Hand Rolled Dominican Cigars In Rio San JuanAs you probably know, I like a good hand rolled Dominican cigar every now and then.  Today we will stop by one of my favorite little local cigar and gift shops in Rio San Juan to get Jhonny Alduino’s thoughts on why he thinks so many foreigners prefer the Cabrera and Rio San Juan region of the North Coast.

Jhonny has a particularly interesting perspective since so many foreigners seek him out to learn the ropes about cigar selection and the fine art of enjoying a cigar.  It turns out that Jhonny is fluent in Spanish, English, French and German which makes him the ideal contact point for many expats.  Jhonny grew up in Santo Domingo and attended school there before moving up to the Puerto Plata area for work.  He has a good handle on what foreigners really like about the North Coast.

In this series of videos……..

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Cabrera Mayor Jorge CavoliCabrera Dominican Republic is a village on the move.   We had and opportunity to interview the current Cabrera mayor, Jorge Cavoli, about his vision for Cabrera and his commitment to serve and protect all foreigners and expats that visit or move to Cabrera.

Jorge is serving his third term as mayor of Cabrera and is known as a visionary and inspired leader of this growing North Coast coastal village. Cabrera continues to be a safe and welcoming community that welcomes foreigners from the United States. Canada, Europe and other countries. As Jorge points out in his interview, many of the citizens of Cabrera appreciate the foreigners and treat them very much as they would family. Of course the region is rich in beauty and culture, with some of the most unspoiled and beautiful beaches in the Dominican Republic, adjoining dramatic mountain ridges and valleys. Farming, fishing, commerce and tourism are all well entrenched and sustainable in Cabrera and the surrounding communities.

We covered a lot of important topics in this short interview…..

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In a recent post I did a little video about all the renovations the city has made to the little central park in Cabrera.  While I was shooting I noticed that there were a group of mountain bicycle riders starting to gather for their annual Mountian Bike trek around Cabrera.  I thought I would share a video by one of the sponsors that shows you just a sampling of what that event was like out on the trail.

 

There is not something going on all the time here in the little village of Cabrera, but…..

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Take your pick it's all going to be worthlessAll over the globe governments are taking rather draconian measures to assure they squeeze every last dime possible in taxes out of their citizens. While we all realize that it does take money for these governments to operate, sometimes it seems that the people be damned in politicians’ quest to maintain iron-fisted control over its people and their tax dollars. We see this in countries of all sizes and dominance, from the US to India to China as well as in many of the smaller countries.

The interesting thing about it, many of these politicians go out of their way to couch their draconian measures in the form of “protections” of the people. Take for example the latest effort by India to “end the evil tax evasion”…. and get their hands on more tax dollars that they feel they are missing out on. In November 2016 the Indian government basically declared the most widely used form of paper money to be worthless and forced the population to go through rather extreme efforts to try to convert their older bills into newer bills over just a few weeks.

We are talking about bills worth about $7.50 and $15.00 each which make up over 80% of the currency in circulation. Supplies of the replacement bills were in short supply and lines at banks to attempt to convert older bills to newer bills were intolerable. Oooops, there was one other problem. Individuals could only convert up to approximately $30 per person per day with approved proof of identity. As they say at NASA… Houston, we have a problem….. hundreds of millions of India’s citizens do not even have that form of proof of identity.  No proof, no conversion, no eat.

Keep in mind that over 97% of all transactions in India are in cash, what would you expect to happen when you can no longer spend your own money that you have earned to feed your family……

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Cabreera Dominican Republic Central Park RenewalThe central park of many Latin towns and villages is the life blood of the community. That is certainly true here in the village of Cabrera on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic. For those of you who have ventured to Cabrera in the past, you will notice all the improvements in landscaping and hardscaping. It is a much more inviting park, with more seating and very low maintenance features.

I like what they have done in the central park and I am sure it will be even more popular for the citizens and visitors alike. On this Sunday morning I was in the park to start my research into one of the mountain bike events that are popular in the Dominican Republic. On this event I am told that there will be over 300 participants. More on that in a future video.

It turns out that the Dominican Republic offers the perfect variation of topography for mountain biking competitions and outtings. We offer the highest mountains in the Caribbean, up to 10.700 feet right along with roads that hug the beaches at sea level for miles. Of course overlooking the sea level coastline on the North Coast you will find ample mountain roads with dramatic views of both the coast and the valleys.

 

You might wonder why I make such a big deal about seemingly simple little improvements here in Cabrera ………….

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Puerto Plata Airport To Pick Up Newest Cabrera NeighborsWe have met hundreds of families over the last few years of our free Discovery Tours of the North Coast of the Dominican Republic.  I have to say that it has been a real joy.  But one of the most satisfying experiences is to make that trip to the airport to pick up the latest family that has decided to make the move and become our latest neighbor in Cabrera…. and that is what we are doing today in this little series of videos.

I have talked to enough people that have worked through their own decision making process to know how challenging it can be to finally decide to pack your stuff, leave your home country and relocate to a new country.  It is obviously harder for some than for others and the reasoning is different for each family I meet.

See You At The Beach

See You At The Beach

Some come for the more laid back lifestyle.  Some come because they can live a better life for a lot less budget.  Other come for the adventure and new experiences.  Some come because they have lost faith in their home government and economy.  Some come to help others.  Some come to be near the beach and to escape the cold.  It varies and for most families it is some combination of many of these things.

As you will overhear in one of the video segments below, the extreme division of the US along political and other lines has played a part in helping this family to make the move now rather than later……

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Los Gringos Beach East Of Nagua – Yet Another Uncrowded Beach On The North Coast

Los Gringos Beach in Nagua is one of those fairly well developed beaches that can be quite crowded on holidays and the occasional weekend.  However on most weekdays you can have the whole beach to your self.  Nagua is a busy town of about 80,000 people so you can imagine how festive this beach can […]

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Discovering Another Deserted Beach On The North Coast

I just love the North Coast of the Dominican Republic near Cabrera.  It seems that if you point your car down any path or road toward the ocean you will end up discovering another unspoiled, uncrowded beach just waiting for you to settle in for a nice day on the beach. On our free North […]

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Take A Ride In My Time Machine – Rice Planting The Ancient Way

One of the things we enjoy most about our expat lifestyle here on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic is variety and exploration.  You never know what to expect as you head down the road.  Just the other day I happened by the rice fields a few miles down the road from Cabrera.  I […]

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Kicking Off 2017 With A Visit To A New Beach – Will 2017 Be Your Year For Change

It looks like Cabrera Dominican Republic will be a good, stable place to be in 2017.  While a lot of my more conservative American friends seem to be enjoying a little bit of euphoria over the election of Trump, I have to caution you not to get too complacent.  After all, the US still faces a staggering […]

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