Hola a todos, it’s the Lideres del Dia, Nicholas, Liza, and Isabel.

The day started off with us going to the municipal dump in the city of La Vega – we got to speak with some buzos, who scavenge through trash for items to repurpose or sell. A fun fact is that buzos collect 35% of the trash accumulated in the dump. On an island like the DR, this is especially important as there is limited landmass. After our visit to the dump, we traveled to a nearby nonprofit school called La Fundacion Alba y Ocaso, which seeks to advance the lives of the community’s youth. The school is entirely run by volunteers, and their generosity and hospitality proved to be extremely touching. We ate lunch at a fancy-schmancy restaurant that was made of bamboo and was three stories tall –  a delicious lunch of rice, beans, chicken, and salad. We headed home, and had some nice showers. It started pouring rain at this point, so many of us went outside and played with the kids at the accommodations. We then got time to explore the city on our own. (Parents, there’s not actually any need to be concerned, please don’t frantically start making calls.) Some of us bought snacks, some got manicures, and others looked for souvenirs. At dinner, the entire group spontaneously burst into song. And then another song. And another. And maybe a few more after those ones.

The topic of the day was Deconstructing Poverty – through our visit to the dump and the school, we got a glimpse (a global glimpse, if you will, jajajajajajajaja) of the state of poverty in the DR. Jokes aside, we learned that poverty is a very real condition in the DR. With approximately a third of the population living below the poverty line, poverty is close to normality for much of the country. This unfortunate truth has a silver lining in that each individual can make changes. Furthermore, policy changes can help to lift people into economic stability.

Thanks for reading this – we hope you’ve had an amazing day, and sweet dreams for tonight.