Today we woke up at 6:15, ate breakfast, then had an energizer. The energizer consisted of everyone sitting down in a circle and someone starting a beat that we would have to copy. There would be a person would walk around the circle so that they could guess who started/changed the beat. We took a bus to Maguana Tropical, which is a tomato farm. There we took a tour to learn the ins and outs of the franchise, so we got to witness pieces of the working conditions there. After that we went to the dump which left a lot of people heart broken due to the living conditions. There were piles of trash on the floor everywhere and a lot of smoke in the air due to the fact that many people would set the trash on fire. The people there where scavenging around for plastic so that they could earn enough money for their basic necessities. However, many aren’t able to collect enough cash so their last resort is to create a tent for the night and sleep on top of the trash at the dump. We also saw animals (cows, dogs, and donkeys) roaming around looking for food and it showed us just how unsanitary it is. We where fortunate enough to have a speaker that actually worked at Maguana Tropical a year ago. He had to leave that job because he got a hand injury and wasn’t properly compensated. What makes it worse is that he gets paid more than the workers at the tomato company. He wrapped up the conversation by giving us some advice, which was to stay humble, follow your goals, and have respect. So despite the fact that his life took a turn, he continues to stay positive and hopeful. His reaction to his life at this point in time inspires us and it gave us a different perspective, which revealed how the company actually treated their workers. We were able to reflect on this experience alone and then as a group. After that we walked back to the hostel and had a mandatory shower time then ate lunch. We walked to English Tutoring around 5 and went back to the hostel around 7. We finished off the night with a nightly meeting and some free time to bond. Overall, this was a very emotional day for all of us and it opened up our eyes to the way people are affected from the unjust system. It allows us to realize that we have pocket power, that means that what we buy affects the way companies treat their workers.

Sending love to my mom, dad, and Angie. I miss you guys and I can’t wait to see you 🙂 -Nancy

Nancy did a great job of recounting our day and I don’t have much more to add besides to reiterate how powerful of a day it was. We were all touched and inspired by the optimism the people shared with us today. I think that it is an experience that will stay with us forever.

We are all having a great time here and our delegation is such a fantastic group of people who are caring and full of thought. We really have become a family. The ambassadors are also burrowing their way into our hearts every day.

Love to my mom and dad and Diego and Nini and Mezli and Islaam. You guys are on my mind all the time. I love you and I’ll see you sooooon!-Anise