If your travel plans this week include checking out the Capital, Santo Domingo you should note that there is a protest, often called a huelga meaning strike, planned for Friday, Oct 12, 2012. Even if the protest remains peaceful that will mean heavy traffic jambs in the area with people blocking the streets and quite often burning tires and other objects in the street.

This protest is planned and there will probably be a heavy police presence so much of the damage and fires will likely be avoided, the congestion will not. You should try to arrange your travel plans so that you are no where near these two areas at any time on Friday the 12. It is not safe for foreigners to be caught in the local huelgas and protests.

There are two areas that will be directly affected by this protest:

  • In Front of the Congress Building, with the official start of the protest beginning at 9am Friday the 12th
  • At Parque Independencia, with the official start of the protest beginning at 5pm, Friday the 12th.

Past Protests and Huelgas

Huelgas and Protests are very common in the Dominican Republic. Citizens protest tax hikes, poor power, poor quality power, poor quality roads and just about everything else by blocking streets with debri, dirt, logs and sticks and their favorite burning tires.

During this time people are usually pretty worked up and take advantage of the time to drink and argue their political views. Often they end up throwing bricks and rocks as motorcyclists and cars trying to pass. During the recent buss wars in the Santo Domingo area people have also been shot. Foreigners stand out so this is really not a good place to be. If you find that you reach a street completely blocked with people (worse than normal), it is a good idea to turn around and try to find a different route.

Santo Domingo is a pretty big place, so you likely don’t need to avoid the whole city, just stay away from the affected areas on Friday to avoid the protests.