Aerial view of Sosúa
|o Mayor||Wilfredo Olivences (Social Christian Reformist Party)|
|o Municipality||276.89 km2 (106.91 sq mi)|
|o Density||180/km2 (460/sq mi)|
- Santo Domingo
240 km (150 mi)
The town is accessed primarily by Camino Cinco, or Highway 5, which runs the country's North coastline. The town is divided into three sectors: El Batey, which is the main tourist section and on the east side of the main beach (Playa Sosúa),Los Charamicos, on the west end of the beach and past that, heading north toward the airport, is Sosúa Abajo.
The town of Sosua was officially founded by Jewish settlers (see Dominican Jews) who were fleeing from Nazi Germany. 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 issued by the Dominican government between 1940 and 1945 and settled in Sosúa. An agreement was made between Trujillo and Jewish businessmen in New York City. The government provided the settlers with land and resources with which they created a food factory and company named Productos Sosúa still in existence today.
Most of the descendants of the refugees have migrated to the United States. Some families remained and established inns and bed and breakfasts which were first visited by former refugees.
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.
Sosúa Bay attracts many water sports enthusiasts, 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 replenishment 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. 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 18-19 years old, created after a storm around 2002.
Sosua became a popular tourist destination with the rise of the tourism industry in the Puerto Plata area during the 1980s. In the late 1990s and 2000s Sosúa also became a favorite destination of sex tourists from Europe and North America. Starting in the late 2000s there was an effort to crack down on this industry, which caused a decline.
Sosua remains a destination for sex tourism, though with a poorer clientele. Local women turn to prostitution as the town has less economic opportunities compared to larger cities of the country.Haitian migrants also take part in the sex tourism business, with many of the prostitutes in some areas being of Haitian descent. At sex tourism sites the lighter Dominicans are favored over darker Haitians, who are forced to work in the streets or local bars rather than the more lucrative up-scale areas.
El acto fue encabezado por el embajador de Israel, Bahij Mansour junto a la alcaldesa de Sosúa, Ilana Neumann de Azar, de descendencia judía, y la presidenta de la comunidad judía Ivonne Milzo, [...]. (Translation) The ceremony was led by the ambassador of Israel, Bahij Mansour along with the mayor of Sosúa, Ilana Neumann Azar, of Jewish descent, and the president of the Jewish community Ivonne Milzo, [...]