Anyone who has hung out on Cabarete Beach, or a Villa Taina over the years is sure to remember Ana, the fruit lady. She strolls up and down Cabarete beach every day selling fresh fruit from a big basket that she carries on top of her head. Snacking on juicy fruit while relaxing in the sun is one of the finest parts of life in the tropics. Just ask anyone who knows Ana – you can always count on her to stop by and slice up a big papaya into perfect, munchie sized chunks. You’ll also recognize her from her big, beautiful smile, which is infectious. She seems to always be in a good mood and many visitors to Cabarete over the years will remember her kind face, and friendly demeanor. We wanted to know more about the lady behind the fruit, so we found Ana on the beach, sat her down, and asked her a few questions.
VT: How long have you been selling fruit on the beach in Cabarete?
Ana: I have been living and working in Cabarete for 15 years now.
VT: How has Cabarete changed since you have been here?
Ana: It is a lot busier than it used to be, there is more tourism, and people from around the world. We love it, though! Many people I know make a living from working in restaurants and hotels.
VT: What is your favorite part about living here?
Ana: Getting to work on the beach every single day, and being close to my family.
VT: Speaking of family, how many kids do you have?
Ana: (smiles) 10!
VT: No way. You must be joking. Do they love fruit as much as you do?
Ana: Of course they do! We eat a lot of payapa, bananas, and bananas. My favorite dish to make is pollo guisado (stewed chicken), and my favorite dessert is fresh mangos.
VT: Do you have grandchildren as well?
Ana: Yes! I have many grandchildren- family is very important to me.
VT: What is your favorite season in Cabarete?
Ana: I like the winter time, it’s not too hot, and the beach is busy with people on vacation. Semana Santa is fun too, it gets a little crazy, but there are many Dominican families here on vacation. It’s an important holiday for us.
VT: Ok, all this chatting about fruit has made us hungry and thirsty. What would you recommend for us to try today?
Ana: The papaya is perfect, and so is the coconut!
VT: Well you had better give us both then!
*We proceeded to polish off the better part of a papaya, and a coco seco. Ana carries a big knife with her, and sliced it all up artfully for us and put it in a bag in case we couldn’t finish it all. If you are staying in Cabarete, go find Ana on Caberete beach for a healthy snack, and strike up a conversation with the lovely fruit lady. We promise, you won’t be disappointed!