Duarte Day

Duarte Day

January 26
The birthday of national hero Juan Pablo Duarte (1813-76) is an official day of remembrance in the Dominican Republic. Dominicans recognize other founding fathers—Ramón Mella and Juan Sanchez Ramírez—but these figures do not figure nearly as prominently in history as Duarte does. Known as the father of national independence, Duarte organized La Trinitaria in 1838, a secret resistance group whose efforts against the Haitian occupiers culminated in the Dominican Republic's declaration of independence on February 27, 1844.
Dominicans honor Duarte Day with public fiestas in major towns throughout the country. The stateliest ceremony takes place in Independence Park, located in the capital city, Santa Domingo. The park, which also hosts ceremonies for Dominican Republic Independence Day, features Altar de la Patria (the nation's altar), a mausoleum to the nation's heroes. On Duarte Day, dignitaries and citizens pay their respects at the gravesites of Duarte, Mella, and Sanchez by adorning the altar with flowers.
CONTACTS:
Embassy of the Dominican Republic
1715 22nd St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-332-6280; fax: 202-265-8057
Dominican Republic Tourism Office
136 E. 57th St., Ste. 803
New York, NY 10022
888-374-6361 or 215-588-1012; fax: 212-588-1015