Jarabacoa Leaders

Jarabacoa, La Vega – Eeli Ylítalo son of Yusi and Ifermina Ylitalo arrived in the Dominican Republic in the year 1929 at age 29. In search of a new life, because life in Europe at the time was suffering economically and many people from all parts of Europe began leaving like Eeli did from Finland. Eeli came to the Dominican Republic with the idea of returning to Finland one day but what he never imagined was that he would fall in love with such a beautiful island and become a Dominican citizen.

At a young age, Eeli was the director of a small but what is now a very lucrative bank. He never studied formally but did studies related to Chemistry and with this knowledge was able to them to his advantage. The reason that motivated him to come to the Dominican Republic was an article published by the Dominican government, in the presidential times of Horacio Vasquez, offering a piece of land good for cultivating. At the time, in Finland, people were worked mostly in agriculture, raising animals, and taking care of the forests.

He first located himself in the north of Santiago, where a North American company had a factory that produced starch from yuca for exportation. Eeli worked in this company for a few years. On his days off he would leave the city of Santiago to have fun. At the time the sawmills factories would bring wood from Jarabacoa to be distributed to select places, but at the time Jarabacoa was not an easy to reach location in the mountains without a roadway, for this reason, all wood was brought down via the rivers, Eeli was curious as to where all this wood was being cut from and realized that this is where he would need to be in order to begin his turpentine factory in the future. This is how he made it to Jarabacoa

When arriving at Jarabacoa a field sits to the west side of the river Yaque is the property that belonged to a man named Manuel del Carmen Abreu, who is the father of the woman married Eeli. Since they lived near each other, he always kept in touch with her because she was a very social person, he also liked to be in contact with all the people around him. Eeli became close friends of the family, and in 1949, married his wife Ana Rosa Abreu. Their marriage was prosperous and she was able to accept his nature (customs, religion, in other words, she learned to live with him and accept how he was). Together they had 4 children, 3 boys, and a girl.

Starting his turpentine business was a very difficult task with many obstacles; he had no money and he was a foreigner with very different customs than those of the Dominicans, and he was also alone. He had only been in the Dominican Republic 6 years and it was quite the ordeal to develop his business, partially because of the language barriers and culture shock. But with hard work and dedication, he was able to get past these hard times and develop his turpentine business, which is the oldest standing factory in Jarabacoa. Eeli Ylitalo supported Jarabacoa in many ways and for this, he is recognized as a leader of Jarabacoa.