Cabarete’s Evolution: Tracing its Afro-Dominican Roots to a Modern Nomadic Oasis


Key Takeaways

  • Once an Afro-Dominican citrus grove, Cabarete has evolved into a digital nomad hub, blending history with modernity.
  • Foreign ties dating back to the 1830s, notably Zephaniah Kingsley’s influence, shaped Cabarete’s development.
  • Cabarete attracts young travelers and remote workers with its water sports and relaxed lifestyle, evident in active digital nomad groups.

In the heart of the Dominican Republic lies Cabarete, a town that has witnessed a metamorphosis over the decades. Transitioning from an Afro-Dominican citrus grove to a sought-after locale for digital nomads, Cabarete offers a vivid portrayal of history meeting modernity.

Carolina Sims: The Visionary of Cabarete

According to a story published on Fagen Wasanni, Carolina Sims, with her Afro-Dominican lineage, once owned what’s now downtown Cabarete. As the granddaughter of a formerly enslaved woman, she astoundingly predicted the influx of foreigners to her homeland. Today, her descendants marvel at her uncanny foresight, as her former home thrives with international influence, marked by cafes, health food spots, and boutique accommodations.

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Tracing Foreign Roots Back to the 1830s

The story noted that the ties of foreigners to Cabarete can be dated back to Zephaniah Kingsley, a British-American slaveholder who, in the 1830s, relocated to what was then Haiti. He brought along his Black spouses, and biracial children, and liberated enslaved individuals, many of whom either settled in Cabarete or pursued new horizons.

The Allure of Cabarete for Digital Nomads

As per the story, today, Cabarete pulses with fresh energy, becoming a hotspot for digital wanderers and leisure travelers, especially the younger generation drawn by the blend of water sports and a relaxed lifestyle. The Cabarete Digital Nomads Facebook group stands as a testament with over 1,300 members, many of whom work remotely or run their ventures in the town.

The Double-Edged Sword of Development

Cabarete’s evolution has reshaped its geography. Prime beachfront properties are increasingly in demand, nudging traditional Dominican neighborhoods inland. These shifts, unfortunately, push them against federally protected land, indicating the strain of coastal expansion.

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The story noted that a deeper look also reveals the socio-cultural repercussions. The growing foreign populace, primarily from North America and Europe, underscores the Dominican government’s policies that lean towards favoring them. This inevitably widens the divide between the foreign settlers and the indigenous Afro-Dominican community.

The Dichotomy of Growth

Cabarete’s journey from its Afro-Dominican roots to becoming a haven for digital nomads encapsulates the intricate interplay between globalization and the burgeoning tourism industry in developing nations. Although tourism has propelled economic growth, it has simultaneously accentuated disparities and altered the community’s very essence.

What We Think

Cabarete’s evolution portrays a fascinating fusion of history and contemporary trends. Its transition from Afro-Dominican roots to a hub for digital nomads showcases globalization’s impact on tourism-driven growth.

However, this growth comes with challenges, evident in the socio-cultural shifts and the strain on coastal development.

The dichotomy between progress and its social implications highlights the complexity of development in emerging tourist destinations, emphasizing the need for balanced, sustainable growth that respects local communities.

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Learn more in the entire story published on Fagen Wasanni.


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