I don't have any experience in the DR, but I have spent a lot of time on the Caribbean
coast of Mexico
. My winter business involves adventure travel to the "end of the road" and the small village of Xcalak on the border of Mexico
As a north american, it took some time to adjust to the way of doing business in Mexico and simply accepting it as that, the way that business is done in Mexico. (A friend of mine once told me, "To the Mexican, a gringo is nothing but a f@#king atm machine.")
Like it or not, once one accepts the differences, things go much smoother.
The other thing that takes some getting used to is a way of life that is radically different than that in developed countries. I can't help but wonder, though, isn't that the reason why we travel?