Home | Dominican Republic | Write a Review | Blog | Advertise

Toronto Star article about Samana


I found this article in Saturday’s Star:

Sounds wonderful and could be our next destination…


I can’t wait to get there in February!


I toured there in June and it was sooooooooo beautiful, its a 3 hour drive from Cabrette and worth every minute of the trip. There is a spot on top of this mountain close to Las Terranas and you can see the whole penensulla from up there. Truly breathtaking views.


Well, not really.
Most probably you were at the viewpoint ‘mirador’ (at the northern end of the village ‘Los Puentes’) from which you can look down to Las Terrenas and out at a good portion of the Atlantic.
(More or indeed less the same view as from our house… ;D )
The peninsula is much bigger…
Unfortunately there’s no place on Samaná from which you can see the whole peninsula, although there are spots which offer a view to both sides: The Atlantic and Bahía de Samaná in the South.

(Los Puentes)


you heard of a million dollar view,well from Los Puentes you have a billion dollar view, lucky you Froggy, no matter how things go in the dr it would be hard to give up that view…



The problem with reading a publish article in a prestigious newspaper such as Toronto Star, we assume that whatever the journalist wrote, is accurate. WRONG!

Someone else will pick up parts or dates from this article and will become a snowball of errors.

Mr. ROBERT CREW probably visit Samana Peninsula and give a easy to read description of the area, but when he throw dates, and try to bring some history in to the article, so will look well documented, he missed completely the mark.

He picked the date probably from an old 1980 brochure, made by someone with NO knowledge of the history of Samana, and did not do a in depth search on the subject.

Here is the quote fro Toronto Star article:

And a couple of blocks from the waterfront there’s a prefabricated, tin-roofed church that was shipped to the DR in 1823 by the English Methodist Church for the town’s African-American community. Today the church is known as the Dominican Evangelical Church.

The church, known as “La Churcha” in Santa Barbara de Samana, witch is one of the points of interest when visiting Samana, was NOT shipped in 1823, but much, much later, almost 80 years later. The Freemans from North America start arriving in 1824 and did not have a church building waiting for them in Samana, present from the Wesleyan Methodist Church of England.

Hoetink, H.
“Americans” in Samana" --an article in “Caribbean Studies” Journal/ Vol. II No. 1
April 1962

Demorizi, Emilio Rodriguez
Samana, Pasado y Porvenir
Sociedad Dominicana de Geografia
Impreso en la Editora del Caribe

Helping me to shade some light on Samana history where the people from “Samana College” in Santa Barbara de Samana, thanks to Danna, Frank and Martha for providing the documents.

Next time you visit Samana, take a quick tour of La Churcha, it is not an impressive building by any standards, but is a part of history, the history of the Samanese peoples and where they came from. Pictures of “La Churcha” here: www.samana.net/lachurcha/lachurcha1.jpg www.samana.net/lachurcha/lachurcha2.jpg www.samana.net/lachurcha/lachurcha3.jpg

If you have more questions on Samana, post them here, I will try to share much as I know with readers of this forum, I might not know how is the buffet at Cayacoa or witch room is further away from the pool at Gran Bahia Samana, and definitely don’t know Jose from the animation team.



As far as I know the church was shipped over in 1901.
The tombstones on the east side of the church belong to the graves of one of the parish priests and/or his wife who had come from Britain as ‘missionaries’.
The inscriptions can still be deciphered…



[quote author=mountainfrog board=QuestionsabouttheSamanaPeninsula thread=1159104986 post=1164554216]As far as I know the church was shipped over in 1901.
The tombstones on the east side of the church belong to the graves of one of the parish priests and/or his wife who had come from Britain as ‘missionaries’.
The inscriptions can still be deciphered…

Yes Frogy,

You know the date is 1901, I know the date is 1901, problem is Mr. Crew did not know the date and Toronto Star publish the erroneously information for millions of readers. Then someone will pick up that date as the “truth” and then the history is being rewritten.

Here is a picture of the tombstone in the church yard.
Inscription still eligible.



[quote author=samana board=QuestionsabouttheSamanaPeninsula thread=1159104986 post=1164586618]Here is a picture of the tombstone in the church yard.
Inscription still eligible.[/quote]

Yes, that’s the one.
A very fine picture indeed.

Imagine, a young wife coming from Europe to a jungle (which it then was) and die at 26, leaving two children.



I thought following article maight interest you regarding the Samana and the interest about the story of the free African Americans who settled there in 1824 and 1825.

