Caribbean Export Recognized by Selecta for Advancing Handicraft Sector in the Dominican Republic

Caribbean Export is delighted to announce that on Friday, September 8th, the Agency was honoured by Selecta for its outstanding contributions to the development and enhancement of the Handicraft sector in the Dominican Republic. This recognition comes as a result of our unwavering commitment to nurturing and elevating the competitiveness of the handicraft industry across the Caribbean.

The prestigious accolade was bestowed upon us during the Selecta exhibition, a collaborative effort between the Dominican Development Foundation (FDD), the COOPERA Program of the Banco de Reservas, and the Fundación Reservas of the Dominican Republic. This event celebrated the remarkable journeys of 25 artisans from various craft disciplines, shining a spotlight on the exceptional accomplishments of three artisans who have earned the coveted UNESCO Seal of Excellence for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The distinguished recipients of the UNESCO Seal of Excellence include “Los Santos de Palo” from the Bonao province, crafted from ancient tree trunks; “Las Mariposas de Coco” by Arteco, hailing from the Moca province, created from dried coconut shells; and “El Gallo de Madera” by Artesanía Puello, originating from the San Cristóbal province, very near Santo Domingo. These artisans have not only preserved traditional craftsmanship but have also elevated it to a global standard.

The curator of this remarkable exhibition, Mr. Valentin Guerrero, is a long-time collaborator and partner of our Agency. His passion for creative industries has been instrumental in showcasing the exceptional talents within the Dominican Republic.

The Selecta exhibition also included seasoned artisans from throughout the Dominican Republic; many of them beneficiaries from past Caribbean Export interventions. These artisans conveyed their heartfelt appreciation for the pivotal role this Agency  has played in their business growth journey. They fondly remember how our support facilitated their entry into international markets, recalling the success for the Caribbean Gift and Craft Show and Design Caribbean. These initiatives were part of the Regional Private Sector Development Programme which this Agency implemented with the support of the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund.

Caribbean Export has been a driving force in transforming the handicraft sector in the Dominican Republic, in Haiti and the rest of the Caribbean region. In this year alone, the Agency successfully established the first-ever Handicraft Cluster in the Dominican Republic, boasting a membership of over 115 artisans, companies, and universities. Furthermore, in June 2023, we launched the Haitian Handicraft Cluster, aimed at empowering underserved communities to develop productive capacities for export generation.

In an exemplary display of cross-border collaboration, Caribbean Export developed a Handicraft Value Chain initiative that brought together Dominican and Haitian companies along different subsectors, such as fashion, jewellery and housewares. This Binational Value Chain launched a joint jewellery collection brand named “Symbiosis” in June 2023, which highlights the remarkable talent and tangible outcomes of true binational cooperation.

All these interventions were part of Caribbean Export’s implementation of the Trade and Private Sector Development Component of the Haiti-Dominican Republic Binational Cooperation Programme, generously funded by the European Union under the 11th European Development Fund.

Caribbean Export is proud to receive the recognition from Selecta, and we remain steadfast in our mission to empower artisans, promote creative industries, and foster economic growth for the Caribbean region.