Hola mis amigos,

Today was such fabulous day! Well, except for the pouring rain that woke us up early in the morning. We headed downstairs for breakfast and my leadership meeting with the coordinators and the teacher leaders to discuss the day’s itinerary.

After breakfast we all packed the necessary gear needed for our trip to Rio Blanco where we met Don Esteban, the founder of  a well known coffee farmers’ cooperative and his family. He introduced us to his associates. We went on a tour of the farm which includes an eco tourism project, an organic coffee plantation, a bamboo furniture making workshop  and a day care center. After the tour, we enjoyed lunch and tasted freshly made coffee from the cooperative. Don Esteban was also our guest speaker. He told us about his community’s decade long struggle  to keep foreign mining companies from taking over their ancestral land. Then, we interviewed several workers in order to align our community action project with their cooperative development initiatives.

At the end of the interview, we went back to the hostel to review our upcoming teaching days and how aid is regarded in other countries. Speaking of aid, our question of the day was, ¨What are some of the positive and negative impacts of aid in the developing world?¨ My positive answer to this question would be that developing countries should be receiving help in order to get better. The negative aspect would be that sometimes, donor countries help developing countries for their self interest. Finally, the day drew to a close (so was my time as leader of the day) so I passed on the responsibility of leader of the day to my friend Christina. Hopefully she will do just as well as I did or even better. I believe that the Dominican Republic is such a fantastic country!

Buenos noches,

Jamore Felton