Memorial Column to the Shipwreck of the Sloop Aurora / Columna Conmemorativa Naufragio Balandra Aurora
On the coral cliffs of Paseo Padre Billini on the coast of Santo Domingo stands a single column pillar. This white pillar is topped with an urn. The Memorial Column to the Shipwreck of the Sloop Aurora. It honors those who lost their lives because of the shipwreck of the sloop Aurora.
On Sunday, September 27, 1908 he sloop Aurora was trying to enter the port to escape a torrential storm that was raging in the Caribbean. People watched as the ship crashed and sank off the beach Placer de los Estudios (Playa Placer is located at the mouth of Rio Ozama). The crew clung desperately to a tree as the storm raged on. A few Dominican men tried to rescue these crew members, but all lives were lost.
The monument dedicated to the memory of the Balandra Arora was built in 1910 to commemorate the tragic loss of lives. There was once a plaque at the bottom of the monument inspired by Federico Henriquez and Carvajal. The plaque read “Al ver la nave zozobrar perdida, un noble razgo les costó la vida” / “When seeing the ship capsize lost, a noble reason cost them the life”. The plaque also included the names of those who lost their lives on Sunday, September 27, 1908. The heroic Dominicans are Casimiro Almonte, José Cuevas, Miguel Veloz, José Maíz and Eusebio Lugo. The crew members of the Balandra Arora who lost their lives are Miguel Pérez, Juan Ramón Mandia and Rican Hilario Martínez.
Did you know? – A sloop / balandra is a sailing boat with a single mast. It typically has one headsail in front of the mast, and one mainsail aft of (behind) the mast.
Paseo Presidente Padre Billini, better known as the Malecon of Santo Domingo or Avenida George Washington, and Calle Sanchez. The memorial sits on the coral reefs of the Caribbean Sea, Ciudad Colonial, Santo Domingo, Republica Dominicana.
The Parque Eugenio María de Hostos, located on the Malecon sea side road in Santo Domingo, is a beautiful park to visit. The plaza has tree and flower-lined paths, playground and exercise areas and a reflecting pool. The park was also known as Plaza Colombina and Parque Ramfis. It is a place of fun, beauty and also a place of incredible sadness.
The Park and public space Eugenio Maria de Hostos has a very interesting past and present.
The original park was named Plaza Colombina and was there before the entire seafront was reworked to be a place for enjoyment. (President Trujillo is the person that build the seafront road, The Malecon. Before this there was no real road to speak of.)
On September 3, 1930 a devastating hurricane, Cyclone San Zenón, hit Santo Domingo directly. There were only 400 buildings left standing of the cities 10,000 some structures. Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, who had just recently become president, declared a state of emergency, as tens of thousands of the cities residents were now homeless.
Plaza Colombina was used to dispose of and burn the storm debris. These fires were also used as funeral pyres, for cremating hundreds of the human and animal casualties from this incredibly devastating hurricane (some say that the dictator Trujillo used this opportunity to also dispose of politicians and activists that did not die in the storm).
The park was again renovated and inaugurated in 1936 during days of dictator Trujillo. The new name was Parque Ramfis, named after Trujillo’s first-born son.
The park was very well kept. It had a public swimming pool, library, aquarium, aviary, a place for skating, bicycle trail and pavilions for concerts.(Old pictures of the park are located in the Old Pictures of Dominican Republic image collection).
The name changed, once again, to Parque Eugenio María de Hostos in 1961. Over the years it changed to a dull, dirty and depressing place. It was boarded up for many years and became an eyesore along the Malecon.
New and Improved Parque Eugenio María de Hostos
After closing the park for about six years and spending over 80 million pesos on renovation works the new Parque Eugenio María de Hostos was inaugurated on December 14, 2013.
The newly improved park adhered to much of the original park looks and design. The park has many flowers, shrubs and trees including beautiful Oaks (Robles), Almond (Almendras) and Palms. There are a playground and an exercise area plus a beautiful reflecting pool in the center.
There is a fountain with reflecting pool and a mural by artist Manuel Toribio. You can stroll along the beautiful and serene flower-lined walkways that twist and turn throughout the park.
There is a section where there is exercise equipment for all to use and a brightly painted playground for the children and even clean public restrooms. There is a police station located in the park, good lighting and security cameras for the safety of all.
The park is now a fantastic and fun place for the entire family.
The Malecon (Avenida George Washington) of Santo Domingo across from the Plaza Juan Barón and the Obelisco Macho, Ciudad Nueva. Walking distance from the Colonial City.
National Scout Office
For the Scouts, the Eugenio Maria de Hostos Park has special importance. It is the headquarters of the Asociación de Scouts Dominicanos, Inc. / Dominican Scout Association, Inc. and has housed the National Scout Office since the 1950s and is the home of Scout Group No.7. “In 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the Scout movement to the Dominican Republic. The reopening of this space that houses the national home of the Scouts, as is the Eugenio María park Hostos, occurs at the right time, as it will allow us to celebrate with the rest of the citizenry this historical moment in our home, “said Diana Taveras, No. 7 Scout Group.
Who Is Eugenio María de Hostos?
Eugenio María de Hostos Bonilla (Born January 11, 1839 and died on August 11, 1903 at the age of 64). He was born in Puerto Rico, educated in Puerto Rico, and Spain and traveled extensively throughout the Americas. He held many titles including educator, philosopher, lawyer, writer, sociologist and fighter for women’s rights. He also has many published written works.
Hostos and his Cuban wife had 5 children. He was known as “The Great Citizen of the Americas” / “El Gran Ciudadano de las Américas”.
Eugenio María de Hostos first came to the Dominican Republic in 1875 where he founded a Teachers School. He stayed here for a year, then moved to Venezuela. He returned off and on to Santo Domingo and helped to reorganize the educational and railroad systems of the country.
Eugenio María de Hostos remains are located in the Panteón Nacional in Colonial Zone, as he wished. They are only to be moved to Puerto Rico on the day the country is completely independent. His birthday is a national holiday in Puerto Rico. Honoring Hostos are schools, monuments, towns and more in Dominican Republic, Spain, USA and other countries.
Plaza and Playa Güibia is the only beach available for swimming (if you dare) in the city of Santo Domingo. Guibia is a nice place to bring the family for a little fun, exercise or just for some relaxation.
Guibia used to be the place to be during the Trujillo era. There was a casino located next to the beach and it brought in all the rich and famous for some beach time and some fun. Later, for many years, this small beach and plaza were abandoned and forgotten. It was only used by surfers, daring local children looking to cool off and a dog or two.
President Leonel Fernández inaugurated the “New Guibia”, an area measuring 13,479 square meters, on November 20, 2011. The plaza includes sand volleyball courts, a free gym area, bike path, kiosks that sell foods and beverages, kids play area, Wi-Fi internet connection and stage for concerts and other activities. There is even a gazebo extending out on the Caribbean with a boardwalk leading to it. There is lots of security around to keep it safe for all who visit. They are now working on cleaning up the water so it is safe to swim here again.
*Note that on the weekends and holidays the plaza is usually very crowded and the beach area is full to overflowing. Dogs are permitted when there are no special events happening.
The Malecon, Avenida George Washington, Gazcue, Santo Domingo, República Dominicana.
All You Want To Know About The Oldest City In The Americas