Rita Severinghaus, the founder of DR Projects, spent part of her adolescence in Cotui, Dominican Republic, where she still maintains many friendships. Cotui, a town of about 50,000, is located in the middle of the country, in the Cibao region. It is the seat of the government for the province of Sanchez Ramirez. Cotui is 1.5 hrs northeast of Santo Domingo. There are 39 surrounding villages in the municipality that live on cash crops and subsistence farming. There are no tourist accommodations. Only Spanish is spoken. Electric power is available but inconsistent, and water supply is frequently affected, as water pumps are dependent on electricity.