It was a large farm, where people like African Americans, and the Tainos where forced to work at during Spanish colonization. They were treated as slaves. They did it to profit the Europeans. It was a newly settlement which was called a colony. One thing they grew on the plantation was sugarcane. Sugar did not grow in Europe so it was very valuable. Plantations were very variable during that time!
"Cuba,Puerto Rico, and Santo Dominigo at first had a few large Plantations.Alhough some slaves were used ,most people in these colonies were independent farmers, working there own small plots of land." --EPICA/NECA (99)
"As part of its ongoing efforts to monitor conditions on the CEA sugar cane plantations, Americas Watch, the National Coalition for Haitian Refugees and Caribbean Rights, sent an investigative mission to the Dominican Republic in February 1990. The researchers interviewed dozens of Haitian cane cutters, primarily those who were in the Dominican Republic for the first time and thus had most recently experienced Dominican recruitment practices. These Haitians provided first-hand accounts of the forced and dishonest recruitment methods used by the CEA, the restrictions on the Haitians' freedom to leave the plantations, and the subhuman working and living conditions." -- HRW.org