I owe most of my knowledge, to my father, Vice-Admiral R. Alberto Arvelo Gonzalez, who, being a pioneer of Oceanography and Marine Biology in our nation, educated us, guiding us to objectively observe and analyze nature. I also thank my mother, Isabel Dalmau de Arvelo, for insisting that only looking at the past can we understand the present.
It would have been impossible to achieve this project without the constant support and influence of my husband, Gustavo Alvarez Gil, Thanks.I would also like to thank Lic. Ambrosio Alvarez Aybar for making his extensive library available to me.
I must thank my thesis supervisor, Dr. Luisa Navarro, for supporting my ideas and sharing her deep knowledge of methodology; equally, Dr. Sonia Medina, Dean of the History Department and Dr. Celsa Albert Batista, Academic Vice Principal at the Universidad Catolica Santo Domingo, who motivated me to pursue a career in History in such a prestigious study center.
I would like to specially thank Dr. Manuel Mañon Arredondo for his unconditional availability and support on the countless occasions in which I sought his help.
I am equally grateful for the very helpful long sessions I had with Fray Vicente Rubio, as well as, his enthusiasm.
I will always be indebted to my sister Ysabel Arvelo Dalmau (Betsy), for the layout and graphic design, as well as, the maps and drawings of the prehistoric pieces in this work.
The beautiful scenic illustrations throughout the book are the work of the talented artists Francisco Castro, Architect Alberto Verdejas, y Architect Mario Espaillat.
And lastly, I am thankful for the counsel of Fernando Luna Calderón, Dr. Laura Gil, Dr. Marcio Veloz Maggiolo, Fr. Bernardo Vega, Dr. Manuel García Arévalo, Dr. Roberto Cassá, and Paulette Ramos de Raigorodsky.