Hola!!! It’s only the fourth day and it’s been amazing; everyone is doing well and I can honestly say that I have found my second familia. Shout out to everyone’s family who came out and said their goodbyes and a really big shout out to Linda and Citalli’s family. I took the task of being the first student leader and let me tell you it was amazing, I couldn’t have asked for a better team to lead. Today was all about aid and development and learning about what the community here in San Cristobal really needs.

We started the day with a delisoso breakfast made by our wonderful chef Pablo. Then we had a debate/discussion about if people/US government should help developing countries or focus on the country’s own problems instead. After that we started learning about how to teach our English classes. For instance I will be teaching kids from ages 8-11 and I am so excited to create a fun way for the young kids of the DR to learn English. Then we had an amazing presentation from Laura and Isiah who told us about the non profit organization they work for. Then we got our things and headed to San Cristobal to the community within called Jeringa to meet the people of an organization of Sur Futuro where we asked what they really needed in their community. As a team we are going to come up with a project (our community action project) that will not only help the people there at present but also for the long run when we leave.
Being in this community, it really amazed me that the women here are so empowering that when they see a problem that needs to be solved they go for it even if they don’t have that many resources to do it. We were all paired into groups, some global glimmers and some people from the community, and we got to asked them questions about there lives and what we could do to help. I was in a group with Sandy and Genesis, and a women named Wendy (an major figure in the community of Jeringa) was telling us how they really wanted to start a free daycare/ kinder garden class because, while the parents work all day the kids have nothing to do and no one to watch them. Here in the Dominican Republic you don’t go to school until you’re 5 years old, but not only that, to go to school you have to pay. This is incredibly hard on many peoples salaries. Wendy was saying how there is over 305 kids in her neighborhood and more on the way, and that she also had 6 kids of her own. There were so beautiful and cheerful children in Jeringa and one in particular named Angel who showed us a few of his dances moves which was so cute. After our visit we headed back home to el Rancho and had a fantastic big family style dinner. We ended our evening like we always do with our nightly gathering where we reviewed what we learned, go over the schedule for the next day, and talk about everything we appreciated and noticed about our experiences today. One thing we do in particular is called a thorn and a rose activity, where glimpsers express something they really enjoyed and something that was difficult for them. Today, a lot of people’s thorn was the seeing how we are so blessed with everything we have yet in Jeringa the poverty is so striking and we wish we could do more. A lot of the roses were about the time we spend together on the bus where we as a familia bond, including singing, playing games, and being silly.

The big picture of today was that we can’t assume what others want, that we are all fortunate in being here, and that we can see for our own eyes and listen with our own ears what the people in the community in San Cristobal really need. We look forward to the making an amazing project for the community and making an impact here.

P.S We are all loving the rancho, some of use are having trouble getting used to the weather and the really loud beetles ahaha, and the bug bites to. We love all the animals who are here with us at the rancho: roosters, chickens, cats, dogs and a donkey, which is really cool. I also want to say that I miss my sisters and my parents( family) and that I cant wait to share all the amazing stories with you. AD1AD2AD3AD4AD5