Street Vendors – A Part of the Dominican Way of Life

It is hard to miss the street vendors when you visit Dominican Republic since they are a huge part of the local culture and can be found almost everywhere in the country. In tourist areas, the vendors may offer a large number of items such as beach toys, sarongs, baseball caps, t-shirts, jewelry and seafood snacks. If you are a tourist, you should be aware that some of the items which are termed to be local crafts could be actually mass produced in China or Haiti.

Avoid the local vendors when purchasing crafts if authenticity is very important to you. Caution should also be exercised when purchasing what the vendors call Cuban cigars since these may well be counterfeit. Most beaches will have Mama Juana vendors that allow you to sample their potent wares. Street sellers are also a part of the everyday Dominican life beyond the main tourist areas. In every town or city, fruit sellers can be found with their wares of tropical fruits. Several sellers have tricycles on which they sell vegetables. Afternoons bring the ice-cream vendors on bicycles.

Throughout the Dominican Republic, one can also find farmers or Campesinos that bring fresh produce from the country on horse drawn carts that are laden with coconuts, pineapples or lemons. This is an interesting contract in the urban settings. Tourists can purchase fresh fruit pieces for only a few pesos. Street vendors often sell vegetables and fruits as well as prepared frituras which are typical fried delicacies from the country. These include vaniqueues or johnnycakes, pies or empanadas, quips or kibbes, carnita-meat, chimi churri- hamburgers, hot dogs, homemade candies, sweets and fruit juices. These are all worth trying out at least once and they definitely make good photography objects!

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