This morning began at 6 A.M. sharp thanks to nature´s alarm clock, the obnoxious rooster that likes to scream through the window. Everyone was ready by 7 A.M. and was patiently waiting for breakfast to be ready, so Sandy decided to pass time with a fun game- Red Light, Green Light.

After the group had breakfast, we had a quick meeting to go over the rules and expectations of us before we went to visit the Cuevas de Pomier (the caves). At Cuevas de Pomier, our large group split into two different smaller groups and explored one of the many ancient caves Cuevas de Pemier had to offer. There at the caves, our groups learned about the significance and importance the caves represented to the ancient Dominican culture. We saw many different drawings that symbolized many different things that the ancient Dominican people believed in such as the importance of animals, the tribe healer, and other ancient beliefs. There were also different rooms in each cave that served different purposes for Taino people. Some of the rooms represented life and birth, rituals, and health. Each group had the chance to experience one minute of pure darkness and silence in one of the rooms. For some it was a scary and uncomfortable experience, but for others they had an amazing experience and wanted more time to enjoy it.

After the tour of one of the caves, our group had lunch with the local people who help preserve the caves. We got to have a glimpse of what their personal life is like and how preserving the cave is significant to preserving their culture. We also learned how they can make a difference or contribute to changing their community. Then, all of us went to a local beach in San Cristobal where we enjoyed free time of swimming, talking to the locals, and listening to Dominican music. Some of us were able to go to an ice cream shop on the beach and enjoy some refreshing ice cream and enjoy the AC inside. The beach was a very relaxing and cooling experience for all of us, and we had a chance to get to know more about the local people living in San Cristobal. After, we returned to our accommodations where we enjoyed fried Yucca, chicken, and arepita (fried cornbread). We finished the night off with our nightly meeting where we reflected on the day and reflected on our essential question of the day which was: How does an increase of tourism affect local communities?

Now we are preparing for bed and preparing for an active day for all of us tomorrow. Some students have asked us to give shout outs to our parents or loved ones. Here are some of their comments.

  • Renee – Hi mom, please tell Josep I miss you…I miss you and everyone too!
  • Yesi – Mom, {Annel} I love and miss you! I am doing well and applying a lot of bug spray. Don´t worry, I will see you when I return
  • Alysa Bura – Hi mom, {Sherlyn} I am learning a lot of Spanish! Be prepared for me to try to constantly speak Spanish. I have a lot to tell you when I return!