Authorities in the Dominican Republic have decided to militarize a popular tourist beach, Sosua Beach, located in the north of the country, in the town of Sosua. A local conflict has made the Ministry of Tourism (Mitur by its Spanish acronym) take action and guard the area.
The beautiful beach is only 15 miles (25Km) away from the popular city of Puerto Plata, and it has been known as a fun destination until now. According to the information shared by the Dominican journal Arecoa, military soldiers have been deployed because local vendors are against the new construction project of a square that will relocate them.
Sellers in Sosua Beach believe that Mitur’s initiative will lead to the privatization of the beach, while the government insists that the goal is to beautify and create a more pleasant environment for tourists.
Local vendors are not pleased with the location of the new square the government plans to build—which is next to the beach, on a terrain loaned by a local family— and want to remain at the beach. They also want a larger space of 150 meters instead of the 100 meters the project proposes.
The dispute has not reached an agreement, and more organizations and community members have been getting involved. Even though Sosua is one of American’s favorite destinations in the Dominican Republic, travelers should probably avoid visiting Sosua Beach until all parties agree on a solution.
More About The Dispute
Earlier this year, in June, the president of the Dominican Republic Luis Abinader and the minister David Collado announced the investment of 600 million Dominican pesos—over 11 million dollars— to build the new square in Sosua Beach.
Abinader said: “This is a project where everyone wins, merchants, the community, and national tourism because the number of tourists in the country and the Sosua area increases.”
Minister Collado has also explained that this project, besides embellishing the place, also aims to eliminate prostitution and strengthen the local economy. Just a couple of days ago, Collado tweeted images of the square and wrote: “No prostitution, no abuse of boys and girls in our country. That is the beach of Sosua that we started to build!”
The Association of Hotels and Restaurants of Sosúa and Cabarete (Ashoresoca by its Spanish Acronym) agrees with the government. As reported by Arecoa, the organization announced that it “applauds and enthusiastically supports the intervention of the beach and the construction project”.
However, local vendors do not trust the government and are afraid that the intervention of Sosua Beach ends in its privatization “as has been done from Casa Marina to Cabarete, where they privatized the beaches.”
About Sosua Beach
The beautiful coastal town of Sosua hosts a spectacular public beach with pristine waters and beautiful white sand in the north of the Dominican Republic. Sosua beach is surrounded by trees and the water is calmed, creating a very relaxing environment for visitors.
This location is popularly known as one of the best places in the country to go diving since it has one of the richest underwater ecosystems in the area. It is also considered a fun destination because it has great nightlife and many restaurants and bars where travelers can taste the delicious local food and traditional dishes. Foreign visitors also enjoy the music and activities available.
Among the best things to do in Sosua Beach, visitors enjoy snorkeling, paddle boarding, kayaking, taking catamaran tours, and fishing. Many travelers enjoy staying at Las Terrenas or Puerto Plata—where new deluxe tourist apartments will open in a few months— and travel for a full day in Playa Sosua. Travelers have also mentioned on Tripadvisor part of the conflict’s situation. A Canadian traveler that visited the beach three years ago said that Sosua Beach “is over run with sex workers and those looking to take advantage of them.”
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