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Dominican Republic Puerto Plata The capital of the Dominican province of Puerto Plata is San Felipe de Puerto Plata. It is commonly called Puerto Plata and is located on the northern shoreline. When Christopher Columbus saw this area, he called it Puerto Plata (Silver Port) because of the silvery haze that rested over the area. Puerto Plata is a city with a very colorful history. It has been given the nickname La Novia del Atlántico (The Lover of the Atlantic). A fort (Fortaleza San Felipe), built in the 16th century, once served as a prison under the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. The fort is located near the port of Puerto Plata. The Spanish settlement became notorious in April 1563 when Sir John Hawkins, an English slave trader, brought 400 people who had been abducted from the African country of Sierra Leone to the fort to be traded with the Spanish for pearls, sugar, and gold. This marked the beginning of British involvement in the Slave Trade. Over time, more than 20 million people were forced into slavery. Today, Puerto Plata is a thriving tourist city. There are officially over 120,000 inhabitants in the city proper. It is estimated that over 250,000 people live in the area around Puerto Plata. The efforts of most fundamental Baptist missions have been focused in the southern part of the Dominican Republic; therefore, there has been very little ministry done in this area. It is BIMI’s prayer that several dedicated couples would go and work together in establishing a network of fundamental Baptist churches on the north shore of the Dominican Republic. A great need exists in this area. W 7