Thatch My Roof

Las Galeras is a rare gem in the modern Caribbean. An authentic, sleepy fishing village at the tip of the Samana Peninsula on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. Here you can escape from the crowds and find yourself alone on a powdery white sand beach, float in turquoise waters while listening to the sound of the palm fronds whispering in the breeze. I have lived and traveled all over the world, yet when I first arrived here a decade ago something shifted deep inside of me. Time and time again it has pulled me back and when I left I cried as if I was leaving my Grandmother's house at the end of summer vacation. My name on Social Media became Doc Galeras.

I have spent my life making things from nothing but a dream: A landscaping business. A thriving boutique design studio in Miami, a celebrity driven massage therapy and personal training business in New York, and now at long last, I have moved my family of four legged children and myself to my beloved Las Galeras. I lived and worked in Mexico City over a decade ago where the culture and food of that magical place have stayed with me. For years my friends have been pushing me to cook and share my recipes from Mexico as a business. In the last year series of events allowed me to make this happen. My job of ten years ended with no notice. Hurricane Irma slammed into Miami and destroyed a garden that was a decade in the making. The door was swinging open in the breeze and I took a leap of faith and walked through it.

A quick trip with a trusted friend and advisor to Las Galeras, and one week later I had signed a lease for a charming house on a hill in the middle of a working farm. More importantly, I found a perfect location for my Taqueria on the main street of the village. In the shade of a large tree, with a thatched patio, and a zinc roofed stucco building housing the kitchen, it had all the charm to fulfill the basic needs of a beachside Mexican Cantina. Years of design studio and renovation projects allowed me to sketch out and budget the cost to make this vision come to life. I signed a three year lease.

Then, just a week before my arrival, the previous tenant did the unthinkable and destroyed the large thatch covered dining structure and bathroom. Now I find myself faced with an unforeseen cost to get to opening day. I need to rebuild the structure and thatch in order to have the dining area protected from sun and rain, and I need to reconstruct the wooden and thatched roof bathroom. The cost exceeds my budget and savings by 5 thousand dollars. On advice from a dear friend I have decided to reach out into the world of cyber support to find the funding I need to bring this vision to life. I have met and negotiated with the contractors, found electrical and plumbing suppliers at cost, created floor plans and drawings and am ready to begin.

I know that my vision will work. My goal is to become a part of this beloved community. My demographic is not exclusively tourists. My delicious food is affordable for locals as well. My place will serve the community but it will not be limited to just food. I plan to use the space one Saturday morning a month to give free art classes to local kids. I plan to offer weekly English classes in the morning to local adults so that they can have more opportunity to thrive in the burgeoning tourism industry. I want to hire and help locals who may not have the formal training or experience. Who makes the best rum cake or coconut cookies? The best pastelitios? Local Abeluelas can now supply me with food and make a bit of money. Local farmers and fisherman will be my sources, not Cisco. This is a fundamental part of my vision. The goal is success which is not exclusively defined by financial gain. We do not stand nor succeed alone in this life. I plan to hold up my new community and I am hoping that the kindness and support of a few of you will help hold me up and make my dream come to life.
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Doc Galeras 
Miami Beach, FL
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