Today was beach day and everyone was excited. We woke up at 7 am, ate breakfast and departed to the beach; Playa Rogelio at 9am. The ride to the beach was 2 hours, some people slept, while others jammed to the music that our kind driver, Wilson played. When we got to the beach everyone was amazed at how beautiful and blue the water was; however, we had to go through a safety talk from Defensa Civil about the boundaries before we could all hop into the ocean and play. After our talk, some ran into the ocean to play, while others played volleyball. Later, we took a break and had lunch. When we finished lunch, we all got back to our own activities at the beach. Then after having our fun at the beach, we left and headed back to our hostel. Most of us slept on the bus because we were all tired, but some people that had energy left jammed to the music, while others shared snacks. When we returned, we had some free time to change and then we started writing our letters of appreciation to our donors. Then, we had dinner and headed off to our daily nightly meeting.
What we learned from today was even though the beach was targeted to be a “tourist area,” most of the people we saw there were locals. In the United States, if you had a house near the beach it would be considered private property, but here the locals don’t charge you to go in the beach. Also, when we were driving up to the beach, we noticed impoverished communities nearby and that was another example of how their government focuses more on tourism than its people and their living situations.
As leaders of the day, we were able to break out of our shells and lead the team on this fun beach day. Through this, we gained more confidence in ourselves and developed more leadership skills because gathering and leading a big group of students in a foreign country is a hard task.