Moving and Living in the Dominican Republic (book) [closed]

We reopened this giveaway because the winner never replied to our email.

Aunt Ilana has been busy writing over the last couple of years and this is her latest offering: Expat FAQs: Moving to and Living in the Dominican Republic, a book that seeks to guide new arrivals to the Dominican Republic through those first difficult steps, like deciding which part of the country to live, finding a house or apartment, a school for the kids, a job, or opening a business, and if retired, how to fill your extended leisure time.

Expats come in many shapes and sizes, ages and types and this book has a bash at catering for all. Something they will all go through, like Aunt Ilana herself, is the journey of discovery of Dominican food.

Moving and Living in the Dominican Republic (book) [USA]


  • You must be 18 years or older.
  • Just add a comment to this post. If you’re Dominican – tell us about a situation where you introduced a foreigner to Dominican food, and if you’re not Dominican – tell us about your favourite Dominican food discovery.
  • You can make one entry per day, the more you post the better your chances of winning are.
  • Make sure to add the correct email in your post. If I cannot contact you I will void your entry.
  • Giveaway finishes Feb 20, 2012 12PM ET, winner will be chosen via

Good luck and get posting!


There is a sad footnote to this announcement in that Ginnie Bedggood, the co-author, passed away last year. She is greatly missed by many and the book is dedicated to her memory.

Additional info:
Expat FAQs: Moving to and Living in the Dominican Republic is a practical, detailed handbook for anyone considering moving to the DR. It covers all the possible issues a prospective expat might face, from the legal nitty-gritty to real-life situations, as well as the country’s cultural and historical context. It is aimed at retirees, professionals and “snowbirds” – people with a second home in the DR
Co-author Ginnie Bedggood (1943-2010) moved to the Dominican Republic from the UK with her partner Grahame in 1992. They settled in Puerto Plata where she taught English, worked as a freelance journalist and tour guide, ran a B&B and eventually ‘retired’ to reinvent herself as an author. Her first book was published in 2007. 
Co-author Ilana Benady, originally from Gibraltar, has lived in the DR since 1999. She is the co-author of The Culture Smart Guide to the DR (also with Ginnie Bedggood) and Aunt Clara’s Dominican Cookbook and Traditional Dominican Cookery, with Clara González. 
All photos by Dominican photo-journalist Pedro Guzmán.
Introduction by Santo Domingo based US journalist and campaigner Elizabeth Eames Roebling

Expat FAQs: Moving to and Living in the Dominican Republic

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AND THE WINNER IS: Reba Ortiz. Congratulations!

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • LEY February 22, 2012, 10:59 AM

    I hope I win this book. Gracias.

  • LEY February 20, 2012, 9:52 AM

    This book would be great to learn more about my country, and the possible living opportunities there.

  • Huey Sing Kan February 18, 2012, 10:50 PM

    Hope I win this!

  • Rosabri mejia February 18, 2012, 1:21 PM

    Very often I have to do that. My husband is american and I always surprise him witb one of your recipes. The first time I tried sancocho was on new years eve few years ago, after we got married he loves whenevef he comes home from work and find the hot pot full of sancocho, specjally during the winter.

  • LEY February 18, 2012, 8:37 AM

    This would be a great book for me to read and know more about my country. The person I introduced to my country's food, culture and language is my Italian friend Di. I always went over to her house and had some sort of pasta with sauce. One day her father asked me to bring some arroz con pollo and ensalada de aquacate to go along with the pasta. Lets just say that from that day on we would have a weekend where I will cook for her familia. Everything from bacalao to sopa de res siempre con arroz blanco. The food is always something that people from different countries and cultures would speak about. I found myself not knowing much about my country. I feel bad when I hear foreign people speak about DR with such knowledge. Here I am a Dominicana getting info from someone else. I know that this book will enlighten me and open my eyes wider to what DR really is and not only what I know. Plus it would look so beautiful on the table with the Salazar plates on my wall and hopefully the coffee set that is the other giveaway. : ) As always THANK YOU Aunt Clara for the GREAT website. XOXOXO

  • Holly February 16, 2012, 4:02 AM

    I spent 1 month in the DR in 2004. It was one of the best experiences of my life; 2 weeks volunteering in the Puerto Plata region and 2 weeks traveling the country. In Puerto Plata we had to eat rice and chicken every single day. I found the rice really good!

  • ileana adamez February 14, 2012, 5:11 AM

    My parents were born and raised in the Dominican Republic but my brothers and sister were born in Queens, NY and raised in Massachusetts. Ive only visited the Dominican Republic as an infant and at the age of 7 as the majority of our families there have now moved to New York. However, ive always been interested in the Dominican culture and am very greatful that Aunt Clara's book exists as it has allowed me to learn about the many amazing different foods of the Dominican Republic and have allowed me to reconnect with my culture. The first recipe i made from Aunt Clara's book is the plantain casserole. I had never tried it or heard of it before but i knew i loved sweet plantains so i decided to make it for my Nigerian boyfriend and caucasian room mates. They were absolutely in love with the plantain casserole and now people beg me to make the plantain casserole at get togethers and at family parties! Thank you Aunt Clara for allowing me to reconnect with my culture!

  • Denia Aponte February 11, 2012, 8:12 PM

    I have to say that one of my best friends is italian, I had a get together at my house in NYC and I cooked "La bandera Dominicana" (Arroz, habichuela y carne). Rice, beans and Meat…. which he loved…. then I found this website and his mother has been cooking for him dominican food ever since….

