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Dominican Republic - Death
Outside a carpa or tarpaulin will be erected to shade people from the sun or protect them from the rain. People will begin to arrive at the house and the wake goes on all night. Coffee will be drunk and sometimes rum, and the close family wails a lot and sometimes become so hysterical that they pass out. The next day, the funeral directors will send a hearse, usually around 10am and the body will be taken to the local graveyard. If it is a nice coffin, it will then be hacked to pieces with a machete so that no one will steal it. The coffin will then be placed in a shallow grave. For the next nine days the family will be in mourning and then on the ninth day the carpa is put up again, everyone will wear black or white and it is the final day of mourning. The following morning the living room is put back to the way it was before.
If an expat or non Dominican dies, by international law they have to have an autopsy. There is one main funeral director for expats, Blandino, and if their services are required they will arrange for the autopsy. Otherwise the police will take the body to the nearest centre where autopsies are arranged. Once the autopsy has been performed, the body is then released and Blandino will arrange burial, cremation and the delivery of the ashes. They will also arrange for repatriation of the body if required. A Dominican death certificate will be issued, and at the same time the death should be registered at the appropriate embassy.
Blandino funeral directors
Capilla La Paz, Distrito Nacional
Av. Abraham Lincoln #62, P.O. Box 2660
Tel.: 809 533-3232
To call for coroner to certify death
Tel: 809 682 8376
This guide was compiled with the help of Lindsay de Feliz, a British expat blogger living in the Dominican Republic. Visit her blog at yoursaucepans.blogspot.com.
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