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GLOBAL ROOTS

Caribbean Sun

Relax at the all-inclusive Gran
Ventana Dominican beachfront
resort in Puerto Plata.

Sign-Up:
$1280 Person

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GLOBAL ROOTS

Whole Foods Plant Based Meals

Enjoy deliciously prepared and
healthy whole foods plant based
meals with recipes from the acclaimed
China Study Cookbook

Sign-Up:
$1280 Person

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GLOBAL ROOTS

Local Excursions

Explore the rich history and
vibrant culture of the Dominican
Republic in two half-day excursions

Sign-Up:
$1280 Person

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GLOBAL ROOTS

Community Building

Visit local schools and share
in the work of some of the world's
best muralists

Sign-Up:
$1280 Person

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GLOBAL ROOTS

Plant Based Cooking Made Easy

Engage in cooking classes during
your stay that will teach you how
to cook a plant based diet with ease

Sign-Up:
$1280 Person

Join us May 6-13, 2015 in the Dominican Republic to Celebrate

Women and Sustainable Communities

   Join us, this Mother’s day, on the beautiful Northern coast of the Dominican Republic.  Bring family and friends to this tropical paradise, while having a relaxing, inspirational and transformative experience. This conference attempts to maximize the role of women, since women hold 85% of household purchasing power and are stewards of community development and progress. The all-inclusive price of $1280 per person will allow you to join women and their families from across the globe, to explore first hand the personal and global health benefits of a whole food, plant based diet, it’s impact on the environment and how through a well developed network, we can motivate and work together to create a vibrant (healthy), inclusive and sustainable society.
Conference Highlights
Never before have we seen such overwhelming evidence to support the health benefits of a whole food plant based (WFPB) diet. In fact, we now have such a broad range of evidence showing that a whole food, plant-based diet is best for the heart, cancer, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, kidneys, bones, eyes and brains (Campbell and Campbell). These same benefits also have an impact on the world we live in. A recent UN report states that our industrial system of animal production is unsustainable. In fact, we’re using our natural resources, such as fresh water and healthy soil, faster than we can replenish them. As stated in this report, it’s crucial that we move from an animal based diet to a plant based diet. Focused on possibilities and solutions, we invite you to explore the science behind these claims, our role in this process and  how to make the transition to a WFPB diet.
Interactive Presentations
Inspirational and engaging, our presenters are experts in their field, having over twenty-five years of experience in nutrition,  environmental studies and sustainable communities. The goal is to have you, the participant, understand the Science, to apply this to your own life and to teach others. Thus, we want you to be centered in the process and to develop a solid understanding. With this in mind, we have asked our presenters to do the following:images
  1. To provide suggested readings, films and/or documentaries that he/she would like us to see before attending the conference. This will give us a baseline understanding of the content, allowing us to maximize the time that we have with each presenter. Material will be distributed upon registering for the conference.
  2. To provide 5-7 questions before his/her presentation. These questions are intended to engage us, the participants, with the content. Each participant will have the option to work with a study group of 4-6 people, following the presenters talk, to discuss the questions, learn from each other and raise additional questions.
  3. To be available, in the evening, for a large group Q&A, answering questions and/or comments generated during one’s study group meeting.
For a full list of the presenters and their bios, please visit this page.
Film Festival 
Throughout the week, several films will be shown, providing further insight into the interconnections between the environment, food systems and mindful living. To enhance these viewings, an ‘expert’ has been assigned to each film. We are excited to offer a sneak preview of  PlantPure Nation, from the  directors of Forks Over Knives, appearing in theaters July 4th, 2015.
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Cooking Classes — Whole Food Plant Based Cooking Made Easy
How do you transition to a plant based diet? To assist in this process, we will provide a series of cooking classes. The goal of  these  classes are to empower — to provide the resources and tools to make quick, easy and tasty meals.IMG_1589 We understand that change can be difficult,  so we want our cooking classes to provide easy, convenient and tasty tips!
