Wikipedia outlines for you the whole history of the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican Republic is half of the island of Hispanola. Haiti is the other half.
Many foreigners reside or emigrate to the island for business, religious, or leisure purposes. There are significant numbers of American, Canadian, German and French expatriates residing in the country. A lot of foreign travelers when visiting the island are so in love with it, that they decide to stay and live there or adopt legally the Dominican citizenship, such is the case of Spanish singer Julio Iglesias or Venezuelan singer Ricardo Montaner.
Baseball stars: Sammy Sosa, Pedro Martinez, Alex Rodriguez, Vladimir Guerrero, Albert Pujols, and Oswaldo "Ozzie" Virgil the first Major Leagues baseball player from the Dominican Republic. More players in List of players from Dominican Republic in Major League Baseball
We stayed at the Punta Cana Paradisus Resort. It's an all-inclusive on the Atlantic ocean side. The surf was beautiful and calm this time we were down. The Dominicans take great pride in the preparation of their food and food that they believe will please Americans and Europeans. They are helpful, hard-working people who appreciate it if you try to speak their language no matter how badly. They genuinely seem to want you to enjoy their country.
We availed ourselves of Paradisus's Royal Service which is certainly worth the money.
Here is photo blog by Martin Baran you might like to look at.
Here are a couple of links:
map of the DR