The theme for today (Friday, July 26) was poverty. We woke up at 6:30 to get ready and went to breakfast which was cereal, milk, and toast with this really cool pineapple jam. After that we had a seminar on how the place, politics, past, present, and people affect poverty in the Dominican Republic. Our Field trip was to Los Bateyes in Barahona where we heard from an organization that works for the rights of Haitian people or people of Haitian descent living in the DR. We met a woman named Stephanie who basically doesn’t exist here because she has Haitian ancestors. Since almost everything here requires documentation which she has no access to, she is stuck not able to go to college, get a job, have a bank account, get married or vote. Thanks to Resolution 12, her home country won’t even recognize her as a natural born citizen. But she is amazing and didn’t let the unjust government get to her. She wants to be a nurse and she works with many nonprofits for both healthcare and to get rid of Res. 12 And fight for her rights. You guys can show support by going to their website www.reconoci.do which means recognize. After that we got to go to a public school in Bateyes number 7 which is supposed to be one of the poorest communities in the dr. We had arts and crafts for the kids where they made crowns and puppets and colored. We also had face painting for them and Alyssa ,Irene, Jiaqi, Justin, Julia and Stacey painted designs, hearts, crowns, and flowers for the little kids. Outside some of the delegation were also playing baseball and Hopscotch and ring Around the Rosies with the kids. It was an amazing experience because even though the kids didn’t have as many privileges as we do they were sooooo happy and it was really inspiring. After lunch (beans, rice, vegetables, and chicken) we headed back to San Juan de Maguana which is about a 1.5 hour bus ride. We got back at around 3:15 and had free time until 5 which was great because it was a hectic and emotional for a lot of people. The was prep time for English class. The English classes have been amazing, most of the levels seem to be doing really well and I am personally very excited for the basic level because they learn so fast 🙂
After that we had dinner, and the chef had prepared the most delicious pasta And bread ever! Better that Italy even though the chef studied there :p after that we had our nightly meeting and self reflection about today. It was also laundry day for the second floor and the rest of us will be tomorrow and the day after.
P.S. Alyssa loves her family, Ashlee is sorry for crying on the phone, and everyone sends good wishes and love back home 🙂