August 4, 2008

Latin American tour August 2008 – Day 4 – Dominican Republic

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Written by: Martin Christy

We took a day off from cacao today and headed for the beach. In this case, it was Jose Antonio Martinez Rojas’s own beach within the tourist centre of Bavaro, near Punta Cana, in Altagracia province on the north coast. Jose Antonio was one of the first entrepreneur’s to invest in land in this strip of coast, which thirty years on has become a vast tourist haven.

Lourdes and I used the time for a beach photo shoot for promotion shots of Lourdes’s tagua jewellery. I was got up in a very British way, all covered up and rolled up trousers for paddling, while Lourdes splashed about in the sea and I made use of the zoom.

After the drive back we went off for a meeting in the impressive Rizek offices in Santa Domingo with Hector José Rizek Sued, one of the sons of Rizek’s founder.

Our by now good friend Max Wax was also at the meeting, where we discussed the future goals of the company and how fine chocolate might develop over the next few years. We also talked about the development of the international Fine or Flavor Cacao Organisation that Lourdes is helping to set up – more about this in the next few days when we reach Guatemala.

The day finished with a dinner at Jose Antonio’s where we finally caught up with the illusive Idelfonso Medina, completing a circle from our first meeting back in 2005, and that first photo with a Cluizel Los Ancones bar and Idelfonso’s invitiation.

About the Author

Martin Christy
Martin Christy is Seventy%’s editor and founder and is a leading voice in the chocolate industry, promoting the cause of fine chocolate and fine cacao and those who produce them. With twenty years’ experience of fine chocolate, he has travelled extensively visiting cocoa plantations and meeting the world’s top producers and is a consultant to the fine chocolate and cacao growing industries worldwide. Martin is Judging Director of the International Chocolate Awards, which he founded in the UK with Kate Johns of Chocolate Week. He is also Acting Chairman of the new fine cacao and chocolate industry association, Direct Cacao and is a member of the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Initiative Tasting Panel. He is also a freelance writer about fine chocolate, contributing to UK magazines and several books about fine chocolate.



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