The Dominica Export Import Agency (DEXIA) is hoping to stimulate the purchase of local, handmade items as gifts for this holiday season as the Agency partners with four representative organisations to stage the Strictly Local Christmas Village, taking place at the Roseau Market from Wednesday December 19th to Friday December 21st 2018.

Members of the Waitukubuli Artist Association, the Dominica Health and Wellness Association, the Dominica Arts and Craft Producers Association and the Dominica Manufacturers Association will have various products available for sale at the event.

According to the Organising Committee Chairperson and Export Promotion Officer at DEXIA, Sharon Rolle, the main objective of the Strictly Local Christmas Village is “to sensitise Dominicans on the vast array of goods and services available on the island with a special emphasis on innovation and packaging of gift items.”

Following the passage of Hurricane Maria, where many producers sustained damage to and loss of inventory, this event is an opportunity to let the buying public know that these entrepreneurs from the art and craft, manufacturing and health and wellness sectors are producing again and in fact export ready.

President of the Dominica Arts and Craft Producers Association Lissa Vanessa Winston says that the Strictly Local Christmas Village is an opportunity to not only inform the public of what products are available for purchase, but one for vendors themselves to make strategic connections with each other and for the betterment of Dominica.

“The craft persons, for example, can join with health and wellness persons and create a package. If we develop our fellow brothers and sisters, that is the time that we know that we are developing our country as well.”

The Strictly Local Christmas Village is also appealing to tour operators to visit the Roseau Market with tourists, as there will be ships in port on all three days.

In the afternoons, there will be special entertainment from 4pm. On Wednesday, the focus will be on spoken word with poetry, storytelling, kont, and choral speech presentations. Thursday there will be a fashion showcase from local designers showcasing clothing, jewellery and accessories and Friday will be musical expressions with local and traditional music.

Patrons can look forward to dips for products and coupons, a raffle of a gift basket featuring local products, photo opps with Papa Noel and tasty traditional treats like fruit cake, sorrel and ginger beer.

The Christmas Village will be opened from 9am to 6pm on Wednesday and Thursday and 9am-8pm on Friday. It’s absolutely free and all are welcome.