The Dominican Republic has built its first temporary artificial beach in the capital for people who cannot afford to travel during Holy Week.

Dozens of onlookers watched as crews dumped 1,500 square feet (139 sqquare meters) of sand along Santo Domingo's boardwalk Wednesday. The workers also have put in palm trees, umbrellas and lounge chairs.

The artificial beach is about 300 feet (90 meters) long, features 12 swimming pools and costs about $100,000. It opens Thursday and closes Sunday.

Santo Domingo has 19 miles (30 kilometers) of coastline, but the beaches are rocky and the water contaminated. The capital's sole sandy beach is closed during Holy Week because officials consider it too dangerous for swimmers.