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What does Juan Dolio mean?
What about your saucepans
Ten years in the life of a British woman
living in the Dominican Republic

What does 'Juan Dolio' mean?

Find out what Juan Dolio means. Juan Dolio is explained by Lindsay de Feliz - author of What about your saucepans

Juan Dolio

A former tourist resort on the south coast of the Dominican Republic, some 45 minutes east of the capital, Santo Domingo. In the 1990s it was home to several all inclusive hotels and a busy resort with restaurants, bars, gift shops. Over the last decade the hotels have been torn down and replaced with upscale apartment buildings right on the Caribbean ocean. Most are owned by foreigners or Dominicans from the capital who come at the weekends. Given that the Dominicans do not tend to go out when they come, many restaurants, shops and bars have closed and Juan Dolio is a ghost town in the week, but busy at the weekend.

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"... due to years with a personal trainer in London, and the exercise of diving. In less than a week I had a job offer. Neptuno, a German-run dive school in the town of Juan Dolio, south coast, Dominican Republic. I was met at the airport by the owner of the dive school, Klaus. He showed a ..."
"...I was met at the airport by the owner of the dive school, Klaus. He showed a remarkable resemblance to Benny Hill. Short, rotund, red-haired and, as I was to find out, a temper to go with it. We drove to Juan Dolio, twenty-five minutes from the airport, and stopped at a bar opposite the dive school. ..."
"...The next day I was free, to get over the jet lag, and set off to explore Juan Dolio. It was a pleasant, bustling little seaside town, consisting of a road along the beach three miles in length and not a lot else. On the beach side of the street were seven or eight hotels, and on the other side gift shops, restaurants and bars. Tourists of all ..."
"... the 1940s or 1950s. Apart from the tourists who came and went, Juan Dolio was like a village and I soon got to know people so everywhere I went would be greeted not just with a, “Hola!” but a handshake, and sometimes a hug and a kiss. In no time I felt I belonged. I found myself smiling ..."

"...One evening I was out with Neil and Fred, two of the dive instructors, in Chocolate Bar in Juan Dolio. The bar was full as usual, music blaring out and I wandered through the crowd talking to students I had been diving with that morning, sometimes stopping to dance with Dominicans, but I knew I shouldn’t stay up too late as I was diving in the morning, so decided ..."
"...passage. I go be a policeman, but not easy to be policeman, so in day I work construction and at night I security man. I no have house. Childrens with me in cardboard box. Big box. Then I have other wife and we have Christian, and we move here Juan Dolio. But she go with other man to Spain so I and boys alone again.” I was appalled at the life the children had had, it seemed incredible and I looked down fondly at them for a minute or two before we left. ..."
"...pasola, and come back and take the kids to school. When he met me, he was working for an insurance company in the capital. He had gone to college on his day off whilst working in construction, and eventually landed an office job. The company had holiday apartments in Juan Dolio, which is why he and his family had moved here. As well as working in the office, he was made caretaker of the apartments, a much better place for the children to be brought up. ..."
"...In the forest area behind the main street in Juan Dolio the houses were all made of wood, and were known as casitas − literally a little house − where we would visit people Danilo knew. Everyone was very welcoming and would pull up a plastic chair for me and we’d all sit outside in front of a group of ..."
"... of personal ownership did not exist. You could only buy limited groceries in Juan Dolio. I would come home from a days diving, looking forward to drinking a Coca Cola and the bottle I had bought the day before at the supermarket in San Pedro would be gone. “Where is my bloody Coca Cola?” I ..."

Chapter 3: Family life
"...gringa (meaning foreign, usually American, but used for all foreign girlfriends) who they assumed had money, so they would arrest him and I would have to pay vastly inflated prices to get him out of jail. The last time he was arrested, in Guayacanes, the fishing village next to Juan Dolio, the police came to let me know and offered to give me a lift to the jail on their motorbikes to release him. They were hoping for a cut of the money I would have to hand over. Three bikes set off along the motorway and, as word got ..."

