A traditional kitchen

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Los Cocos, traditional native life-style community, north central coast, Dominican Republic

We are looking into the heart of the community. Mother Marina’s house is on the left, daughter Modesta’s is on the right. Her two children play in the foreground.

Beyond, hidden by the dense foliage are the cottages of Juan, son of Marina and brother to Modesta; Mateo, another brother and his wife and four young sons; Tingo, older brother of Marina; Ramon, a distant relative who recently returned to the community; Cocos, youngest brother to Nicolas, and his wife. A few hundred feet further down the path are clusters of cottages which used to be inhabited by members of the extended family, but which were abandoned a few years ago.

When tourism fished out the sea around them, the ability to live in this isolated coastal area was damaged. Before, living was a simple matter of casting a net in the early morning, for enough fish to feed the family for the day. Now there are no fish, and even the land crabs and shell fish are scarse. Therefore, many families have moved to the nearby village, forced to become a peripheral part of the modern world.

Photo © 1999 Cheryl Kolander