Country Director, Dominican Republic
While January 2017 marked Durbel Lora’s initiation as Country Director, he has served Plant With Purpose Dominican Republic and partnering communities since 1998. In the field or in the office, his expertise, warmth, and easygoing demeanor are well-respected and adored by farmers and staff alike.
Durbel’s agricultural background goes back to the age of three, pulling platano trees twice his size on his family’s farm (partially why he’s known for his strong handshakes and bear hugs). He went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering from the Universidad Adventista Dominicana, and later his master’s in administrative operations. But it’s his past experience as both an agronomist and the director of environmental restoration with Plant With Purpose that he credits as his most valuable education.
Durbel met his wife, Alfa, while the two were studying at the Universidad. He worked on the farm, and she enjoyed visiting the horses. They are still connected to the university, as Alfa is now the academic vice-rector, and the two of them sing in the campus church choir. They also enjoy reading, relaxing in nature, and spending as much quality time with their two growing sons. Durbel greatly values opportunities to visit and learn about other Plant With Purpose country programs.