Bonao’s breathtaking landscape initially stunned all of us when we arrived. Today (6-28), during our Global Business day, we learned about the true cost of maintaining and defending this beautiful and lively ecosystem. This morning we visited Comidom, a small mining company that shares that it has priorities in limiting its impact on the environment. There we talked with environmental scientist Jonathan Ruiz who believed that his work with Comidom and being an environmental scientist are not conflicting, but complementary. Ruiz felt that being an environmental scientist and being passionate about mining has expanded his understanding of the world positively. After difficult questioning for Ruiz, we visited Loma Miranda, a mountain side community of activists that also contain bodies of water that are crucial as they provide water for human consumption and farming for resources such as rice across the nation.
Loma Miranda has been threatened by large mining companies for decades which has caused the community to raise passionate activists who have to defend their land through peaceful protesting. These activists lay down their lives to ensure that Loma Miranda will not be destroyed. The dishonorable mining companies have utilized bribery and violence to force Loma Miranda’s community to leave, but they refuse. If the mining companies were to succeed, the water there, which is used in hospitals, schools, and communities all over the DR, would be poisoned and the ecosystem of Loma Miranda deforested and destroyed. After talking with the members of the community, we learned that the water found at Loma Miranda symbolizes life and permits it to flourish. One member of the community even referred to the water as the spinal cord of the nation. Loma Miranda was a truly beautiful place filled with music and spirit. This powerful spirit was seen in the eyes of Mama Miranda, the oldest member of the Loma Miranda community who has been fighting for Loma Miranda since the age of seven. Mama Miranda inspired us to recognize that despite being members of the youth population, we are capable of amazing feats and creating change.
Nicole and René