Today was education day– We started our day off with a delicious breakfast at Onaney. We made our way back to the hotel and had an engaging seminar about the education in the Dominican Republic. It was very interesting to listen to all the contributions made from each student and their thoughts about the subject. A very special guest speaker came to join us, Christiano. We took a few hours to ask him questions about the structure and education system in the D.R., much of what he said in the seminar was very shocking to hear– from the statistics of the population who attend school to the struggles children face to succeed in life without education.
We then returned to Onaney and filled up on a very traditional Dominican meal. After lunch, we took a trip to the university in San Juan– which was the first university in all of the Americas! The president of the University gave us a discussion on her position and work she does for the school, followed by a meeting with the National Literacy Initiative, Quisqueya Aprende Contigo. In this meeting, we got a chance to meet a woman named Maria; who was an elderly woman who, with the help of the Literacy Organization, is now able to read and write. The glimpsers all agreed that it was very inspiring to hear what she had to say about her big transformation, from not being able to write her own name, to being a success. I was really moved when she proudly wrote her name on the board, something she had worked so hard to learn.
We then went to a school a few blocks away from our hotel to help teach a variety of students English– from beginners to intermediate speakers. After a long day of being a leader, we all attended the nightly meeting and discussed what we did today and reflect on the highs and lows. It was a long day, but we made it through! We can’t wait for tomorrow’s beach experience!