Today was deconstructing poverty day and we got to directly witness the steps impoverished people take in order to work against their unfortunate situations. First we went to the city dump in La Vega and met a group of people called buzos. Buzos is a Spanish word for people who live off of the waste in the landfill. These people sort through the piles of trash produced by millions of citizens to find recyclable goods such as bottles, paper, and cans and make money off of it. Obviously, these people make very little and have to rely on such a difficult and uncomfortable job because they lack proper education, healthcare and opportunities. As leaders of the day, we were happy to see our group members reflecting on these people’s situation and realizing that despite being able to do very little for them we can still feel grateful for the privileges we are born with. We hope that when we return to the States, we can continue to act more thankful for what we have and stop taking our opportunities for granted.

After the city dump, we visited the Catholic Haitian School and met the founder Wilbert Dareus who talked to us about the struggles of keeping his school open. He explained how his school has no government support at all and the only patron passed away recently, leaving him with little funding. At the school, we face painted, blew balloons, and colored with them. We all had so much fun and were left with changed minds about what poverty is and how it affects people.

We then travelled back to the accommodation where we had our final Community Action Project presentations and decided on our contribution to the community! More details to come later in the week!