Aerial view of Sosúa
|• Total||276.89 km2 (106.91 sq mi)|
|• Density||250/km2 (650/sq mi)|
– Santo Domingo
240 km (150 mi)
Sosúa is a small town in the Puerto Plata province of the Dominican Republic. Located approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) from the Puerto Plata International Airport (POP), the town is accessed primarily by Camino Cinco, or Highway 5, which runs much of the length of the country's North coastline. The town is divided into three sectors: El Batey, which is the main section where most tourists visit, Sosúa Abajo, and Los Charamicos.
At the 1938 Evian Conference Rafael Trujillo offered to accept up to 100,000 Jewish refugees; about 800 German and Austrian Jewish refugees received visas by the Dominican government between 1940 and 1945 (see Dominican Jews) and settled in Sosúa. The government provided them with land and resources with which they created a dairy and cheese factory, named Productos Sosúa still in existence today. Descendants of the original settlers still live in Sosúa, where they maintain a synagogue and a museum.
The town was little known until tourism took off in the island in the mid 1980s.
Sosua Abajo, which translates roughly to "Lower Sosua", is located on the western side of Sosúa in a valley nearby a river that flows into Sosúa Bay. Mainly a rural area of Sosúa, Sosúa Abajo houses many of the workers who commute to the El Batey area, nearby Cabarete Bay and Playa Dorada.
The Barrio of Los Charamicos is situated between El Batey and Abajo, and is a densely populated urban area known for its nightlife, dancing, and bar scene. In 1988 actor George Rose was murdered here by his adopted son and the son's uncle.
The North Coast of the Dominican Republic has been a top tourist destination for Europeans for nearly three decades. There is a very large expatriate community in Sosúa, which consists of mostly German, British, American, and Canadian expats.
Sosúa Bay attracts many water sports enthusiast, including snorkelers and divers because of its sheltered, calm waters, diverse species of fish and intricate reef structures. In the winter, whale watching is also a popular tourist activity in Sosúa Bay.
Recently, naturally occurring beach nourishment has created a new beach just north of Sosúa Bay, depositing sand where there were previously only sheer rock cliffs. The beach is called Playa Alicia.
There are several other beaches, Sosua Beach, which is a crescent-shaped bay protected by coral formations and clear waters for divers and snorkelers. Sosúa's other beaches are Waterfront (Playa Alicia), Paradise beach (actually shifts on and off every several months), Playa Imbert and Playa Chiquita. Waterfront beach is just 13 years old, created after a storm around 2002. There is also sport fishing. A very large population of expatriates share their culture and mingle with locals and foreigners.
During the 1990s and 2000s Sosúa was a favorite destination of sex tourists, primarily though not exclusively American, Canadian, and Western European. Starting in the late 2000s there was an effort to crack down on this industry.
Real Estate Developments
Sosua has become a major area of real estate development, mostly purchased by foreigners.
- Superficies a nivel de municipios, Oficina Nacional de Estadistica
- Censo 2012 de Población y Vivienda, Oficina Nacional de Estadistica
- Crassweller RD. Trujillo. The Life and Times of a Caribbean Dictator. The MacMillan Co, New York (1966). pp. 199–200.
- Hans-Ulrich Dillmann, Ein karibischer Ausweg. Die Siedlung Sosua in der Dominikanischen Republik, in: Heimat und Exil. Emigration der deutschen Juden nach 1933. Jüdischer Verlag, Frankfurt 2006 ISBN 3633542221, pp. 171 - 177, in German. E. g. Artur Kirchheimer. Cf. online, here max. 571 German refugees in total are counted for Sosúa
- "Avalancha de rechazo al turismo sexual en Sosúa y Cabarete", Periódico El Faro, June 7, 2013, http://periodicoelfaro.com.do/2013/06/avalancha-de-rechazo-al-turismo-sexual-en-sosua-y-cabarete/
- Antonio Heredia, "Deportan norteamericano arrestado en Sosúa acusado de promover el turismo sexual hacia RD", Puerto Plata Digital, July 3, 2014, http://www.puertoplatadigital.com/verNoticia.aspx?Id=15808
- "Apresan en Sosúa a alemán acusado de explotación sexual", Dominicano ahora, March 15, 2014, http://www.dominicanoahora.com/nacionales/region-norte/27513-apresan-en-sosua-a-aleman-acusado-de-explotacion-sexual.html
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sosua.|
- Sosua Virtual Museum
- Tropical Zion: General Trujillo, FDR, and the Jews of Sosúa by Allen Wells
- Museum of Jewish Heritage
- History of Sosua
- Records of the Dominican Republic Settlement Association (DORSA) 1939-1977 American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee Archives