Meeting with the family, vacation, enjoy the benefits of the Caribbean lands, get married and get away from a country in a social outbreak are just some of the reasons why thousands of Dominican and foreign passengers arrive to the Dominican Republic during the holidays.
Las Américas International Airport (AILA), located in Boca Chica, is the second largest in the country in air traffic and passenger arrivals, and it is where thousands of Dominicans living abroad arrive to the country to meet their loved ones and open a celebration time that usually ends in mid-January.
From early in the morning the entrance of this airport was the scene where dozens of people gathered to wait for their relatives to come out of customs.
On one of those flights were Marta and Willy García, a couple of Dominicans living in Florida who usually return to their homeland during Holy Week, but who had not spent Christmas with their family for more than 20 years.
“We come to have fun, have fun. Music, food, people, everything is very different. We will stay until January 18 and we want to meet with my sisters, cousins, nephews, aunts,” said a smiling Marta minutes before her nephew José Villalona went to look for them.
While Magaly Báez is a Dominican who lives in New Jersey who had “a long time away” until this year, who has returned to the Dominican Republic three times, the last one was yesterday and with a special reason: getting married.
To witness that moment of joy for the family, Magaly’s father joined her on her trip although she is in a wheelchair.
However, for other Dominicans living abroad, returning to Quisqueya serves as a break from the situation that their host countries are going through, such is the case of Alejandro Mejía, who went to live in Santiago de Chile two and a half years ago, and lived in its own flesh the social and political crisis that affects that Andean nation since October.
On what he plans to do in his home country, he says that there are “plenty of people that I haven’t seen in a long time”.
However, he details that he intends to remain in the city of Santo Domingo to spend time with his family, especially with his daughter and his mother, with whom he had an emotional meeting at the exit of the airport.