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Dedication of Alwen's Promise

The most unique and striking green building was dedicated  on July 27, 2008, in Dominica's Layou Valley, at the junction of the Layou Valley and Carholm Road. That dedication and reception was to celebrate the end of major construction of Phase I of Alwen's Promise. The first Leadership in Energy & Environment Design (LEED) building in the Eastern Caribbean, designed by Ben Uyeda of Independence Energy Homes www.zeroenergy.com and built by Stewco Construction of Dominica, this eco-education facility will serve as a platform for the Dominica Renewable Energy Institute and the Nature Island Culinary Institute.  Major Francis Richards of LSBF, Ltd served as local Project Manager.

Phase I, completed at a cost in excess of  $500,000 USD, will be a spur to the development of the Nature Island's renewable energy sector.   Solar Engineers Karol Philip of Dominica John Weber, and Dave Bruegman of Boise, Idaho have agreed to lecture a the model site and so disseminate knowledge to local and regional students of renewable energy science.    The solar installation was performed by local electronics engineer Karol Philip.

The featured speakers at the event were Dominica's Education  Minister Vince Anderson and Chef Joe Bushiness a Culinary Institute of America "green chef" with 18 years of experience with the Marriott Hotel Corporation and work experience in the Middle East and Europe. Minister Henderson welcomed the development of this renewable energy initiative and embraced the proposal for a renewable energy education institute and a culinary training program. In his view the effort would address the twin challenges facing mankind: energy and food shortages.

The project was blessed by Roman Catholic priest Reginald LaFleur; and a vote of thanks was given by Dr. Samuel Christian, Health Tourism director for the project.

The guest were able to savor a dazzling array of "green dishes", chocolate mole, mango/pineapple relishes and salads, all with Chef Joe's special touch. The culinary trainees of the Dominica Cadet Corps were engaged in the process of food preparation and received certificates for their efforts on Monday, July 29, 2008.

It was announced at that time, that Alwen's Promise had produced the first local chocolate bar, in partnership with a joint venture partner from Trinidad. Called "Chocolat de la Dominique" it was milled with cocoa harvested in Dominica's Layou Valley. The launch of  the chocolate bar, in collaboration with the Dominica Export and Import Agency (DEXIA), was carded for August 2, 2008.It is hope that the project will lead to the revival of agriculture in the lush Layou Valley.



Cocoa Emancipation
The Launch of Chocolat de la Dominique

In 1976 a 15 year old Dominica Grammar School student heard political legend and national independence hero Rosie Douglas utter these words: "They take our cocoa and send it to England and sell it back to us as Milo and Ovaltine." Those words resounded then and remained with him. The effect of that verbal volley about our export of raw materials and lack of value adding agricultural industry was to impel Gabriel Christian to change things for the better. Hence Operation Cocoa Emancipation was born and, with it, Dominica's first local chocolate bar milled with cocoa from the island's Layou Valley. It was in that vein, Project Director of Alwens Promise Group, Gabriel Christian presented the product as a model effort to harness the island's natural resources for national development.

On Saturday, August 8, 2008, Gregoire Thomas of the Dominica Export & Import Agency (DEXIA) led the Mayor of Roseau Cecil Joseph, Permanent Secretary of Dominica's Agriculture Ministry Claudia Bellot, Dr. Clayton Shillingford of the Dominica Academy of Arts & Sciences, Dr. Philber Aaron - Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) Coordinator, Dr. Samuel Christian, Health Tourism Director of the Alwens Group (developers of Alwen's Promise and Chocolat de la Dominique) and marketing director of Alwen's Promise Joan Christian in launching the product before a huge crowd of market day shoppers.  Started off with blessings by Roman Catholic Priest Reginald LaFleur, and the singing of the national anthem, the event was an inspirational moment and manifestation of Dominican industry, entrepreneurship and "can do."  

In tribute to Dominica's 30th Anniversary of Independence, the developers hope it will be the first of many agro processing initiatives to boost food production on island. Chocolate bars were presented to the main speakers by Marketing Director Joan Christian who gave the vote of thanks. Many buyers came back to buy bars, as they quickly consumed their initial purchases, so exquisite was the taste.

Chocolate tasting and sales closed out the event which was superbly orchestrated by Mara Abraham of DEXIA. Chocolat de la Dominique, and other efforts at owning and controlling our destiny, are what will imbue our independence with real meaning.


Declaring Dominica's Independence From Fossil Fuels
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