Los Charcos de Los Indios
Last weekend I had the opportunity of experiencing Caminata del Rio Gurabo or Los Charcos de los Indios. On this adventure I traveled with a group of CIEE students in a small bus up and through the mountains. We stopped on the top of one of the hills and began our adventure from there. We hiked through a beautiful river which was surrounded by lush greenery (despite the fact that this area is considered to be relatively dry region).
Our hike was definitely rewarded with an amazing view of a colossal face of the Taino god Cohoba carved into the mountain side. This carving is possibly the only site of indigenous monumental architecture that exists in the entire Caribbean. We enjoyed a picnic lunch looking up at this face as Lynne colored our imaginations with her anthropological research. This area in the mountains was where many Tainos had fled to escape the Spaniards. The waterfalls that painted the foreground of Cohoba were where many of the Tainos would bathe.
After our lunch some of us ventured along the rocks to explore the area. After a long hike I was content with resting and looking at the view but my friends Valerie and Riley encouraged me to follow them as they scaled the rocks along the pools of water. Following them was not easy. Some of the rock climbing we did was definitely a little treacherous and was a true testament to the trust that has fostered the wonderful friendships I have made here.
After our rock climbing adventure and acquiring a few scrapes along the way we made it to the top of the monument. The view was well worth the journey. I could not believe how high up we were and how surreal the moment felt. The view was incredible and I felt as if I had a birds-eye-view of the whole area.
After scrambling back down the rocks we swam in the charcos. We slid down one of the waterfalls and enjoyed a refreshing dunk after climbing the hot rocks. Our hike back to the bus was even more challenging seeing as it was all uphill. Our efforts were rewarded by stopping at a casabe factory what supplies the majority of the island. As you might remember from an earlier post casabe is a delicious bread/cracker-like food made from yucca. To me, being gluten intolerant, this bread is a treat for me and my host mom toasts it with olive oil and salt for me frequently. At the factory they have coconut casabe which was a special surprise. I stalked up on quite a bit of it and brought some home to share with my host family.
The next day a few of my friends and I went to our favorite beach, Sosua. Our friend Miguel, whose family owns our favorite restaurant there, greeted us in front of their renovated restaurant. The whole family was so proud to show us their new-and-improved storefront.
While my friends spent the morning at the beach I took a motoconcho (motorcycle) to an interview at The Mariposa Foundation in Cabarete. The Mariposa Foundation is a girl’s empowerment organization that works to serve underprivileged girls in the community. I got chills touring the facilities and meeting some of the staff members. After my interview I was offered a position to intern there this summer! It feels so perfect especially after my internship with Girls Inc. this past summer. If you are interested in learning mroe about the Mairposa Foundation click here! It looks like I may be staying in the DR for the summer as well!