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Community Support for Cabarete, Dominican Republic

A Village Unites: ‘Cabarete Sostenible’ Creates Food Sovereignerity Program

A newly formed coalition of local NGO’s, farms, supermarkets, volunteers and elected officials have come together to support local residents that have been negatively impacted by the current economic slowdown. With a comprehensive plan in place that addresses both short and long-term goals, a positive new movement has formed.

In response to the global health crisis, the Dominican Republic closed it’s borders in mid-March, 2020 and tourism was negatively affected in our region. Independent efforts to provide support to local residents began immediately, led by organizations and individuals alike, all with the same aim: to help feed and safeguard our community. The situation was urgent as it left many people without the basic necessities to live. There was a call to action from community leaders, and the community rallied to support immediately.

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” – African Proverb

‘Cabarete Sostenible’: Food Donations, Sustainability

How it Started – A History of Helping Cabarete

Support for our community during the pandemic has called for swift and coordinated action.  A diverse group of local non-profits have combined efforts and ‘Cabarete Sostenible’ was formed. Academia De La Costa, InspireDR, DREAM Project, Providing Opportunity in Bario Blanco, Charlie’s Foundation, and FEDUJAZZ joined together to form Cabarete Sostenible. The coordinated efforts of these non-profits expanded the reach of support, and continues on in it’s mission today.

FEDUJAZZ President Maria Elena Gratereaux, together with Father Rubén of the Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Cabarete, led a relief effort in March-April, 2020 to purchase and deliver care packages of basic food items to over 120 families. Spontaneous initiatives such as this began immediately as people stepped up to help their community members. Cabarete Sostenible continues the work of providing food relief through donations, community gardening, and education programs.

Short term: Purchasing and distributing nutritious food ration packs, with the cost of each just $4 USD per person per week.

Mid to long term: The development of community gardens, permaculture farms and food education programs to make Cabarete more food sustainable.

Food deliveries are ongoing, gardens are being planted and new sustainable initiatives for the community are underway. 100% of donated money goes toward these food programs.

El Jardín abundance in Kite Beach, Cabarete

Through the efforts of program leaders and volunteers, there are vegetables and fruits growing and ready to harvest in El Jardín, the community garden created by Cabarete Sostenible. With the hardships that continue to plague the world and our communities, El Jardín is a healthy and safe environment cultivated with love.

Harvest at the garden: bell pepper and Cuban peppers, both staples in any Dominican kitchen, are the first fruits of labor. Fruits & vegetables from the garden are available at the Saturday Market at Sea Horse Ranch, among other locales. The community garden is a hands-on educational center working towards food sovereignty in Cabarete through ecological agriculture. Volunteers are welcome and encouraged!

To learn more and get involved, contact Cabarete Sostenible.

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