For the Global G’s 14th day in the Dominican Republic, we explored the country’s global business situation. The day was different from most because our two awesome GG leaders Robert and Cynthia had a day off and ditched us for the beach, so we were left with just Marcos and Leslie, but I think that they’re just as awesome. The G’s got a 7:30 AM wakeup call followed by a lovely breakfast of avena prepared by our newfound and sweet Dominican mom Licelot.
By 9:30AM our favorite (and only) bus driver Ronald picked us up and we headed to Mina Maimon, an open mine site in Maimon which mines mainly copper as well as silver, gold, and zinc by products, owned by a Dominican company named Cormidom. There, we were given a short video presentation about the mine followed by a tour given by Jonathan, who showed us their current open mine sight, which both looked pretty but was a bit of an eyesore. The mine brings in global business and international trade to the DR, which in turn gives the country revenue, but at the same time destroys the country’s natural resources, like rivers and forestation. Mina Maimon, however, is a small-scale mine that cares for the environment, as our tour guide, an environmental scientist, stated that they recycle rain water to treat their minerals and replant green life in the used mines so that the area can slowly return back to normal. Mina Falcondo, the mine we were originally supposed to visit, on the other hand is a much larger scale mine that isn’t as environmentally conscience and is therefore more opposed and hated.
To understand this opposition to mining, especially the mining done by Mina Falcondo – which is currently dormant due to all the controversy, we visited a community called La Miranda, who’s fighting for the right to make their land into a national park, which will prevent any mining companies from digging up and destroying the land and water sources. The community members took time out of their day to talk to us about their cause and reasons behind their fight. They believe that the DR should keep its natural beauty and not be taken over by the mining industry, specifically Falcondo, who is trying to portray the land as if it has no natural value, but the lush greenery and flowing rivers speak otherwise. After hearing what they said, I think I can speak for all us G’s when I say we support them 100%. It was really cool and interesting to see and hear both sides of the mining debate all in one day and form our own opinions about the topic, as in any typical situation we are only told one side of the fight.
We ended our field trip around 4:30 PM and our bus driver Ronald took us all back to the orphanage. Once here, we had about half an hour of free time followed by a program seminar led by Leslie in which we wrote letters of appreciation to the donors of Global Glimpse. Which is really nice since we get to say our thank yous to the people who make all of this possible (besides our parents of course!). After that, we had a dinner of yucca and fried cheese (it’s better than it sounds, trust me) at 7:00PM prepared as always by our favorite Dominican cook Licelot followed by a self-reflection of the day’s activities. Lastly, our day ended with a nightly meeting where I handed over the responsibility of El Lider Del Dia to the lovely ladies, Rahel and Alejandra.
Being El Lider Del Dia was an interesting experience to say the least. I got to get out of my comfort zone and really show off my authoritative skills, which aren’t very existent, as well as gain a new appreciation for the responsibilities that come with a leader title. Like making sure everyone is present, okay, and attentive. My trip, and all of the G’s trip, has been amazing so far and I’m excited to see what the last few days in this beautiful country have in store for us. 🙂