Hola nuestros amigos en California,

We had an amazing day in Jarabacoa living like locals! Last night, we traded in our electricity for candles and running water for buckets. We quickly learned how privileged we are in the U.S. and how grateful we are for what we have. In the morning, we rose early to the sound of roosters and had bread and hot chocolate, a traditional breakfast eaten by locals. After breakfast, we took a beautiful hour-long bus ride to a lovely small town called Las Cabirmas.

After arriving, we were hosted by caring families who greeted us with open arms. With these host families, we truly experienced the daily lives of locals in the Dominican Republic. Our tasks included cooking, cleaning, learning about the history of the community, and more! We enjoyed listening to the locals’ life experiences and gained perspective on their triumphs over struggles and challenges in everyday life. We also learned that building relationships is more important than work, so we took some time off by playing dominos! For lunch, we feasted on locrio de pollo, a traditional dish in the Dominican Republic. We shared a heartfelt prayer with the community members and cherished them during our Big Love recognition.

Back at our accommodations, we continued to experience the local lifestyle with bucket showers. We stayed mellow for a while, then played some volleyball with a lively group staying at our accommodations. Both our teams won a single game, and we all are looking forward to a rematch tomorrow. Our day furthered with yucca, green bananas, and salami for dinner. Afterwards, our electricity and running water was restored during our nightly meeting to discuss our free day tomorrow! As the lights flickered on, so did our inner spirits! We had a mini-party in the patio with some fun music and engaging sing-alongs!

We are more than excited about tomorrow’s free day, as we’ll get the chance to further explore Jarabacoa with our Dominican youth ambassadors!

Much love from all of us here in Jarabacoa!

1. Cooking lunch with the members of Las Cabirmas (with Jessica and Jish)
2. Having fun playing dominos with the locals (with John, Marvin, Bella, Rich, Mathieu, Gianna, Nelson, Jessica, Briseyda, Anjali, and Jish)
3. Tidying the house with Nana (with Lorenzo, Cecilia, and Valerie)
4. Group photo with Nelo (with Emma, Marvin, Alfredo, Yadira, and Ava)
5. Group photo with Miguel (with Rich, Briseyda, Bella, John, and Anjali)
6. GG squad with our community at Las Cabirmas!
7. New friendships await us! (with Cecilia, Lorenzo, Gianna, Anjali, Skylar, Abby, Clara, CJ, Jish, and Jessica)