Hi friends and family, I was not able to update our trip blog yesterday due to some internet issues we have been having but now that we have access to the internet I get to share our experiences from yesterdays field trips and academic seminars.
Yesterday’s theme was Education; and we spent our morning during our academic seminar reviewing some statistics regarding the Dominican Republic’s education system. We were surprised to learn that only 12% of low-income students who start high school in the DR will complete their studies, compared to 62% of those from higher income brackets. We also learned that the DR is still spending less on education than any other Latin American country. We discussed the similar barriers low income families in the US and DR share when it comes to access to quality education. We also talked about the difference in government spending in education for both countries.
After our academic seminar, we walked to the Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo (UASD), the local public University in San Juan. We were met by our Global Glimpse ambassadors Jeffrey and Richard (current students at UASD) They gave us a tour of the beautiful campus and shared details about cost, majors offered, curriculum, and resources. Both GG ambassadors were previously enrolled in the free English classes offered at UASD which are partly funded by the US. We were all greatly impressed by their strong English speaking skills.
After our tour, we were visited by a very special guest Cristino Comas, a passionate and dynamic educator from San Juan. He shared his first hand experiences with the DR’s education system and his vision for achieving affordable quality education for all Dominicans and Latin America. He is an amazing advocate for his community and he has dedicated his life to bringing education to communities who have not had access to education.
Finally, we began our English tutoring classes and the experience was amazing. Our students were excited and very welcoming, although most of the ‘Glimpsers’ were nervous but the students’ patience and energy helped set the fun mood. There were many friendships made and we are so proud of the Glimpsers and their ability to be great leaders.