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Parque Eugenio María de Hostos

Parque Eugenio María de Hostos

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.

Parque Eugenio María de Hostos, located on the Malecon sea side road in Santo Domingo
Parque Eugenio María de Hostos, located on the Malecon sea side road in Santo Domingo

The Plaza History | New and Improved Parque Eugenio María de Hostos | National Scout Office | Who Is Eugenio María de Hostos?

The Plaza History

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 old Parque Ramfis
The old Parque Ramfis

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.

Reflecting pool -  Parque Eugenio María de Hostos
Reflecting pool – Parque Eugenio María de Hostos

New and Improved Parque Eugenio María de Hostos

The new Parque Eugenio María de Hostos
The new 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.

Parque Eugenio María de Hostos new architect design

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.

The playground -  Parque Eugenio María de Hostos
The playground – Parque Eugenio María de Hostos

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.

Mural by artist Manuel Toribio -  Parque Eugenio María de Hostos
Mural by artist Manuel Toribio – Parque Eugenio María de Hostos

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 exercise equipment -  Parque Eugenio María de Hostos
The exercise equipment – Parque Eugenio María de Hostos

The park is now a fantastic and fun place for the entire family.

Location:

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

Asociación de Scouts Dominicanos, Inc. - Parque Eugenio María de Hostos
Asociación de Scouts Dominicanos, Inc. – Parque Eugenio María de Hostos

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.

Buenagente reflecting at the pool - Parque Eugenio María de Hostos
Buenagente reflecting at the pool – Parque Eugenio María de Hostos

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.

More detailed information about Eugenio María de Hostos.

Fuerte San Gil

Fuerte de San Gil/ Fort of San Gil

The Fuerte San Gil, one time named Fuerte del Matadero / Slaughterhouse Fort, is a 3-sided polygon fort. It was built between 1503 and 1510. This important fort was the first part of the defense of the walled city of Santo Domingo now called Zona Colonial or Ciudad Colonial.

Fort San Gil as the sun rises.
Fort San Gil as the sun rises.

This fortification was a very important bastion to protect the city from Pirate and marauder attack. The watchtower was located on the far corner of the fort. It gave a perfect view of any ship coming from the Caribbean Sea trying to enter the ports of the city. The tower also gave a great view of the sand patch below. This beach is riddled with caves that are excellent places for hiding.

Fuerte San Gil and the beach and caves below
Fuerte San Gil and the beach and caves below

In 1887 the original fort collapsed

due to rough seas. The fort was recently renovated. The renovation closely replicates the original. The area has been cleaned up and again is a nice place to visit.

The circular inner wall of Fuerte San Gil
The circular inner wall of Fuerte San Gil

The fort was ignored for many years and was in disrepair. The beach below was piled high with garbage and was home to stray dogs and homeless people who made the coral caves below their home.

Fuerte San Gil the wall that faces the sea.
Fuerte San Gil the wall that faces the sea.

There is a grassy area beside the Fort San Gil. It is a nice place to sit and watch the sea.

There used to be a restaurant located inside the fort. The barbecue pit can still be seen in the center of the old fort.

Fort San Gil in front of the Malecon
Fort San Gil in front of the Malecon

Location:

The Southwest most part of Zona Colonial where the Zone meats up with Ciudad Nueva. The fort is on the Malecón (Avenida George Washington) at the intersection of Palo Hincado. The bright white Obelisco Hembra is in the front of the fort. Be careful when crossing the Malecon. Pedestrians DO NOT have the right or way.