This will be done through the following four Plant Based Cooking Made Easy classes. Each class will be 1-1.5 hours long. Handouts will be distributed for each class.
1. The ABC’s of Plant Based Cooking: What are the crucial food items to have in your kitchen? How should I plan my meals for one day and for one week?
2.Dairy Alternatives: Cooking Without Milk and Cheese with demonstrations on how to make your own cheddar cheese alternatives, cashew spreads and Caesar salad dressing.
3. Baking Without Oil and Eggs: Preparing tasty desserts, breads and muffins.
4. Preparing Community Meals: Fast and Easy Casseroles, Soups and Salads.
Exercise Classes
Throughout the week, participants will have the opportunity to participate in a series of exercise classes, including an early morning beach yoga class and several fun, mid morning, laughing yoga classes. In addition, participants will have time throughout the day to walk along the beach, swim in the ocean or in one of the resort pools as well as, participate in resort sponsored activities such as afternoon pool aerobic classes, volleyball or evening dance parties.
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A Whole Food Plant Based Buffet
The Women and  Sustainable Communities conference will have a separate whole food, plant based buffet following the guidelines of the China Study, using a wide variety of fresh, locally grown produce. All the dishes are animal and dairy free with no added oil and no processed sugars. Several dishes are from the China Study Cookbook and prepared by Chef Helmut Sugg, an All-Star chef of over 30 years. Fresh juices and a wide array of tropical vegetables will be served daily. The following video contains some of the dishes prepared on the WFPB buffet. Additional buffets and restaurants, with a more traditional diet, are offered at the resort.
Relax in the Caribbean at the all-inclusive Gran Ventana Beach Resort
The Gran Ventana Beach Resort is a sleek, spacious, 506-room, all-inclusive resort with an enviable location on the golden sands of Playa Dorada in Puerto Plata. This wonderful beach resort offers a distinctive blend of sophisticated design combined with the charm and hospitality of the Dominican Republic.
The hotel is situated within the Playa Dorada Tourist Complex, the largest and most complete tourist development in Dominican Republic and just a block away from the Playa Dorada Commercial Center, which has the some of the best bars and discos in the Puerto Plata area. Downtown Puerto Plata is just minutes away. The resort is also just 300 yards from the Playa Dorada Golf Course, designed by Robert Trent Jones.
The resort is also the TripAdvisor 2014 Excellence Award Winner. They have several ammenities so you can leave your wallet at home. They include Spanish and meringue lessons, regularly stocked mini-fridges, swim-up bar, a SCUBA dive lesson, nightly music and dancing, and so much more.
Local Excursions
During the week, everyone has the option to participate in two half-day excursions. The first is quite exciting, allowing participants to visit a small rural village, while sharing with one of the Caribbean’s most dynamic art collectives. More specifically, you will have the opportunity to visit the homes in this village, a local school and then hike through a rural farm and meet several families in the village. The school that we visit is participating in the Global Roots mural project in which we are utilizing public space/art to bring forth a dialogue on the environment and sustainability. As we share this process, you’ll have a chance to meet artists from the largest muralist project in the Caribbean, school children who are participating in the process and families in the village. The work of this group is inspirational and engaging, allowing you to experience the rich culture and hospitality of the Dominican Republic, while also sharing in an innovative and exciting community building initiative.
During the second excursion, participants will have the choice to either visit a series of waterfalls or ride up a cable car to a botanical garden. On the waterfall excursion, you’ll have the opportunity to hike along and through a river, then, swim in several refreshing pools. On this tour, you will need to wear or bring aqua socks or you can rent water shoes before starting the tour. You are provided with helmets & life vests even though there is really no danger of drowning. There are a couple areas where you can jump into the water with the highest jump being nine meters. If you have a fear of heights or
jumping, you can either climb or slide down. This is a fun and invigorating excursion.
