Our morning consisted of the Peace Corps organization coming to the accommodation and giving a seminar on what they do here in the Dominican Republic. They are an organization of people who come from the United States and volunteer to live in different parts of the Dominican Republic for about 2 years. They discussed several projects they have worked on, such as sex education and sports clubs. The work that they do inspired both me and Selina in many ways, to be able to leave your life behind in the United States and come live in a different country is something so courageous. To be able to want to help others in an impoverished country is something that we both think is crucial and important.
After lunch, there was a presentation from Plan International. The guest speaker talked about the organization he is a part of and how it is focused on youth. He discusses about different issues that the Dominican Republic are facing as a whole. One example is about how the Dominican Republic is rooted in the notion of masculinity which is hurting the country. Furthermore, he discusses how we need to break that notion in order to make changes in communities. Secondly, he discusses about how people from Haiti and the Dominican Republic cross the border to enter the country to get jobs in order to sustain their families. However, there have been many violations and acts of violence towards those people who cross the border to find jobs. Furthermore, he says that throughout the years the issues with crossing the border have improved slightly but are still happening today. Lastly, he educates families in the Dominican community about child labor and how it’s an issue that needs to be taken seriously. In addition, many children in the Dominican Republic have to drop out of school and work different jobs to help provide for their families. He presses on the issue by explaining to families that education is a necessary pre-requisite in order for children to have a successful future. All of these issues made me and Selina think about how privileged we are to be able to have a sustainable education. It made us feel grateful for the things that we do have back in the United States and it made us think about all the things that the beautiful people in this country don’t have but deserve.
Later in the day, we went to Francisco de Rosario Sanchez park to meet up with two organizations, Rosatech and Junta de Vecinos. Once we got to the park; the families were happy to see us. Our presence gave them hope about seeing sustainable change in their community. We interviewed them to see in what we can aid them with, they talked about the resources they need in order for their organization to stay sustainable. Both of the organizations have lack of resources and need health care.
Selina and Val