A few weeks ago, the Dominican Republic hosted the V Community of Latin American and Caribbean States Summit celebrated in Punta Cana where various Presidents came down to deepen the integration of the Latin America and Caribbean countries. As part of the activities, First Lady Cándida Montilla de Medina of the Dominican Republic along with many distinguished First Ladies of Latin America visited Higuey, as well as Altos de Chavón and throughout the rest of Casa de Campo.
Mrs. Montilla de Medina with First Ladies Ginette Privert of Haiti and Clara Savarin of Dominica, along with the wives of foreign ministers, Elizabeth Franco de Loizaga of Paraguay, Sharon Brantley of San Cristóbal y Nieves, and Angelita de Vargas of the Dominican Republic, and more distinguished ladies enjoyed a day visiting popular places in the Eastern region. They toured the Basilica of Our Lady of La Altagracia and the adjacent Museum bearing the same name with Father Evaristo Areché.
Cándida Montilla de Medina recognized the importance of the Virgin for all Dominicans and expressed, “the spiritual life of this region, and the culture of the Dominican people, which is a culture of loving hearts, divine protection, and Grace is demonstrated in its regard to tourism in our country”. During the tour, the ladies learned more about the history of the Basilica of Higuey, and were fascinated to hear how the sacred temple was built for the Dominicans. In addition, they enthusiastically listened to the way in which Dominicans honor their Holy Mother, the Virgin of La Altagracia, on January 21st of each year.
After the visit to the Basilica of Our Lady of La Altagracia and its Museum, the ladies traveled to Casa de Campo and Altos de Chavón in La Romana where they toured the famous artist’s village with Stephen Kaplan, rector of the School of Design, and Mr. Andres Pichardo Rosenberg, President of Casa de Campo Resort and Villas. The Amphitheater, the Museum, the Church San Estanislao, and the Chavón Plaza, were among the places visited, and a group of folkloric dancers performed in traditional white, red and blue dresses, dancing to the captivating tunes of merengue. To end the day, Mrs. Montilla de Medina treated all to afternoon cocktails and a meal.
Below is a gallery of pictures from the Altos de Chavón tour, provided by the Office of the First Lady: