Hello friends! It’s Josue and Kevin, we were the Leaders of the Day, which is a key role on this trip overall. This position started a day before as we planned our meeting and the execution of activities. We were excited, as we headed into the most exciting part of our trip so far!

“Yawnnnnn” was the word everyone said as we gathered at 7:00 am for an early breakfast after waking up at 6:00 am. We had cereal and quickly prepared our bags to head out for Juan Dolio. This 4-hour bus ride sure was an interesting one; we had a playlist playing and everyone was singing along. When we arrived at the base house, we received our room assignments and ate a long-awaited lunch. After eating rice with pork, we left for our first activity of the day, the visit to Ascala. Ascala is a non-governmental organization that primarily focuses on assisting Haitian immigrants and refugees to obtain legal documentation and rights in the Dominican Republic. During our presentation with Ascala, we were able to speak to a Haitian inmigranté (immigrant) who explained the discrimination he experienced because he is Haitian. For the most part, our group could relate to some of his experiences given the fact that most of our group have family members who are immigrants.

Following our meeting, we went to the sugar cane plantation and spoke with a local about the experience as a worker. The workers are exploited and forced to labor in harsh conditions in order to provide for their families. The long shifts are simply not enough for the amount they’re paid since sugarcane is a huge export in the Dominican Republic. After we learned about this issue, we were invited to try the caña (sugarcane) with the locals. It was then time to head back to our base house.

When we arrived, we had our routine nightly self-refection in which we discussed the issues we learned about the immigration situation in the Dominican Republic. For dinner, we had tacos (comparable to the Mexican ones I love!) and then finalized our night by passing the leadership torch.

Big Love,

A leader’s note:
This trip so far has been amazing! Thankfully, the language is not a barrier which makes it easier to have conversations with locals. I can’t wait to see all of my family and friends when I’m back. Please add lots of comments for the glimpsers to read.