Today we began to work on our Community Action Project (CAP). We are providing our services to the organization of Agua Y Vida who reside near Loma Miranda. Loma Miranda, the place that we visited on our Global Business Day, is the largest source of water in the Dominican Republic. Unfortunately, it is also the biggest target for profit of major mining companies who seek to extract valuable minerals such as gold and silver from this ecosystem.

Agua Y Vida has worked to protect this beautiful land for nearly five years now and their fight will continue and grow for years to come. Our group had so many ideas that we wanted to integrate in this project because we all became so passionate and invested in aiding this community. We ended up narrowing it down to three: planting trees, painting a mural, and launching a social media campaign.

Many community members expressed the issue of the heat within their village and asked if we would be able to plant some trees in order to provide them with more shade. We decided to plant fruit trees that will work both as shade and as a source of food. As for the mural, we noticed that the main building was very bland and had graffiti on some of the walls. We wanted to renovate and beautify their facilities in order to catch the eyes of those passing by. The social media campaign is also a way to gain the attention of the public as well as spread the word beyond their community. The Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pages that we created have the ability to attract investors, supporters, and more community members on a local and even global scale.

Today, we were able to complete the tree planting, setting up the social media pages, and painting the background for the mural. We’ll have another opportunity to complete our projects tomorrow, which will be our final day in the DR. One big component of this project is sustainability. We need to be able to build a foundation that the members of the community will be able to continue to take care of when we leave. They need to water the trees, wash the mural from time to time, and continue to post pictures and updates about the organization. I have no doubt that our friends at Agua Y Vida will be able to maintain these projects that we developed for them.

It feels so odd that we only have one full day left here. I’m going to miss everyone; from my delegation to the kids in La FundaciĆ³n del Nuevo Futuro. I know that this is an experience that I will never forget. Big love to Bonao!