On the Day of the Butterflies

Good evening from the 2nd floor of the seminary building. The seminary, because the power was out in our neighborhood for 6+ hours today, so I fled here to rescue the main course for Tuesday's all-team potluck from my refrigerator and two crock pots on the counter. The 2nd floor, because in the process of ramping up the WiFi network strength, it's currently dismal on the 3rd floor. The power came back on ~10 min. after I left, but a short-term team from Our Savior Lutheran Church in Houston, TX, arrives at midnight, so I figure I'll just stay out here with them tonight. More sleep + less driving = win.

But I digress. I did some Saturday scouting yesterday. Always on the lookout for places to take teams, FORO partners, etc., I decided to scope out The Mirabal Sisters Home Museum, about an hour outside the city, on the recommendation of Spanish teacher Jacqui. Las Mariposas (The Butterflies), Patria, Minerva, and Maria Teresa, martyred for their role in the takedown of the tyrannical Trujillo regime, are considered national heroes. The movie In the Time of the Butterflies is based on their story. I think I've seen it, but living here and knowing what I do now, I feel compelled to see it again.

The tour of their home and beautifully manicured gardens assumes a certain familiarity with Dominican history; I'd have to provide guests with a summary like this one or brief them in advance. I also think I would have gotten more out of the Spanish tour than the English one we opted for - interpretation may be the way to go.

A cleverly disguised water tank. The greenery also helps keep the water cool. 

You KNOW I'm going to take a picture of the kitchen - the outdoor one, anyhow. There's another, but no photography is permitted inside. 

The sisters, along with Minerva's husband Manolo, are buried on the property. 

Front view of the home (the museum entrance is off to the left). 

Kelsey, Jess, and I. 

The butterfly motif is everywhere. 

Less than 10 minutes away but unlikely to be found in any travel book is the house where the sisters were born, and where Dede, a 4th who didn't meet the same fate, continued to live. It's occupied so there is no entry, but you can peek in and, again, wander the property, which includes a cacao roasting operation! Across the street is a park with the frame of the vehicle the sisters were in when it was thrown off a cliff on November 25, 1960, and made to look like an accident. 

A stone's throw away from that park is an ecoparque (ecological park) that pays homage to female activists from around the world with signage all along its shaded, winding, stone path. 
And of course, more butterflies. 

We stopped for lunch at a Jacqui-recommended joint on the way back (sort of). My tacos with a serious mountain of shredded cheddar were decent, but my fresh pineapple juice was top-notch. All in all, a viable new cultural activity and culinary gem (to be enjoyed together or separately, depending on time...we got back around 4)!

Until next time, blessings!