Dominican Republic - Drinking in an Unexpected Place


If someone asks me "What to get a drink?", I generally assume it means heading to a bar or a restaurant.    Imagine my surprise, during a trip to the Dominican Republic in 2010,  when my friend Alice Birney asked me to join her for a drink inside a convenience store.

Alice and I served together in Peace Corps  in Tonga and at the time of my visit it had been about a year since we last saw each other.

My friend Roberto Vizcon and I met Alice at her house.  It was the first trip for both of us to this island country.    She suggested a drink.   We then walked out to the main road by her house and entered a Colmados.   Colmados are convenience stores.   You can buy your rice and beans there as well as soap, shampoo and of course beer.  (This blog has a great description of them.)

Unlike any other convenience store I've ever visited, this one, like most in the Dominican Republic, has chairs and tables.

Steve Hunsicker and Alice Birney in a Dominican Colmado

The stores are often the center of the neighborhood.  It is where Dominicans come to hang out, to catch up on gossip and of course, to have a beer.

I have to admit, that I really enjoyed sitting there, sipping my beer and watching people in her neighborhood come and go.   Alice was working there as an English teacher and of course knew some of the people who stopped by.   The fun part of travel is getting to learn about the different customs. This one is definitely cool, just like the beer.

Dates of Travel

  • December, 2010

Places Visited

  • Santo Domingo
  • Casa de Campo



This post is part of my series "One Photo - One Country."  I'm am selecting one photo and writing one story from every country I have visited.   Your comments and questions are welcome.  

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