community contributions
  • Carnival in La Vega
  • Juan Marichal Golf Classic in Juan Dolio
  • Whale watching in Samana
Punta Cana community contributions
The Punta Cana Group has completed the construction of new community recreational facilities in Veron, the nearest town to the Punta Cana tourism development. The tourism company handed over a new sports court and young people and children's play area to the community. The facilities were received by the Bishop of Higuey, Monsignor Nicanor Pena. During the event, Punta Cana president Frank Rainieri Marranzini said that Veron and Punta Cana are wings of the same bird. "We are always willing to support initiatives that contribute to making this town a model for the area and the rest of the country," said Rainieri. The basketball and volleyball court has spectator stands, and the play area is fenced in for the children's safety. Punta Cana Group also delivered two 125cc motorbikes to be used by Politur, the tourism police. In 2006, the group completed the rehabilitation of the Veron clinic, and donated computers to the police headquarters in Higuey and Veron, as well as contributing to the repair of public transport vehicles and donating two quad bikes to Politur.
Carnival in La Vega
It's carnival time again, and the La Vega Carnival organizers have announced the start of the traditional Sunday parades by the costumed Diablo Cojuelos pranksters in the central valley city. The La Vega carnival is organized by the Union Carnavalesca and the La Vega municipal authorities. Carnival has been celebrated in La Vega since 1510. That year, the Spanish settlers under priest Alvaro de Castro organized a re-enactment of the Spanish "Moors and Christians" tradition.
This year's La Vega Carnival starts off with an inaugural parade on Sunday, 28 January, but the first run by the devils will be on Sunday, 4 February, followed by runs on 11, 18 and 25 February. Traditional groups including Los Broncos, Las Mazones, Las Fieras, Las Hormiguitas, Las Panteras, Los Cavernarios, Los Bestias, Los Tigres, Las Plagas, Los Pieles Rojas and Los Rocky, will take part.
Other highlights are on Friday, 23 February, when a Children's Day will be held in the Diablodromo in La Vega at 6pm, and on Saturday, 3 March, when La Vega's finest take part in the Muestra Nacional del Carnaval, or the grand carnival parade in Santo Domingo.
The organizers have also booked performances by leading merengue bands and bachata groups, including Rubby Perez, Hector Acosta, Hermanos Rosario, Fernando Villalona and Tono Rosario.
For more on Dominican carnivals and their colorful costumes, see http://dr1.com/articles/masks.shtml
Juan Marichal Golf Classic in Juan Dolio
Barry Bonds, Alfonso Soriano and possibly Pedro Martinez, David Ortiz, Pedro Guerrero, Mariano Duncan, Julian Javier and Stanley Javier will be playing rounds of golf in this year's XXIst Annual Juan Marichal Golf Classic that takes place at the Guavaberry Country Club and Metro Country Club golf courses in Juan Dolio. This year both golf courses have had to be booked because of the high demand for registrations. Funds will be donated to the Diabetes Hospital and the Voluntariado Jesus con los Ninos in Santiago. The tournament dates are 19, 20 and 21 January.
To register, see http://www.metrocountry.com
Whale watching in Samana
Tourists can begin to enjoy the delights of watching humpback whales "up close and personal" from boats authorized for the Samana Bay trips as of 15 January t hrough 15 March. Representatives from the government and conservation groups have inked an agreement aimed at controlling the way in which tourists can enjoy the spectacle. The Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Tourism, the Center for the Conservation and Eco-development of the Samana Bay (CEBSE), the Dominican Foundation for Marine Studies (Fundemar), and the Association of Samana Bay Boat Owners signed the agreement. During the signing ceremony, CEBSE executive director Patricia Lamelas asked the Dominican Navy to enforce the agreements and to stop vessels without official authorization from entering the area.
For more on whale watching, see http://dr1.com/travel/special/whales.shtml

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