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La Ceiba's Beloved Protagonists: Stories from a Cucuyo Director

The week of Thanksgiving I took a trip down to my beloved Dominican Republic. It was a last-minute decision; as the holiday inched closer, I realized I had some vacation time to use–and that part of the world had been on my brain lately. So one week, a few clicks, and a virtual credit card swipe later, I had a ticket to the island.

This trip was interesting because it was the first time I had visited the community, La Ceiba, simply to… be there. Say hello, drink coffee, catch up. When people asked me why I had come, I responded, “I’m on vacation.” An expression of surprise would cross their faces, and I could see the progression of thoughts: “Oh. You came alone. On your free time. Huh. You’re here just to see us… Cool!”

And that was the whole point. I wanted everyone to know that, while Cucuyo is still running a program each year, that’s not the only reason we visit La Ceiba. We come because we are invested in the community.

I often say that I have friends in the Dominican Republic–which is true–but in closer conversations, I describe La Ceiba as a second home, a place of family. I know that I could go there under a variety of circumstances and be taken in, no questions asked...

Read on deep down into the love on Lauren's extraordinary blog, La Alta.

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