Some people dream of success… while others wake up and work hard at it. ~Author Unknown
Today the theme of the day was Work like a Local Day. G squared (our delegation) woke up at 6 this morning to begin their day as a regular local living in rural Dominican Republic would. After breakfast we went to La Federacion de Campesinos and split into three groups to get a feel for how locals live everyday life. For several hours the glimpsers either shoveled and moved sand and rock, built a much needed bridge, or hacked away at the earth to create holes in order to expand one of the buildings on the property. No matter the work we participated in each one of us got a glimpse of the hard work the locals partake in everyday of their lives. Our three hours of exertion is the life they live ever single day.
Personally and on behalf of my group (shout out to all those who dug holes) we realized that these locals work so hard for so very little for a living. One of the locals who supervised us occasionally had to help us with making our holes deeper. In the minute it took him to dig half a foot through rock and concrete, we took 15. What we learned from that experience was that hard work is all day everyday for the people who live in poverty here in Bonao and all over the D.R. They are used to the labor they do and it is second nature to them. The wonder in it is that these locals live and work so hard and yet receive so little for their labor.
At 12:30 we all had lunch and afterwards commenced with the CAP (Community Action Project) panel wherewe presented out decision and ideas for the shop we would set up to help the communities. Earlier in our trip we heard from different leaders in the different communities to gain more information on the different needs of those communities. We created four groups based on the four different projects: Rabbits, Horse stalls, garden, and store. The store would service tourists, and would be located at La Federacion. It will serve to provide revenue to the communities as well as jobs for the women in the local communities in the surrounding areas. The Global Glimpse group (G squared) will begin our project Saturday (Day 1) in which we will start remodeling the area for the shop and storage as well as hold a workshop where we will teach the women how to make different jewelry, trinkets, and articles of clothing that will be sold in the store. Sunday (Day 2) is the day where we will finish up with the final details and open up shop.
Our group was very professional and well put together while we presented our ideas and I want to give a special thanks to our translators Clara, Sammy and Nia for taking it upon themselves to translate for each person in the group. I also want to thank Leslie and Marcos, our GG leaders for translating as well. At the end of everyone’s presentation the panel, mostly Estevan, gave feedback on our ideas in addition to adding some more of his own. At the end we thanked the panel and headed back to the hostel to teach our English classes.
The question of the day was ‘What challenges do the people in La Federacion de Campesinos meet in terms of being successful in the DR. Throughout our entire experience in Bonao I can say that the biggest challenge these people face is the compromise that comes with poverty. People must compromise their dreams, their passions, their education and their own happiness in order to see success for their families and their children. They face hunger, thirst, and backbreaking work yet, as we all saw today, they are happy and inviting and eager to meet new people. Hard work for little pay does not consume them. It makes them stronger and further unifies them as a community that is bent on helping and supporting one another. This is the true definition of success.
Best of wishes over there in the US. Buenas Noches!