Sosua changes always bring controversy to locals and travelers. Because of the inherent nature of change as the driving force that transforms our lives – someone said the only constant in life is, change. July 2016 is seeing a redux of previous years in Sosua, and to understand how this little beach town is trying to reshape its present, we need to go back more than 75 years, around the early 1940`s.
This town was born out of a lucky shot by a group of fleeing Jews that saved their lives because then dictator Rafael Trujillo granted them visas ( more as a commercial deal with the U.S. Jewish community, they did pay for it ). The town became a haven born of agriculture and dairy production, built a synagogue, a factory, barracks, homes, and later became a town in its own sense ( see history of Sosua ).
Tourism flourished in the mid 1980`s and Sosua became a favorite place for those visiting Puerto Plata, saw many new hotels springing up everywhere; It was an all-inclusive sensation for families from Europe and North America, who came to discover a hidden Caribbean gem.
The end of the 1990`s tourism declined in the North Coast, possibly because the poor cooperation among hotel owners, among other issues, helped their new competition in the East of DR, Bavaro and then Punta Cana. Soon someone saw in Sosua an open door to paradise and many single men began to travel there in order to spend a weekend with local “chicas“, the women that walk the bars in promise of finding a guy that would pay them to spend the night together.
At the same time, the Internet started to spread around the world, bringing media to virtually everyone within minutes. Photos and videos from male travelers depicting Sosua as a sex destination soon started to have its effect on travelers and travel agents, combined with the efforts to have most all inclusive tourism routed to the East in favor of other developers.
Places like Moby Dick, Marinero, and Casablanca to name a few, gave way to more “exotic” and almost forbidden night clubs such as Passions and CMP, where women would be literally available from a catalog, and openly published online – with lots of videos on Youtube, Vimeo, and the like. Do a search in Google for “Sosua” and you will find most of the content is not what a destination wants on the net.
The year 2013 saw one of the big raids that closed the doors of many such clubs, specially those two. Later in 2015 Latin Drinks bar also was shut down by authorities, and 2016 saw the end of Rumba, Herman`s bar, Las Flores and Patio Tipico. Even the Pedro Clisante strip was closed off to vehicles, later reopened due to public outcry.
Why are the authorities closing the single guy bars on the main strip? because as in any destination, it is ok to play among adults as long as it is kept private, like in Vegas. There are still places open, probably learning a lesson to avoid shutdown, let`s see. The local business association behind the raid is trying to make Sosua a general audience destination, so most probably a few new clubs will be springing up farther from the center of town, and the ones still there will have to cope with new regulations, or close shop.
All the freelance publishers ( like Cuba Dave ) got kicked out of the island and told not to come back, after posting numerous videos and information on Sosua and its nightlife sex trade – he is still in Jail in Costa Rica for these same matters, seriously affected.
Advice to single men traveling to Sosua? avoid publishing videos photos or other media that clearly is for advertising Sosua as a kinky place. Anyone traveling for fun will enjoy the town and the hospitality of its people, but remember to keep your adult life private, and understand why the descendants of the first settlers are taking steps towards the “cleaning” of the town. Sosua Changes are always towards the benefit of the town and the country.
Many excellent restaurants and discos are always available in Sosua, Cabarete and Puerto Plata, and private villa rentals offer a good way to enjoy parties, privately. The wide catalog of tours available in the North Coast makes it very attractive to everyone, so keep it nice and enjoy life.