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Last Friday the 12th of October 2012, as well as being the date in which we celebrate “El Día de la Raza” (Identity Day) in the Dominican Republic, it was also the day in which the monthly Café de la Leche gathering was celebrated – a special edition, “El Café de la Leche de los Chavoneros”, in which the Dominican history, culture and traditions were at the center of the event.
The Café de la Leche de los Chavoneros, was this month celebrated in the artistic village of Altos de Chavon with the great aim of collecting milk, cereal and formula for hundreds of babies cared for every day at the Hogar del Niño’s crib room and was organized by numerous hostesses – all of which gave a warm welcome to their many jolly guests, who arrived with their little boys and girls ready to enjoy a wonderful afternoon of laughter, joy and a surprising authentic cultural celebration at the magical Altos de Chavon Regional Archaeological Museum!
A Dominican style Café de la Leche de los Chavoneros!
Given that it was international Race Day (Día de la Raza), the Café de la Leche de los Chavoneros gathering was a very special occasion and probably one like no other before! With Xiomara Menéndez in attendance, founder of the Patronato Benefico Oriental (PBO) as well as her daughter Erika Vilain, the environment featured wonderfully typical Dominican elements; like Perico Ripiao rythms played by local musicians with drums, a güira and an accordion, who were joined by Dominican dancers, as well as a traditional “paletera“, an example of the popular wooden boxes in which humble Dominicans sell sweets in the streets as a source of income (part of the informal economy in the Dominican Republic) – and surprisingly, a “chimi” serving food on the musueum’s terrace!
Erika, Xiomara, Isabel & Thelma at Café de la Leche de los Chavoneros
The event was celebrated on the front terrace of the museum, gathering dozens of ladies from La Romana and Casa de Campo who danced, laughed, talked, and enjoyed their “chimis” (beef sandwiches), and Dominican cocktails (as well as some lemon and strawberry mojitos) provided by Brugal.
During the event, the guests also enjoyed a fabulous tour brilliantly directed by Arlene Alvarez, in which the ladies not only had the chance to appreciate the beauty of this place, but also learn about the history and culture of the Dominican Republic.
“We are very happy to have you here in such an important celebration. It is a pleasure for us to celebrate the Cafe de la Leche in the museum as a way of supporting this wonderful cause, and not only this event but many more activities that you wish to celebrate here.”
— Arlene Alvarez, General Manager of the Altos de Chavon Regional Archaeological Museum
“The Café de la Leche celebration received many people at the Altos de Chavon Regional Archaeological Musuem. It was a great pleasure for us, the Altos de Chavon Cultural Center Foundation, mostly because many of the guests had not visited the museum in the past or had the opportunity of taking a personalized tour, as well as the kid’s workshop in the “exploring classroom” – and it was a great experience for them. It was an afternoon full-filled with culture as everybody enjoyed the wonderful charity event.”
— Martha Victoria, Managing Director at the Altos de Chavon Cultural Center Foundation
Mini Café de la Leche, Altos de Chavón Regional Archaeological Museum
And while the mummies, aunties and grannies enjoyed themselves out on the terrace, the little ones also had their own mini- Café de la Leche with loads of fun in their creative workshop provided by Yanet Castillo in a spectacular creative room filled with colors and decorated with elements of our history, such as maps, plants, rural houses and everything they (residents and visitors) need to know about the history of the Dominican Republic in a fun, dynamic way!
Below we share the photos taken during the Café de la Leche de los Chavoneros, celebrated last Friday the 12th of October 2012 at the Altos de Chavon Regional Archaeological Museum:
About the Café de la Leche
The Cafe de la Leche is a monthly charitable event, a little like a coffee or a tea party held for the ladies of Casa de Campo (although men are occasionally invited) and usually takes place on the first Friday of the month, hosted by a member of the Casa de Campo villa at her Casa de Campo villa or occasionally restaurant/business.