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006
Honoring the contributions of African Americans to Dominican Culture

“Dominicans are descendants of African Americans too,” Said Reverend Benito Jones of the AME Church in the Dominican Republic

New York City, USA (November, 2006). “Dominicans are descendants of African Americans too,” the Reverend Benito Jones said proudly during his recent visit to the United States. Jones is pastor of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) of Samana, a community on a pristine bay in the northeastern coast of the Dominican Republic.

While in New York City, Reverend Jones participated in a special reception honoring the contributions of African Americans to Dominican culture. This event, which was held on October 22, 2006, in the Manhattan facilities of Broadway Housing Communities, Inc., was organized by the Office of International Programs at Hostos Community College (www.hostos.cuny.edu).

During the reception, Reverend Jones affirmed that he is a fourth-generation Dominican of full African American descent: “My ancestors came from the United States 182 years ago, twenty years before the founding of the Dominican Republic in 1844; they were among over 6,000 freed African American slaves who settled in Samaná between 1824 and 1825.”

A documentary video on “The African Americans of Samana” was shown at the reception. This video is a chapter of Dominican Identity and Migrations to Hispaniola, a study abroad research series produced by Nestor Montilla, Director of Public Relations at Hostos, and narrated by Dr. Irma Nicasio, a Professor at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD). The research series was commissioned by Ana I. Garcia Reyes, who is Director of International Programs at Hostos and President Dolores M. Fernandez’ Special Assistant for Community Relations.

“The film documents the roots of the Taino, African, African American, Caribbean, Haitian, European, Arabic, Jewish, and Asian migrations to Hispaniola and how these groups have contributed to the multicultural richness of the Dominican Republic,” said García Reyes.

The Samana chapter highlights African American contributions to Dominican culture, including favorite foods such as pescado con coco (coconut fish) and yaniquekes. Other contributions include the founding of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), from which the Dominican evangelical church evolved, and the juntas or convites, in which groups of neighbors come together to help one another with harvests or community projects.

“In addition to contributing to Dominican education and politics, African Americans and their descendants also fought for Dominican independence and against the Spaniards during the Dominican Restoration War of 1861-1865,” said Montilla, who has researched Dominican history and culture for the past five years. “This community has anchored itself in the Dominican Republic to the point that today over 80% of Samaná’s population is said to be of African American descent.”

At the reception in New York City, organizers also presented an audiovisual report on a historical tribute held on February 22, 2006 at the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) of Samana to recognize the contributions of the African Americans and their descendants to the culture of the Dominican Republic. This ceremony was also organized by Hostos Community College’s Office of International Programs with the collaboration of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD), the Dominican American Association of Supervisors and Administrators (ADASA), the Dominican Republic Ministry of Education and other organizations.

At the ceremony, New York State Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat, accompanied by NYS Assemblyman Jose Peralta and other dignitaries, presented the Samaná community with a Resolution from the New York State Legislature recognizing the 1824-1825 migration of free African Americans from the United States to Hispaniola.

Other recognitions of the Samana community included a letter from CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, presented by CUNY Trustee Hugo Morales and former CUNY Student Trustee Carlos Sierra; a letter from Medgar Evers College President Edison Jackson, presented by Dean Fred Price; a letter on behalf of the Dominican American National Roundtable, presented by Cid Wilson; a plaque from ASADA, presented by Robert Mercedes, Francesca Pena, and Henry Rubio; a plaque from the Dominican Ministry of Culture declaring the African American community of Samana a salient “priceless” component of Dominican cultural heritage, presented by Xiomara Perez; and an acknowledgement from the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, delivered by UASD Vice Chancellor Clara Benedicto on behalf of Rector Magnifico Roberto Reyna, stating that this recognition of Dominicans of African American descent has been the best way ever to celebrate Dominican Independence in 2006.

The Resolution and recognitions were received by Reverend Jones and a group of Dominicans of African American descent, including teacher and historian Martha Willmore, Franklyn Willmore, Samana Governor Wilson Forshue, and members of the AME Church and Saint Peter’s Church of Samana.

There were over 200 attendees at the ceremony, including the following: Dr. Irma Nicasio, UASD Professor and Special Advisor to His Excellency Leonel Fernandez, President of the Dominican Republic; author Martha Helen Davis; New York City Commissioner Jeanne Mullgrav; Michael Knobbe, Executive Director of BRONXNET; Nancy Diaz, NYC Public School Assistant Principal; Milady Baez, former NYC School Principal; author Dr, Jocelyn Santana; Rafael Escano, representing NYC Comptroller William Thompson; Professor Rocio Billini, Ana Garcia Reyes, Nestor Montilla, and others.