North of Santo Domingo, on an unassuming street, you’ll find a paint splattered sign adorned with an assortment of Taino gods in various states of undress. Emblazoned across the sign in reds and blues: Hnos. Guillén, or Los Hermanos Guillén.
Over the past three generations, this family has dedicated themselves to collecting and reproducing native Taíno ceramic art as a way to preserve the history of Hispañola’s inhabitants before the European conquest. Or as their slogan states it:
Por nuestra identidad cultural!
Hidden across their multi-acre property, expect to find Mother Earth, Yuca, Thought, Moon, Shaman, etc. beneath cocoa trees, perched in tamarind branches, and even greeting you at the entrance of the restrooms. While those creations may be new, the family does count in their collection numerous artifacts dating back over 500 years!
Besides being an excellent place to shop for authentic art pieces, the brothers also put out a pretty great spread for visitors. When I stopped by with Waldo Tejada, general manager at ILoveDR and Tequia Experience, there was freshly roasted cocoa, moro de habichuelas, tostones, stew beef, all the mamajuana I could drink, an impromptu pottery lesson, and even a killer palos band.
Get a feel for the vibe…
Then be sure to visit Los Hermanos Guillén if you’re ever anywhere near Santo Domingo. They’re active members of their community… And just generally a fun stop for any visit to the area. Get more details at the Hermanos Guillén site.