Cabarete Sostenible is a Dominican-led & international volunteers powered NGO. While we welcome volunteers and partners from all backgrounds, origins, and horizons, our organization is led and managed mostly by the following community leaders.
Tomas “Papo” Soñé Founder & Co-Director
Tomas “Papo” Soñé is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt, mixed martial arts instructor, former professional MMA fighter and gardening enthusiast. He is the co-founder of Academia de la Costa, a martial arts academy and community center based in Cabarete, Las Terrenas, Santo Domingo and Ottawa, Canada. Through Academia de la Costa, Papo has organized free Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, art and skateboard classes for local children, as well as cultural and folkloric events (Carnaval de Cabarete, art murals and music festivals) and yearly medical fairs providing dental and pediatric services to underserved communities. Originally from Santo Domingo, Papo has lived in Cabarete for almost 20 years. Cabarete Sostenible started with a brief conversation at the parking lot of Janet’s supermarket between Papo and Jonathan “Tomato” Kayes.
Iskania Livanessa Perez Peña was born in Montecristi, Dom. Rep., and grew up in Cabarete. At the age of 16, she began practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and is currently a purple belt with 4 stripes, instructor, and international competitor under Academia de la Costa. Iskania is completing her higher education in Physical Education at the Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo. Currently she is the Head of School at 3 Mariposas Montessori. Iskania feels a strong social commitment to her community and has completed diplomas in Social Doctrine and Preservation of the Environment. In her free time, you can find Iskania surfing or providing accessible fitness classes to women and girls of La Cienega, Cabarete.
Moraima Capellán Pichardo, Founder & Co-Director
Moraima Capellán Pichardo is a Dominican-born, Brooklyn-raised, professional writer, visual creator, organizer, and yoga teacher. After completing her undergraduate degree in Journalism and Cinema and Screen Studies from the State University of New York at Oswego, Moraima worked in marketing and web management with communications companies such as the Bushwick Film Festival and American Telecommunications Inc. She has written for Oprah Daily, The Huffington Post, La Galeria Magazine, and Healthista, among others. Her published work often focuses on the cultural analysis of the immigrant experience and social justice on and off screen. After living in New York, Moraima returned home and is based in Cabarete, Dominican Republic.
Thierry Daher is French-born entrepreneur who spent 26 years in New York City before moving Cabarete 4 years ago. During his time in NYC, Thierry co-founded 4 start-up companies in technology and an independent film production company, producing several indie documentaries which won 6 Best-film/Best-documentary awards in international festivals. he also produced over 100 short video programs for major brands such as Disney, Nike, Adidas, Lands’ end and others.
A yoga instructor, surfer and meditation practitioner Thierry brings his experience of conscious entrepreneurhip and his creativity to the development of Cabarete Sostenible as a humanist and innovative social entrepreneur.
Lawyer, activist, Dominican, social entrepreneur, cultural manager and mother. Founder and director of ELBIEN. COM, INC., an NGO, specialized in the coordination & execution of social development & management programs, through collaboration & support networks, such as ImpACTA Kids Foundation, founded by Manny Acta (former leader of the major leagues, Washington Nationals, Licey and Aguilas in R.D.), whose mission is to provide opportunities to young people in the United States of America and the Dominican Republic; ¨Nido para Ángeles¨ Foundation, focused on improving the quality of life of children with cerebral palsy AND ¨TRIB OF SOLIDARITY¨©, Dominican chapter of Kids for Peace, international community of children for the construction of peace.