Dominican hot women

day4- cocoa farm

Dominican Republic 2015: Day 4 – From the sea to the sky

Our group of travelers get hands on and learn how to make the world’s best hot chocolate – starting with the raw cocoa pod.

The group makes its way up the mountain to the Suriel family’s cocoa farm.

By Karen Ritter
Quakertown, PA

Our group has come to the Dominican Republic to work with The Mariposa DR Foundation, an innovative educational facility where underserved Haitian and Dominican girls in Cabarete, DR, come for academic tutoring, sports, art, music, theatre, dance, job skills training, health and wellness care, and experiential learning. Dining for Women supported this program a year ago, in April 2014, and we were looking forward to seeing the facility and working with the girls.

day 4-freddyWe started our morning walking from our hotel to Mariposa – a lovely 15-minute stroll along the beach. We had a delicious breakfast and were excited to see the room full of donations that our travelers had brought with us to the Dominican Republic. There were suitcases filled with books, clothes and kitchen supplies of all kinds, from measuring spoons to soup pots. The supplies we brought will enable Mariposa to set up seven fully stocked cooking stations where the girls will learn to cook. We even brought aprons and chef hats that will be embroidered with the Mariposa logo for the girls to wear when they are cooking!

The center was closed today (a local school holiday), but we met some dynamic young women who were also volunteering at Mariposa. We left the center and traveled to the chocolate and coffee farm owned by the Suriel family. Patricia Suriel, the founder and executive director of Mariposa, is married to Freddy Suriel, whose family has owned the farm for many years. For those who were able, there was a 20-minute hike up the mountain trail to the family homestead. Others rode in Freddy’s truck. We were greeted as we arrived by the family patriarch, and we met his wife in her outdoor kitchen, where she was cooking our lunch.

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