Us here on SJ2C want to give a big thank you to the planners of our trip for forgetting that July has 31 days instead of 30 because that got us environment day!

We started out the day at 6:00am bright and early. After hopping on the bus at 7 we ate a breakfast of ham sandwiches and juice boxes that kept us energized for the two-hour bus ride to Barahona. As we were approaching our destination we got a view of the ocean from the mountains! After arriving we met our tour guides and were met by friendly dogs. From here, many of us Glimpsers got to try hiking for the first time. To help with the hike, the guides got us fresh coconuts, mangoes, bananas and many other fruits, straight from the trees. The hike uphill was challenging, but nothing compared to the slippery trek back down. Many Glimpsers slipped, but we all made it out just fine! After the hard hike down we were rewarded with a fresh dip in a river-fed natural pool. We were surrounded by locals and families enjoying their Sunday cookouts.

The next phase of our adventure took place at the beach. We sat down to have an authentic Dominican lunch of pollo frito, pescado frito, tostones, arroz, y ensalada. We think we can speak for everyone when we say it was absolutely delicious. Madi: After that, I had so much fun playing in the waves close to shore! Brenda: I hung out with friends and enjoyed the beautiful views!

By the time we were back on the bus, we were all wet and exhausted from the hot day of hiking, swimming, and eating. There were many sleepy Glimpsers on the ride back home. Our planned explore time had to be omitted from the schedule due to traffic jam and time spent on the road, but we were happy to sacrifice free time for more time at the beach.

During our nightly meeting, we discussed the importance of sustainability in innovation. One of our tour guides, Reylin, showed us a process he uses to grow trees containing multiple different species of avocados! Overall, we all enjoyed the beautiful views, and information from the tour taught us the importance of sustaining the environment. We feel that today was a really good experience because we got to see a natural part of the DR, instead of the city. We got to see the beach, mountains, and animals. It was nice to meet people like our tour guide who creates and develops projects that are helping to sustain nature as well as communities.