Hello Family and Friends!!!

We were given the opportunity to be El Lideres Del Dia. On the 6th day of being in the Dominican Republic, the focus was how environmental awareness and protection differentiates from the U.S. Our first stop was Las Cuevas de Pomier where we were taught the legends and history behind the caves. Las Cuevas have been around for thousands of years and the way historians have determined this are from the indigenous paintings. The most common depictions were of birds because they were believed to be messengers. On our tour, our guides had us participate in a minute of silence in utter darkness. The purpose of that moment was to acknowledge the fact that we come from a place that is mostly industrialized, which means that we don’t truly know what silence feels like.

Our next stop was to La Toma, a public pool that is well-known in San Cristobal. The water from La Toma is flowing natural river water, so there are no chemicals in the pool. We got to swim with the Ambassadors and relax. One major difference from pools in the U.S. is that the floor consisted of pebbles instead of tiles.

Our last stop was English Tutoring. At this point everybody taught their assigned classes, which lasted two hours. Both of our class experiences were eye-opening; the kids showed an eagerness to learn the material that surpasses what we normally see in the U.S. It’s a privilege to be introduced to the English language here.

It was stressful being Lideres Del Dia because we stumbled on some important responsibilities. With everything going on that day, it was hard to remember of some of the details and it was difficult staying on track with time. However; we further developed our sense of responsibility, which is going to benefit us for the rest of our lives. Some of the Glimpsers weren’t feeling too well today, although since everybody comforted one another and maintained positive attitudes we were able to make it through the day. Despite the challenges, it was great to see everyone’s enthusiasm and everyone was able to make it through.

The most inspiring people we met today were the tour guides for Las Cuevas. They were passionate about teaching and showed how much they cared for the caves. One of our tour guides, Carla, a seventeen year old from the community, showed commitment to educating people about an important historical site at such a young age. Not many people our age are that dedicated to preserving local history. Through the tour guides we learned how much the community cares for their environment in the D.R. compared to the United States.

As Lideres Del Dia we were able to learn more about ourselves in ways we couldn’t have had we not been given this responsibility. We are very grateful for this opportunity. We love and miss you all!!!

Much love,

Austin and Jessica