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The Dominican Republic is a very special nation, for it's geographic location and natural conditions, as well as its history.

Being the most populated of the Antilles in pre-Columbian times, the cultural groups that developed here during 3,000 years possessed unique characteristics that sometimes pass unnoticed by the majority of present day Dominicans. For this reason, we have decided to include them extensively in this work, presenting them with graphic reinforcements that translate their most relevant expressions.

Equally, the beginning of the encounter, conquest and evangelism of America had this beautiful island of Santo Domingo as a backdrop, making us heirs to the material and existential preference, in the import of the old world culture to the new continent.

Within this important process, we include the ecologic and social changes that quickly transcribed, as well as, the first steps taken by the colony within a mercantile economy.

We have designed a series of illustrations in order to facilitate a better historical understanding and view this process from a clear and realist point of view. Also, since art is a direct manifestation of the diverse periods, we highlight the more representative indigenous and African designs, as well as the early architectural motifs of the city of Santo Domingo, specially, the Catedral Primada de America.

It is our hope that this work is useful to the young student body who urgently needs a better knowledge of their own national history, helping them reevaluate their national heritage. We also hope that it contributes to the tourist industry in general needing works of easy access which cover our historical heritage and help understand the significance of the celebration of the V Centenary of the Discovery and Evangelism of America, event of great importance for the cultural and economic development of the Dominican Republic.

Santo Domingo, December 8, 1991.