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Las Américas by Luna Taina: A cultural experience

The Old Belen

The development living in Punta Cana for the last years is a reality, the growth of new shopping centers and others having their history, the expansion of recreational areas; a life begins outside the hotels, an atmosphere is breathed, which is very positive for our tourism.

Pedro Guerrero and his wife Liliana Cidade joined to this strong growth, a couple who left his comfortable life in Spain and decided to take an adventure in the Dominican Republic. They felt full attracted to the Caribbean and its quality of life, “after a long and hard working day we were relaxing watching Caribbean documentaries,“ says Pedro.

They came to our country in November 2012 carrying a suitcase full of hope, eager to work and some money. The beginning was not easy but perseverance allowed them to overcome the first obstacles. Two carts loaded with handicrafts in Art and Crafts Plaza of Bahia Principe were the starting point and without noticing the concept of what is now Taína moon as a company was emerging at that moment.

By chance they knew the most important people of this Dominican adventure, Jorge de la Vieja and his wife Ana Batalla who helped them a lot and to whom they have shared a great friendship.

Stores openings occurred one after the other, from Flamenco Hotel to Bavaro Princess Hotel passing through Altos de Chavón. After eight or nine months they already knew the business and country.

Plaza San Juan was being built at that time and they opened a perfumery which has been moved several times, in fact it will be placed soon next to the supermarket Pola. It is a perfume shop with a large selection of cosmetics.

The inclusion of Plaza San Juan was a medium-term bet by thinking that sooner or later tourists begin to leave the hotel so as to enjoy the offer Punta Cana provides, which is a strategic decision.

Following the opening of perfumery they reached a commercial agreement with the owner of Plaza San Juan, Jesus Montano, to whom they have shared a great friendship as well. They have achieved eight businesses from jewelry, perfumeries to mini market pharmacy with basic items of first needs for tourists.

Peter lived with passion the birth of Las Américas, “Friendship with Jesús Montano and daily work for a year allowed us to shape Jesús’ idea to create a space for handcrafts in Bávaro where tourists could not only buy but also live a cultural experience through handcrafts. Jesús had a place and an idea, we shook hands as good friends and started to develop the concept of what is today Las Américas. It is a cultural experience through art where people can perceive the life and customs of Dominicans, we sell products that are made here, almost all handmade by craftsmen, they will remain as memories and souvenirs of a trip. “

According to the experience of Las Américas you can see live how a picture is painted or a cigar is made, even the stones are cut and polished in situ. Everything is presented in harmony with a design made by Liliana who is an interior designer. She respected colors and symbols that we see in the Dominican villages in order to get as close as possible to reality.

Dominicans in general are very proud, it is a place where you really feel identified.

Las Americas is located in an exceptional place in the center of the urban area of Bávaro between San Juan Shopping Center and Down Town, very close to Cocobongo.

The visitors basically come by tourist buses that stop in Las Américas so that they can go shopping and therefore sign several agreements with tour operators. But people who use their own vehicles and increase everyday can’t be ignored.

Many projects are added and the activity is frenetic, Pedro and Liliana have recently opened a store in the Sanctuary hotel and soon will open a clothing and accessories beach store at Fishing Lodge, where they already have a mini market. All shops at the hotels are craft shop with the exception of the Hotel Barceló which also has the exclusivity of a dressmaker, native of Malaga, which is in fashion today.

The company is ready for continued growth, but its short-term goal is to export the Taína Moon brand to other Caribbean countries. This will happen in 2016, while “Las Américas” concept will be consolidated with illusion and daily hard work.

During these three years and a half, the company has been growing and hiring personal who now make up a team of 130 people to manage 28 stores throughout the area and the board of directors consists of: Francisco Aguilar, General Manager; Herminio Arjona, Director of Las Américas; Redondo Begoña, Director of Logistics and distribution; Nicolas Rodriguez, Bussiness director; Emilio Fernández, Director of Systems; Purification Acebes, Managing Director; David Gerson, Purchasing Manager.

As entrepreneurs Pedro and Liliana are an example to be followed because they have managed to open a market with great effort in a very short period of time in a country they didn’t know, but the enthusiasm and tenacity led them directly to success.

TEXT: Almudena Haddad IMAGES: Suresh