The Dominican Republic Feels Like Home

The Crawford family loves to go to their home in Los Blancos, Barahona, in the Dominican Republic whenever they get the chance. Edward and Mary have some great memories and roots here as they helped to build their home when they were first married.

Edward’s first experience in the Dominican Republic was with the Peace Corps, where he served for two years. He fell in love with the people and the hard-working coffee farmers. Edward’s best friend there offered him a plot of land on the mountain overlooking the ocean, and it is here where they built their home. Edward wanted to stay connected to the service and people so he could share it with his wife and children. Edward and Mary also helped build the church there 17 years ago and have donated bibles. These meaningful memories are now passed down to their children, Caroline (11), Edward (9), and Annabelle (7), who played with Dominican and Haitian children … and chickens!

They traveled to the Dominican Republic by plane during spring break and then rented a car. While they were there for seven days, they had beautiful weather and went to some amazing beaches. Edward says, “We also found a famous Merengue dancing spot wherethe music spilled into the street. I was able to dance with Mary and Annabelle to the National Dance of the Dominican Republic.” They also visited Santo Domingo, Columbus Square, and the oldest church in the new world, which dates to 1523, the Nuestra Senora De La Encarnacion.

Back in 2005, Edward helped to start a coffee cooperative to assist the coffee farmers and their families. They now have over 300 growers in the cooperative. The leader of the coffee cooperative stopped by their house to talk about the coffee crop and how much it has helped the community. The Crawford family also provided the opportunity for a girl from Los Blancos to go to college. She now has her master’s degree, and her kids are friends with Edward and Mary’s children! They cherish their friends and relationships there.

While there, they enjoyed zapote juice, papaya, goat, fish, and fresh coffee from the mountains of Los Blancos. They can’t wait to go back! Their advice for anyone going: “Bring sunscreen, the mindset of an adventurer, and some dancing shoes!”

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