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To the north of Hispaniola is the Atlantic Ocean, to the south the Caribbean Sea, to the east Puerto Rico, and to the west Cuba.Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Jamaica are referred to as the Greater Antilles.
The most significant river in the country, with a drainage basin of 2,720 square miles (7,044 square kilometers), is Yaque del Norte, which starts at Pico Duarte and empties into the Bahia de Monte Cristi on the northwest coast.In addition, they retain close ties with the United States, which occupied the island in the early twentieth century.The national community is struggling to build a democracy against a corrupt and authoritarian political elite. The Dominican Republic is located on the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola and is 18,816 square miles (48,734 square kilometers), about twice the size of New Hampshire.In 1838 a small group of Spanish-speaking Dominican intellectuals from Santo Domingo organized a secret society called La Trinitaria to overthrow the Haitian rule.The society was established by Juan Pablo Duarte, the son of a wealthy Dominican family.The Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo is one of the great treasures of Spanish America today, with many original buildings intact and restored. The population of the Dominican Republic is about 8.4 million (2000 estimate) and is increasing at a rate of 1.6 percent per year.
More than 1 million Dominicans live full or part time in New York City and are called Dominican Yorks.
The western portion of the island is occupied by the republic of Haiti.
Hispaniola is near the center of the West Indies, a group of islands that extend from Florida to Venezuela.
Much of the region is a desert and it includes Lake Enriquillo, the island's largest lake.
Lake Enriquillo is a saltwater lake that lies 150 feet (46 meters) below sea level and is inhabited by unique fauna, including crocodiles, huge iguanas, and flamingos.
The Dominican Republic became a nation on 27 February 1844 when a group of revolutionaries seized power from the Haitian rulers of the island of Hispaniola.