  • Mike S February 9, 2012, 5:46 PM

    I recently spent a very brief 3 days in Punta Cana. I met some wonderful people and had a great time. Soon, I will return to see Santo Domingo for a longer time. I can't say I discovered anything new while there. But I certainly have on this site. I look forward to trying to make Tres Leches and Chambre, as well as others. I guess the one culinary discovery for me was the coffee. After having some in a restaurant, I packed away a couple of pounds of beans and brought them home. Almost time to go back to restock my coffee!

  • Terri Ann February 3, 2012, 10:57 AM

    In October 2011, I went to a little, non-touristy village about 1.5 hours from SD and fell in love, both with the people in general and one man specifically. I've been back to visit him in the village and am planning on moving there this summer!

  • Kari Perez February 2, 2012, 8:40 AM

    My ex was American and I made a big deal about making a Dominican breakfast one morning. Needless to say, my lack of cooking skills led to platanos that were butchered and the width of french fries :)

  • Lorah Hodges February 1, 2012, 10:21 AM

    I loved all the food I tried in the Dominican! My favorite was the Dominican Flag dinner due to the tradition that came with it and the tradition that still is carried out with families.

  • Nilda Maccarelli January 28, 2012, 7:41 PM

    I am a dominican living in the USA. I am retired and would love to move back home , but my husband is not dominican so he is not on board. We traveled often , specially in winter, to the beautiful dominican beaches, but a permanent moive scares him.

    I have introduced hm to some dominican foods, and usually he is willing to try it. One ocassion that comes to mind is when at a club in the DR I asked him to order and try "patitas" . He did so and as he is trying to eat them I look at his face and could not believe how hard he was trying to swallow! . I took a bite and discovered that they were not good at all!!! to be truthful they seemed to be spoiled!!! Since that day I do not make him try new things unless I try them first!!

    I would love for him to read your book and maybe he will come around and we could retire in the DR.

  • Dania January 28, 2012, 8:09 AM

    esa clase de libro son excelente porque en ellos se encuentra la informacion necesaria para volver de nuevo a tu pais despues de haber estado mas de 30 años fuera de el, las costumbres y los habitos cambian y puede ser una enciclopedia para retornar de nuevo a tu pais.

  • Reba Ortiz January 28, 2012, 6:09 AM

    My husband is originally from the Dominican Republic and after our baby is born, we plan to move there where his father and sisters, aunts, uncles, ect, live. I remember when we had just started out dating. ( I was still 17 and he was 25, so it was still a secret. Even though everyone found out we were dating when my sister caught us kissing on the stairs, she didn't keep that secret very long, ha, who knew a year and 4 months later we would tie the knot ) but regardless, I was eating dinner in his apt, where he lived with his mother and younger brother and she had made Mangu, with some thin beef on the side. I fell in love with the dish immediately. It was very simple, yet delicious. For those who do not know, Mangu, is smashed plantains, and onions. It doesn't even require much seasoning, (mainly just some salt) but it became my favorite. I like to consider myself a good cook. I have been cooking for my husband since we moved out together almost a year ago. But, I am just getting the hang of cooking rice. Luckily, I know when I need to change things in my food, because if my hubby doesn't like it at all, he won't eat it, and he always tells me if there is something to be changed about anything. I love it, I become a better and better chef every time I cook him a meal. I know this is very long, but I get really excited when I think about my husband, and where he comes from. If all men from the dominican are like him, I suggest every woman pick one out, because he is the sweetest, most wonderful man in the whole world.

  • Jess Weller January 27, 2012, 8:30 PM

    I am a MA native who was raised in DR. I have had a 25 yr love affair with the food and miss what I consider to be my true home town (Santo Domingo) for the last 10 years. I love mangu con salchicha y queso frito o Mofongo. I miss los dulce de leche and limonada fria at the Cafe del Conde. Any way signing off before I get all teary eyed!


    • Reba Ortiz January 28, 2012, 6:17 AM

      Santo Domingo is where my husband is from. I have only ever heard, and seen pictures of the place, but can not wait to see it with my own eyes. Glad my kids gonna grow up in a mango tree. lol

  • Wanda Polanco January 27, 2012, 7:29 PM

    I live in an Anglo community and my neighbors always ask me when I'm making a gathering just so they can eat all the many delicious Dominican meals. The first time myGerman-Egyptian friend ate boiled yuca with fried cheese and onions, he told me that now he knows what people are talking about when they talk about heaven. I couldn't help but laugh.

  • Stacy January 27, 2012, 7:07 PM

    This sounds very interesting. I would love to read this book.

  • Alicia Smith January 27, 2012, 6:17 PM

    My favorite Dominican food is probably "Mangu", I was introduced this from my mother's family. My mother was born in DR, and as an adult I first traveled to the Dominican Republic and Fell in Love with the Country, and People and Cuisine.

  • Muchachamala January 27, 2012, 4:49 PM

    My children's father is american/european and he loves the dominican republic more than his own nationality. He loves the people the culture, the lifestyle, the country the food the everything dominican! I would love to give him this book and for us to be able to one day live our dream of moving to the DR and having a second life there.

  • Dialise M Alvarez January 27, 2012, 4:18 PM

    My husband is from DR. I have to say that its not a discovery of food for me. I am Puerto Rican from NY and have been around all types of food. I can tell you this watching his mother prepare a meal is where the uniqueness of flavor comes from. I have picked up a few tid bits and have enhanced my meals.