Cabarete Sostenible is a non-profit providing food relief to the neediest families and developing food sovereignty through civic regenerative agro-forestry and the creation of social enterprises.
Cabarete Sostenible is a platform for community-led sustainability and redistributes access to economic opportunities by bringing the power of the food systems back to local hands.
HISTORY & MISSION.
Cabarete Sostenible started as an emergency response to the food crisis brought to light during the COVID-19 national and global emergency of early 2020.
In Cabarete, reliance on tourism has left the community especially vulnerable to the fluctuations of the global tourism sector. Over 70% of those who completed our local questionnaire reported a complete loss of income at the start of the COVID19 national quarantine.
Even before the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the average family of Cabarete was considered food insecure; they do not have more than 3 days’ worth of food at home.
Facing the threat of potential food starvation in their community of Cabarete, an initial coalition of local organizations, community leaders and volunteers quickly got together in March 2020 with simple yet ambitious goals:
in the short term, to provide emergency food relief and avoid a humanitarian crisis.
In a second stage: create the conditions for food sovereignty for the residents of the Cabarete municipality as soon as possible.
Long term, create complete sustainability in Cabarete, from food sovereignty to economics to education, to entrepreneurship and wellness programs for the local population.
In response to these challenges, Cabarete Sostenible has responded with an ambitious hands-on entrepreneurial approach to community development.
Even before the identity of Cabarete Sostenible was conceptualized, a group of individuals came together concerned for our neighbors during the development of the COVID19 global pandemic. Those individuals reached out to their contacts, community leaders, organizers, and non-profit organizations to form what later became the Cabarete Sostenible Coalition.
At the core of the grassroots movements within Cabarete Sostenible, are the immense and remarkable efforts of all our volunteers. We believe that each volunteer brings something valuable and unique to our efforts when we take the appropriate steps to match their skills to the collective needs.
When the Cabarete Sostenible Emergency Food Aid Program began, the students and athletes of Academia de la Costa, the local Martial Arts school led by Tomas “Papo” Soñé, mobilized to organize, and lead the food packing and distribution. The DREAM Project lent their experience and administrative expertise to channel and manage the funds. Inspire DR, FEDUJAZZ and Charlie’s Foundation collectively communicated with volunteers, lent gardening equipment, and hosted workshops in their facilities. For the first time, most of Cabarete’s non-profit organizations were creating channels of communication for support, guidance, and collaboration.
Cabarete Sostenible strives to cultivate a safe and healthy culture of volunteer work through leadership development and cultural sensitivity training that emphasizes working alongside the communities with serve. Never above and always careful to avoid a savior complex.
At the beginning of the COVID19 crisis, the Dominican government closed the country's borders and as a result Cabarete's community which depends heavily on tourism was left with little with no food to survive. Most of the NGOs in town quickly got together to provide an emergency relief action. Today, these organizations still include:
The DREAM Project is the largest NGO in Cabarete. It provides more than 1,000,000 hours of quality education to more than 8,000 children through 17 different programs across 27 communities in the Dominican Republic. www.dominicandream.org
INSPIRE DR educates, mentors, and inspires underprivileged boys to become productive and responsible members of the community. InspireDR provides free programs that teach practical life skills and instill positive values, so boys in the Dominican Republic can mature into responsible men, husbands, and fathers. www.inspireDR.org
Academia de la Costa is a martial arts academy and community center focusing on the practice of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu both as a sport and for personal defense. The Academy offers free or low-cost classes, activities and workshops to local children and youth and is recognized as a force for positive change in under-served communities. www.jiujitsudelacosta.com
Charlie’s Foundation is a Canadian and Dominican non-profit organization that teaches Dominican youth the English language, connecting them with the wider world and improving their future career prospects. www.Charliesfoundation.org
FEDUJAZZ, the non-profit Education Foundation of the Jazz Festival offers free music education to children from under-served communities, and special workshops for local musicians. Many of the artists participating in the Dominican Republic Jazz Festival offer workshops to support the cultural development of hundreds of local children every year. www.drjazzfestival.com