Hola familia! This is Ashley and Yasin, the first youth leaders in our delegation. We started off this amazing day with a wake up call at 7 AM followed by a lovely breakfast at 8 AM. The meal consisted of eggs and salami accompanied with some delicious Dominican hot chocolate. Around 9 AM we had a seminar that gave us insight to what exactly sustainable change was and how it could be accomplished. We also learned that the involvement of the community you’re trying to aid is vital in achieving this change. I know we can speak for everyone and say that we were all inspired to spark positive change in both the Dominican Republic and when we return home. Soon after the seminar, we made our way on bus to el barrio del las flores where Juanjo Castillo gave us some background information about his youth baseball organization (Cristo El Rey) that helped keep kids off the street. We then picked up trash around the baseball field accompanied by many of the youth involved in his organization. This was an amazing experience as we all left the field with warm hearts knowing that such a little act could bring such a positive impact to the youth in the community. After eating Morro (rice and beans) with meatballs around 12 PM, we had Scott Copa come in and further discuss aid and development with us where he gave us a little background as to what he did in Cons and why he decided to do so. We then prepared to interview members of the consejo group, an organization that focuses on ways to help their community of a small colonia in constanza (Colonia Kennedy).. The interview with these members werew very eye opening to all of us as we discovered the exact needs of the community, giving insight to possible CAP projects. After returning to the hostel and preparing our lesson plans, we all headed to our second English tutoring class. The second day was better for the majority of our group as they felt more comfortable with their students were better able to connect with them and help their individual needs. Again, feeling warm-hearted about our positive impact on the youth. By dinner time, every glimpser felt as they were a part of a family here and we are all inspired to bring positive changes to our community back home. For dinner we were served a very tasty meal that included mashed yucca, sausages, vegetables, and cheese. Ashley ended the dinner with a warming toast where she explained that she felt as if were one happy family, where everyone shared smiles and agreed. We ended the night with a very serious discussion about aid and development where some new people voiced there opinions about what it means to be developed. We are all very excited for tomorrow as we will be working like locals!
Ashley and Yasin