On the night before living like a local, we were without running water or electricity to learn how locals in the Dominican Republic community live. This meant spending the night using a candle and/or flashlights to get around. We wanted to try it because not everyone in the world has the opportunity to have running water and electricity. In the morning, we drank hot chocolate and ate bread for breakfast because we were also eating like a local, with simple meals and small portions. We were okay with it because we liked the hot chocolate. It was a cinnamon-flavored chocolate.
We later went to a community called “Las Cabirmas” to meet with our host families. We saw what it was like to live without the basic utilities we were used to, such as running water, electricity, and paved roads. They were very welcoming and very polite, we all wanted to participate to help out but they did not want us to do much because they said we were guests. Xi was helping the locals with brooming Nana’s house and we were introduced to her daughter and grandchildren. Later on, Antonia took us for a small tour around the community and we liked how close people are and how sweet they were to us. After that, we all went to the community center and we noticed that they weren’t finished building it. Around noon we ate lunch with the locals and offered them to go first, but we all ended up going back and forth to “go first”. We went at the same time little by little and we talked and enjoyed our morning with the locals of the community.
During our day as living like locals we got to talk to members of the community and discover what they needed. We then got to interview and ask them what they felt would be the most beneficial. We found out that most projects don’t get finished because of the lack of money and resources. In addition, they are a community that is based on unity and love. After interviewing the leaders of the community about what materials they needed they decided that they wanted to finish building the community center as our Community Action Project. They want to be able to have a place where they can celebrate birthdays, baptisms, funerals, and special events for more community members to attend.
Being Leader of the Day has helped us improve our leadership skills by being more organized and comfortable with this delegation. We have also learned ways to incorporate people to participate and I thank the Global Glimpse organization for giving us this opportunity.