For those who want a less strenuous, but still fun excursion, you can visit the highest peak in the province by cable car (teleferico), then take a guided tour through a large botanical garden and visit a small cave, while learning about the vegetation and fauna of the tropics. The views from the top and during the cable car ride are beautiful. Both of these excursions allow participants to experience the rich vibrant natural settings of the Dominican Republic.
To get a glimpse of what these excursions offer, please view the video.
Pricing & Package
The all-inclusive price for seven nights and eight days (May 6-13, 2015) includes the following:
  1. Lodging at a four star beach resort
  2. A specially prepared whole food plant based buffet (and, if so desired, a more traditional resort buffet), served three times a day with an all you can drink bar
  3. A wide range of educational activities including lectures, workshops, exercise classes, Spanish classes, merengue and bachata dance lessons
  4. And two in-country excursions (visiting a small mountain village, a local school and hiking through a small family farm and either traveling on a teleferico to a mountain-top botanical garden or swimming through 9 waterfalls).
$1280 per person in a double room
$1490 per person in a single room
$1790 per person in a jr. suite
Frequently Asked Questions
  • What airport should we fly into?
Airfare, during the month of May from major airports in the USA is quite reasonable. Round-trip airfare from NY City to Puerto Plata is approximately $550. We recommend that you fly into Puerto Plata (POP). However, if airfares are high it’s also possible to fly into Santiago. The distance from the airport in Puerto Plata to the Gran Ventana is 15-20 minutes and the distance from the airport in Santiago to the Gran Ventana is 1.2 hours.
  • Do I need a passport and tourist visa to travel to the Dominican Republic?
Yes. All non-Dominican residents need a current up-to-date passport, valid for six months. You will also need a tourist card. This card can be purchased for US$10 at the Dominican Republic airport. Signs demonstrating where to purchase the card are seen as one arrives to Dominican customs. To obtain a Tourist Card the only requirements are a Valid Passport and US$10.
  • How do I get from the airport to the resort?
Taxis from the Puerto Plata airport to the resort are US$35 per van to Gran Ventana and  can accommodate up to five people. This cost can be shared among those in the van and can be payed in US dollars. The taxi, one way, from Santiago to the Gran Ventana is US$100 and can be shared by those traveling in the van (up to five people). Taxis (and signs for taxis) can be located as one walks out of the airport.
  • Are there ATM machines at the resort and/or should I exchange money in my own country?
No, it is not necessary to exchange money before departing. Money can be exchanged at the front desk of the Gran Ventana Resort or at the small bank in the Gran Ventana Resort. There is also an ATM machine at the shopping center right beside the resort. However, please call your bank before departing the USA to inform them of your travel plans.
  • What is our schedule? Will I have time during the day to do other activities?
A copy of the program will be provided as the date gets closer. There will  be 4-5 hours of free time throughout the day.
  • What should I bring?
In addition to bringing clothing, one should bring a small rain poncho for excursions, sunscreen and mosquito repellent. If one plans to participate in the waterfall excursion, one should bring water sandals/shoes.
  • What should I do to prepare for the trip?
Before departing, we would like all participants to view the documentary Forks Over Knives. This can be found on Netflix. Furthermore, (if you are ambitious), we suggest that you read The China Study as well as selected PDF documents that will be supplied once you register.
  • Can I bring something for the village and/or school that we visit?
This, of course, is optional but for those who can, we are assisting the schools in obtaining gently used, but still functional, computers. Recently our Dominican partner schools received a technology grant garnering internet access but none of the schools have computers or printers. Thus, if you have an old computer, that still works, and room available, please bring it. In addition, we are collecting gently used summer clothing for all ages.
  • Is there financial assistance?
Since this conference is organized close to cost, we are not able to provide financial assistance. However, as in past Global Roots conferences, we don’t want finances to be a determining factor in your participation. Thus, we are providing, again, the buddy system, in which, if you recruit 10 participants, you can go for free. If you are interested in being a buddy, please contact us.
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