Good Morning! Today is Immigration Day! Our start to the day was both very long and very, very early. Today we were supposed to wake up at 6 AM, although we started with a slight delay due to malfunctioning alarms. At 8 AM, we left Jarabacoa for Juan Dolio (not two, but Juan), a 4-hour drive. Around 9:30 AM, we took a break where many glimpsers grabbed snacks and drinks for the road. We arrived in Juan Dolio (not two but Juan) around noon. The heat is rather extreme here, enough so that it makes the Jarabacoa heat feel like winter (Winter Winter Chicken Dinner). After getting adjusted into our rooms, we all had a freshly made family-style meal featuring rice with meat, and fried sweet plantains. We also had fresh fruit with fresh orange juice.

Next, we went to hear a speaker at ASCALA, where a Haitian Man, who was an immigrant, spoke about his experience leaving Haiti as a child, as well as issues with the global immigration system.

From there we headed to the Tour de la Cana Sugar Cane Field. There we spoke with a man named Mr. Domingo, who was a farm worker in that field. He told us about how the work is hard and labor-intensive. He also spoke passionately about the struggles of Haitian immigrants, many of whom take up hard labor jobs that are unwanted by the locals. After he finished speaking, he went into the field and cut up some sugar cane for everyone to try.

Then, after returning to the villas, we had a group reflection session on the concepts we learned about on immigration day. During the solution-oriented discussion portion, I (Dhruv) harnessed my inner professor. The group as a whole discussed corruption, poverty, and potential solutions for the matter. We also drew parallels between the Dominican Republic and The United States.

Following the discussion we had an amazing dinner where we had tacos. Everyone enjoyed the tacos so much that we ran out of taco meat.

At 8 pm we led the nightly meeting where John took over the duty of LDD (leader of the day).

Signing off for now,

Dhruv and Maryfer

P.S: Students will be calling home for 15 Minutes (Tuesday, July 9th)