Cardumen de loros

Pepillo Salcedo, Domican Republic

Art can be a great channel to transmit environment conservation values and raise conscience about the importance of preserving the natural heritage.

This project is carried out over 52 fishermen boats, currently anchored in the mangrove of Manzanillo bay, in the province of Montecristi, in the Dominican Republic.

It is a landscape work that changes the appearance of the mangrove. Through the color, the boats are turned into another species in the ecosystem.


The province of Montecristi is located at the northeast of the Dominican Republic, right on the border with Haiti. It is a unique natural enclave with the largest extension wetland ecosystem in the country.

Right next to the Atlantic Ocean, and the Masacre river, at the end of the province, we find Pepillo Salcedo. It is a very small community, whose biodiversity richness makes fishing the main economy in the town.
And it is precisely there, at the border of the mangrove, the spot called Estero Balsa, in a really precarious area. That’s the small local pier, where all the old boats are anchored, waiting for the fishermen to go out and fish during the night.


The project has a double objective:
On the one hand, to improve the conditions of the precarious boats through a collaborative process that incorporates the fishermen themselves in their restoration.

On the other, to generate a new identity linked to raising awareness with respect to marine biodiversity, which is so badly hit in this area and on whose balance the region's economy depends. Focusing especially on the Parrotfish as a fundamental element in the Caribbean ecosystem.

Collaborative process

We had the support from different associations for this project. Most precisely both fishermen association and mothers association, that were involved during the whole process and felt the project as their own.   We began our process by sharing with them the background and objectives of the project. We also discussed the schedule and made a calling for volunteers that might be interested in painting with us. As far as fishermen are concerned, we could also create the first attempt of the census of boats to be painted. The welcoming in both meetings was extraordinary.

Information and credits
  • Intervention over 52 fisher boats in the village of Pepillo Salcedo, at Manzanillo Bay, between January 16th and February 8th
  • Framed in the project Biodiversidad Costera y Turismo. Funded by GEF (Global Environmental Facility), coordinated between Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales and the Ministerio de Turismo. The PNUD (Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo) is the project facilitator
  • Plastic paint for wood
  • We want to deeply thank Elia Mariel, Jonathan Delance and all the team at PNUD for their visionary way of working, an for taking a bet on innovation and development of more respectful and sustainable tourism
  • Thanks to Anatheydi and her tireless team at the project Biodiversidad Costera y Turismo, for their support and coordination
  • Thanks to the Association of Fishermen from Pepillo Salcedo, for sharing the true spirit of union and collectivity with us. And transmit us their strength and resilience
  • Thanks to the Association of Mothers from Pepillo Salcedo, especially to Rafaela Rodríguez Sarita, our favorite student, restless and fighter
  • Thanks to the Guardianes de la Bahía, for fighting for the future of Estero Balsa and their beautiful mangrove
  • Thanks to all the Pepillo Salcedo neighbors, for welcoming us and make us feel like true manzanilleros
  • Team Boa: Diego Vicente
  • Support at the studio: Pablo García Mena, Clara González, Irene García, Agustín Rodríguez
  • Photography by Fer TarancoDan Barreri, Isern Cinema and Boa Mistura
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