"...He became friendly with high-ranking people in the Air Force and DNI, generals and colonels and such, and they would often come over to the house for dinner. Danilo was very good at his job as he knew so many people in Juan Dolio who would keep their ears to the ground and tell him what was going on. Most of them lived in the shacks in the woods, although not all, and our house became a major meeting point. I began to call his friends ‘dwendies’, which is taken from the Spanish ..."
"...Goon Show. He had been a party member for years and knew all of the ins and outs of the political system. He was married to Prieta, meaning ‘black woman’, and they lived in a small block-built house off the main street in Guayacanes, the fishing village next to Juan Dolio. They had four children, and Compres had a weakness for whisky, the casino and leaving his wife, which he did periodically when she would attack him with a frying pan after yet another night at the casino. He was always well dressed, and drove a beat up Honda. He ..."
"...Ingeniero (Engineer) José Luis Bencosme was also heavily involved in politics and very ambitious. Although he lived in the capital he was often in Guayacanes, as there was talk they were going to split it away from San Pedro and make Guayacanes and Juan Dolio into their own municipality. If that happened we would need a Mayor, and José Luis wanted the job. He was involved in the local political scene and looking for the support of my padrino, José Tomas, to help get the position. ..."

"...Whilst I was having my throat cut, with no anaesthetic, the crowd gathering downstairs included Margaret and Terry, and the police were interviewing the guys who bought me in the car. More and more people were arriving on motorbikes from Juan Dolio. The waiting room was crowded and slowly the car park began to fill with people too. ..."
"...I wanted to tell them about the braids and gestured I wanted a pen and paper and wrote it down. There were two men, one tall and one short, the tall one had braids. Was building house. The fact one had braids ensured great business for the barbers in Juan Dolio as the word went out from the police and every male in the area who had braids was arrested. There were massive queues at the barbers as they rushed to cut them off. A few days later it became apparent the man who shot me was the one I ..."
"... Back in Juan Dolio, the police arrived at the house and put Jason under house arrest. They checked the house and started searching the garden for shells. In all they recovered four shells and two bullets. One bullet was in my back and the other bullet was in one of the dogs – ..."
"...I wanted to walk out to the car park but was too dizzy, instead I was wheeled down in a wheelchair. Danilo obviously had to drive, which was a nerve-racking experience, but finally we reached Juan Dolio and as we passed the Freedom Bar I asked him to stop. I walked into the bar shakily, slowly and carefully putting one foot in front of the other, leaning on Danilo and my stomach welcomed its first nourishment since I had been shot. Another shot, this time of ..."

Chapter 6: Back to normal
"...some Haitians and a few foreigners. It was on the beach, and there was talk of it being developed into more of a tourist area. The second largest, in terms of population was Los Conucos, a shantytown away from the beach, but where many people lived who worked in Juan Dolio. There were many more Haitians here, but also many Dominicans. Third was Juan Dolio, where we lived, which was the major tourist centre in the area, but over the last few years it had been heavily developed with the construction of large apartment blocks on the beach, owned primarily ..."

Chapter 7: A new dream
"...Firstly, there was no hospital in the municipality, and many people had died due to the lack of medical facilities and ambulances. Secondly, there were often robberies, especially in the relatively rich area of Juan Dolio, and expatriates did not feel safe. Also there were many people living below the poverty line with a lack of basic sanitary conditions, responsible for all sorts of illnesses. We rented a venue for the campaign headquarters on the main motorway through Guayacanes. This would be used for the ..."
"...Marcelino was a confident and well-known Dominican in Juan Dolio, buying and selling various businesses. In fact it was his colmado we had bought a few years earlier. He seemed to make and lose fortunes quickly. Each time he sold a business, and they were always bars, restaurants, colmados, he would take everything with him, all the wood, toilets ..."
"...A couple of people came over – Chi Chi, Danilo’s half-brother Antonio, who had recently moved to Juan Dolio to help with the campaign, and the boys finally returned home. I found out more people had been detained at the same time as Danilo. Four of the dwendies were in jail in Juan Dolio, and two of them had been shot and injured. My car was impounded. Compres ..."

