The entrance to our coffee farm looks anything but peaceful. First of all, just to get to the farm takes commitment. Determination. And a damn good 4x4 vehicle. The first 12 km from Jarabacoa to Manabao are on pavement. It’s a beautiful drive into the mountains. But the dirt road that points to the farm gets more exciting as it ascends up the river. Just when the road is coming to an end, there’s a concrete bridge that crosses the river and leads STRAIGHT UP towards the farm. This is where 4x4 low is crucial.
This entrance doesn’t scare the locals. On a dry day, we’ve had folks drive all the way up in a sedan. But when we have visitors from outside the DR, their eyes widen as we approach this section.
Once inside the gates of the farm, this semi-improved dirt road continues to wind upwards for another 2km until it reaches the jewel of the farm: the campsite. Carved out of the rainforest is a 5 acre section that has been manicured and developed.
On site are:
two double-story shelters (sleeping space for 8 upstairs and a covered meeting area below)
double story outdoor kitchen and dining area
outdoor shower and latrine
large fire pit / gathering space
Stepping onto the campsite, there is a quiet hush that is soon replaced by the melody of songbirds. Eyes drift up into the trees searching to find the source.
There is almost no evidence of civilization here: no lights, no music from the discoteca, no colmado / corner store. Which makes this an ideal space for a retreat. There is space to encounter God and one another.
At the farm, there is space to wander down the paths in the coffee. To have heartfelt conversations and prayerful solace.
There is also space to gather with friends around the campfire for worship. Or around the table to break bread.
At night while sleeping under the metal roof of the shelter, the gentle rain reminds that God nourishes and gives us all we need.
The purpose of a retreat is literally to get away. To pull away intentionally. To listen. To receive. To train our hearts to pay attention.
Spirit Mountain serves as an ideal space for this. Perhaps the journey there is what prepares the heart to anticipate what is waiting.
Our farm is our family’s favorite place on earth. When we arrive, we each find our rhythm. I start cooking. Chad disappears into the coffee trails. Keren rides her mountain bike. And Kate hangs her hammock and reads. This is our family retreat. We’ll gather for dinner and a round of cards. As we relax into this space of each other, we laugh. We tell stories. And we dream of what’s to come.
Who would have thought that this coffee farm that we purchased in 2003 would serve to be a sanctuary, not only for our family, but also for dozens of groups that have spent time here, as well.
For more information to book our coffee farm for your next retreat, visit our Trip Advisor page.