“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice”. Nelson Mandela

The day started off a little bit later than yesterday with first wake up call at 7:30 am. We had delicious ham and tomato sandwiches topped with ketchup and mayo. We then headed to the seminar room where we learned about our morning partner, Darlin Tiburcio; he is the founder of la Fundación Cultural Juvenil e Infantil Dominicana, or FUNCJIDO for short. It is an organization that teaches kids how to take care of the earth by doing environmental projects and clean up days. We also learned about our interviews that would happen later in the day with members of Colonia Kennedy. Colonia Kennedy is an organization created in 1980 to assist community based on the needs of its individuals. They have helped built homes, solved plumbing issues, and many more. After collecting our travel journals and refilling our water bottles, we lined up outside the dining area and made our way to FUNCJIDO.

Making our way through the busy streets, we were accompanied by the radiant sun. After the brisk five minute walk, we were welcomed at FUNCJIDO’s entrance by its amiable staff. We walked to the backyard and engaged in different warm-ups while we waited for Darlin. Once he arrived, he taught us about the importance of conserving our environment and uniting a community to achieve a common goal. We then broke up into 3 groups where we talked about different kinds of struggles people face in DR. The groups spoke about malnutrition, migration issues, and hurricane devastation. We then took a short break by splitting up into two separate groups and attempted to solve “the human knot”. One group was victorious while the other was unfortunately unsuccessful. For our final activity, we joined as one group and discussed the pros and cons of aid and development. We thought that the human knot represents the relationship of aid and development because the knot is a variety of the complex problems that developing countries face and how they are not easy to solve, but when outside help listens to the needs of the country they are able respond appropriately. We concluded our stay with a group photo with Darlin, and then returned to the hostel at 12.

Lunch was an appetizing combination of moro, meatballs, and salad. After lunch, we met outside the dining area to reflect about English tutoring the previous day. We reviewed different teaching methods and what was effective and what was not in order to prepare for the next class. Once we finished our meeting we had some down time to work on our questions for our CAP (Community Action Project) and relax. The Community Action Project is a student lead project created in order to benefit the community. By 3:30 the United Film crew arrived in order to document the rest of our day. We loaded the van and traveled to Colonia Kennedy to prepare for our CAP. When we arrived at Colonia Kennedy, we were greeted by the staff and lined up to be briefed about our time. We split up into our groups and interviewed our respective member. We asked them questions relating to their experiences at the center and ways we can help contribute to their community. They told they wanted us to assist in refurbishing their local park and took us there. We started planning different ways we could clean the park. After reviewing our plans, we reunited as one group to discuss our plan and take a group photo. We then got on the bus where we sang together until we arrived at the hostel at 6:30. We hung out until dinner was ready at 7. After we finished dinner, we held our nightly meeting where we reviewed our day, received feedback, and passed the duties of the Líder del Día to Joseph, who gave great impressions of All State and Arby’s commercials. We’re excited for tomorrow!

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