Chapter 9: La primera dama
"...At about this time we closed the colmado. I didn’t have the time to work there and over the previous year sales had been gradually decreasing as less tourists came to Juan Dolio, and some of our bigger customers moved to other parts of the country or left all together. I was using my own money to keep the business afloat, buying stock and paying the boys wages, and we needed every penny for the campaign. It was only a temporary measure ..."
"...a plastic gallon container that was passed around for everyone to pee in. I decided to keep my legs crossed, as the hole in the top was very small. We made it back to the campaign headquarters where Danilo made a short speech, and then we went back to Juan Dolio. ..."
"...want us to go back to the house, as he knew it would be full of people asking for money, and we were trying to save as much as we could for the last day of the campaign. Barani dropped us off at a cafe opposite the bank in Juan Dolio, where we ordered sandwiches and waited for Saya to pick us up in our jipeta. Saya had been driving it in the caravana and we discovered he had crashed and abandoned it to be picked up later by a recovery truck. Meanwhile the Ford truck was being used to ..."

"... Honduras. He is lying, yes?” “No Lindsay, it is true,” he answered wearily. One after another the results came through. All of the places we had sewn up, Hoyo del Toro, Juan Dolio, Los Conucos – all of them for Hazim. We just had to wait for Guayacanes. We lost every one of the six ..."
"...money and there was nothing I could do about it. My partners in the colmado, Vic and Rachel, were furious, thinking I had sold the business behind their backs and kept the money and didn’t speak to me after that. Rachel, who I thought was my best friend in Juan Dolio, never came to see me so I didn’t have a chance to explain we had lost the business, not sold it. With the colmado not doing well over the previous year, I had lent it more money than my partners had originally paid for it, as they couldn’t afford ..."
"...Danilo seemed to be more accepting than me; I felt angry and impotent. Every day I was worried and stressed that whoever owned the house would come and evict us. The gossip was rife in Juan Dolio, just as it was after I had been shot, so we stayed at home. Neither of us could face anyone. The days fell into a regular routine. We would get up late and I would go onto my computer, but as I didn’t have to check the news daily ..."
"...was only thirty minutes away from me by then. He arrived, but only stayed two minutes. Nobody could find Alberto. We had people looking in all the jails but there was no sign of him. We were terrified the police might have killed him. Danilo drove straight back to Juan Dolio and eventually located him, but again Alberto had to spend a couple of days in jail. It became increasingly obvious we, and the boys, would have to leave Juan Dolio. But where could we go? ..."
"... than better. There were four voting stations – Guayacanes, Los Conucos, Hoyo del Toro and finally Juan Dolio. The last three had one voting table each, but as the maximum number of voters per table was 600, Guayacanes had six tables – there were ten tables in all. In total 4000 ..."

Chapter 11: Hope
"...Danilo arranged to pick me up in the north, from Grahame’s house, and we planned to travel the country looking for somewhere to live. He said once we had found somewhere we would go back to Juan Dolio until we eventually moved. At last I would be going home. Whilst I was enjoying the peace and quiet I missed my home and my cats and dogs. ..."
"...“Oh my God, look!” I exclaimed. It was perfect. All of my pictures were on the walls, everything was in its place. It was spotless. Danilo and the boys had been moving us for a week. We had left Juan Dolio, never to return. Yet another of his surprises. The house was rented and had a reasonable living area, nice sized kitchen, three bedrooms and one bathroom. It also had a large fenced-in yard. ..."
"...The barbed wire fence was perfect as a washing line and saved on pegs, though most of my clothes ended up with holes. The house came with a washing machine, which was just as well as the one in Juan Dolio had died. This one was also a twin tub, and worked perfectly apart from the spin dryer having no brake – you had to stop it by putting a stick in to slow it down. And every house had a gutter in the garden where the dirty washing water ..."
"...The town was one long street, with a bank and a little supermarket and lots of small shops. There were no restaurants except one place selling fried chicken. The supermarket was small but had the basics and everything was much cheaper than Juan Dolio, in some cases half the price. I found a little market with only four stalls, but lovely fresh fruit and vegetables, and a butcher who only sold pork and beef – he had a cow and a pig a week so you needed to know which day he bought ..."
"...Although we were safer and life was calm, bad luck continued to haunt us. The court case was put back again until the end of January. We were getting nowhere fast. Having started off being reasonably positive once we had left Juan Dolio, I began to lose hope. We waited and waited. Days turned into weeks and weeks into months. Christmas came and went. My pension suddenly reduced by 40%, something to do with the British government thinking people would live longer and restricting how much money people could take from their ..."

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Juan Dolio

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