Paseo a finca y playa -- Trip to a farm and beach

Authored by:
Natalie Green

Natalie Green


After a busy week with classes and activities, we were all looking forward to our trip outside the city. The first week of the program culminated in an excursion to a cacao farm and some time getting to know the city of Puerto Plata and its beautiful beaches.

Hacienda Cufa (Cacao)

Checkeando el mapa antes de salir -- Checking the map before heading out 

Before getting to dip our toes en el mar, we stopped by Hacienda Cufa, a nearby cacao farm to learn about the process of making chocolate. Hacienda Cufa is a community-owned, organic cacao farm that was started by Don Cufa and his family. The farm doesn’t have just cacao plants—we learned about a wide variety of native and introduced plants and trees that all grow together and support the process of growing the cacao. Some included mango, coffee, limoncillo, tamarind, and medicinal plants. The shade offered by the other trees is necessary for the success of the cacao plant, so it’s a very symbiotic relationship. Plus, the fruit produced by the trees (like mangos, limoncillos and tamarind) can be consumed by the community.

Sustainable Community Tourism
El cacao 
Maddie con Albina, viendo los árboles de cacao -- Maddie with Albina looking at the cacao trees

The reality of working a cacao farm isn’t all work with no play. Traditionally, the whole family is part of the process and they all spend time together in the hacienda. They showed us how the kids sometimes go “sledding” on toboganes that come from trees in the farm. Some adventurous students tried it out!







El cacao

We tasted the fresh fruit of the cacao (sweet and yummy), the toasted bean (warm, crunchy and dark), mashed beans (softer and chocolatey), and finally some finished products (súper delicioso!) Hacienda Cufa sells cacao products you can eat, use to wash your body, and even have a spa day with. Many students took advantage of the opportunity to buy some items for families and friends after trying some of it.

Probando los productos de chocolate -- Trying the chocolate
De semilla a chocolate -- From seed to chocolate 
Un día de spa con Francinca y Collin -- Spa day with Francina and Collin


Omarrah haciéndose la mascarilla de cacao -- Omarrah getting her cacao mask 
Alexa, David, Omarrah y Cat con sus mascarillas de cacao -- With their cacao masks 
Brandon, Albina, Jena, Maddie, Alexa, Cat y Delphine disfrutando de sus mascarillas -- Enjoying their masks
Arriba: Rebecca y Jaide // Abajo: Delphine, Maddie y MyAja
Lindsay con Ananya y Rebecca
Todo el grupo de las mascarillas antes de quitárselas -- The whole group with their masks before washing them off
Disculpa la foto volteada.. Natalie, Tranna y Adeja relajando sin mascarillas -- Excuse the upside-down photo.. Natalie, Tranna and Adeja relaxing without masks

La playa 

After their spa time and having a snack, we made our way to Puerto Plata for a scavenger hunt, lunch, and the beach time que tanto anhelábamos.

El grupo de Francina (los ganadores) de la búsqueda del tesoro -- Francina's scavenger hunt group (the winners) 
MyAja durante la búsqueda del tesoro -- MyAja during the scavenger hunt
Jena con su agua de coco -- Jena and her coconut water
David durante la búsqueda del tesoro -- David during the scavenger hunt
Brandon y su nuevo amigo -- Brandon and his new friend
Saliendo para la búsqueda del tesoro -- Heading out of the scavenger hunt
Trabajando en la búsqueda del tesoro. ¡Hace calor! -- Working on the scavenger hunt. It's hot!
Sombrillas lindas en Puerto Plata - Pretty umbrellas in Puerto Plata 
David, Alondra, Ananya, Mikayla, Alexa y Jaide
Vendedor en la playa -- Seller on the beach
Las chicas de azul -- Girls in blue 

Hope to see you soon playa! 

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