Almost a third of the local population in Cabarete suffers from severe Food Insecurity, which means they have less than 2 days worth of food in reserve at home.
Cabarete Sostenible strives to remedy this problem through several complementary programs.
The Cabarete Sostenible Food Aid Program helps supplement the diets of hundreds of residents suffering from food insecurity by providing monthly food packages straight to their door. Cabarete Sostenible works with local food distributors and small family farms to purchase food that is both nutritious and culturally appropriate.
Supported by dozens of volunteers on the ground and elsewhere, the Cabarete Sostenible Food Aid Program has established systems of continuous monthly aid and an emergency response protocol that mobilizes entire communities and other NGOs to come to the aid of those in need when disaster strikes.
So far we have distributed 3,700 nutritious food packages benefitting 13,600 people.
The 2010 Census reported a population of 14,606 for Cabarete, other sources place that number closer to 25,000 today. Street and home addresses are not updated nor reliable in the country. Accurate government information is limited and/or inaccessible making the identification of vulnerable families particularly challenging.
Our own version of a census, the Cabarete Sostenible Questionnaire, aims to gather important demographic data that enables us to identify vulnerable populations such as the elderly, single parents, and persons with disabilities.
The Questionnaire is completely independent, voluntary, and confidential, volunteer-led and follows protocols of safety, handling sensitive information and is available in Spanish, Haitian Creole, and English to adapt to the locals’ language requirements
By implementing the Questionnaire, we can now accurately track which homes receive our food relief rations and which homes are most vulnerable.
COMMUNITY FARMING & CIVIC AGRICULTURE
Cabarete Sostenible combats food insecurity through the development of community-led spaces dedicated to civic agriculture.
We opened the first and only community garden in Cabarete: El Jardin Comunitario, followed by a community farm, La Finca Comunitaria in the Monumento Natural Laguna Cabarete y Goleta and a plant nursery, El Vivero Comunitario, in the neighborhood of Callejon de la Loma.
Cabarete Sostenible believes that sustainable farming projects offer a solution to food insecurity in the region by creating a network of diverse food options. Both the Community Garden and Community Farm are public spaces serving as hands-on educational and informational centers for the community as well as production grounds to offer alternative economic options to the community.
Cabarete Sostenible welcomes all those who wish to get their hands in the ground in our collective mission to end food insecurity through regenerative methods of community farming and the development of Food Sovereignty. Volunteers give back to their community with an understanding that all the harvests are designated for the Cabarete Sostenible Food Aid Program.
Since our opening in April 2020 volunteers have reigned at El Jardin Comunitario and Finca Comunitaria. The main programs include:
Permaculture and organic farming experts mobilized to clean up garbage and debris, design a gardening layout incorporating native plants, divided garden sections, implemented “fast food growing” techniques to harvest fruits and vegetables within six months and created communication groups for activities.
Schedule and host weekly and monthly events for both adults and children: volunteer orientations, workshops, and group projects. Free workshops range from: introduction to permaculture, how to germinate seeds and finding seeds in your supermarket goods, how to create an herb spiral, introduction to and set up of composting and how to create a banana circle, among others.
So far, we have harvested over 1,200 plantains and green bananas as well as over 200 pounds of produce including yucca, pumpkin, radish, tomatoes, peppers, sweet potatoes, and aromatic herbs. All these ingredients, staples in the island and valuable in nutrition, are included into the food aid packages or used for community cookouts and nutrition workshops.
We only use organic and conscious farming techniques, borrowing from ancestral knowledge, permaculture, and regenerative forestry methods. It is forbidden to use artificial products, pesticides, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and synthetic fertilizers at any of our sites.
Living or visiting the north coast of the Dominican Republic? Give back to this paradise and volunteer with us.