Day three has been an exciting day for the Constanza delegation. Today we explored the topics of Education in the Dominican Republic and Dominican Culture. We started our day with culture. The Glimpsers had excellent discussion around stereotypes and cultural misunderstanding. We learned about the importance of perception and how to respect cultures different from our own. To follow up on our discussion of culture, we made the trip to visit Dario Ruben, otherwise known as Cat who is a nationally renowned mask maker. Every year Cat prepares an array of beautiful masks for the annual Carnaval celebration. Cat and his crew not only compete in Constanza´s Carnaval competition, but also in the national competition which has earned him many awards through the years. Today, with the help of Cat, the Glimpsers had the opportunity to participate in a mask making workshop where they were able to make their own Carnaval masks.
Later in the afternoon we discussed Dominican Republic’s educational system. As a group we realized that the Dominican Republic faces a lot of challenges when it comes to education. Many Dominicans do not have the opportunity to finish school or do not have access to quality education, whether it be a safe and functional school, books and supplies, or engaging curriculum. Despite these challenges, the group also learned about the different initiatives created by the national government and grassroots organizations to combat against these challenges and make education more accessible. Today the Glimpsers received a visit from teacher Arelis and her student Jose who represented Quisqueya Aprende Contigo, a government sponsored initiative to bring classes into local communities. The amount of dedication Arelis has for her students and her work is incredible, and we are glad that she came to visit us.