The natural beauty and traditions of Bayahibe, situated in the country’s eastern region, are clearly reflected through its arts and crafts.
Visitors can choose from unique pieces made by the men and women who live in what was once a quiet fishing community, and which now boasts some of the country’s finest hotels and resorts.
Situated 15 minutes east of the city of La Romana, the handicrafts produced by the members of the arts and crafts association.
These men and women have come together to give life to the region’s beauty through their particular creations.
Always respectful of the environment, they offer an innovative tour of the region through the “Discover Bayahibe” cultural tour.
Craftsmanship features region’s own style
One of the most popular articles made by local artisans is that of the traditional fishing boat used by Bayahibe’s local fishermen. The boat is very popular among tourists that visit the local tourism stores, and has become the cultural icon of what Bayahibe is all about.
Another popular item, made by the craftsmen and women of the region, are the wood chimes, built to resemble the typical homes of the region. The small hand-made houses are made of wood, zinc-sheet ceilings, windows, cement floors painted in happy Caribbean colors. Jewelry is also an important part of the arts and crafts made by local artisans.
Other popular items: dolphin figures, to raise awareness of the need to protect the dolphin population in the nearby waters. The dolphin figures are made from small seeds, from a local tree. The seeds are polished, taking on a natural glow.
Seeds become art objects
Members of the association employ lots of recycled materials in their creations. The goal is to raise awareness of the need to protect the environment.
The materials used by local artisans come from various trees found in the area, such as:
“Fororo” seeds. The seeds from this tree were once used by the native Taino population as a natural soap. The seeds are used in various items.
“Mate Gris” seeds. This tree, whose trunk is protected by thorns, is a real challenge to work with. It is found near the sea.
“Mate Rojo” seeds. Found in the wooded areas, the seeds of this particular tree are a deep red color, adding an interesting and unique touch to products created with these seeds.
Flamboyant Tree. Found thoughout the country, this particular tree is known for its bright red flowers. It is a true ally of most artisans, who use the seeds to create interesting artifacts.
“Samo Tree.” This enormous tree grows near river banks in remote coastal areas. Its seeds are washed into the sea, where they are gathered near the shore by the artisans.
“Oreja Tree.” Another popular tree whose seeds are widely used.
The goal of the association is to promote Bayahibe’s artisans and, by doing this, contribute to raise the quality of life in the area. Also, to contribute to a solid and sustainable tourism industry that can provide employment for the local population.
The association has received the support of the La Romana-Bayahibe Hotel Association, the Tourism Cluster of La Romana-Bayahibe, the Dominican Tourism Competitiveness Consortium (CDCT), the US Agency for International Development and the Multilateral Investment Fund, as well as the Inter-American Development Bank.
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