Hello to all, my name is Gloria Beltran from Andrew P. Hill High School in San Jose, California. Today, I was El Lider del dia in our first fun day. We started out today with a cold shower to refresh us before our rigorous day. After breakfast, we went to Zona Sur on a bus at 8:45 A.M.  At Zona Sur we were given a brief history of the Dominican Republic beginning from the early era of colonization. During this presentation of the Dominican Republic’s history, we learned about the indigenous population in the Dominican Republic, los Tainos. Along with the learning of the culture of the Tainos, we made Taino inspired masks. Each glimpser was given clay to create his or her own mask. It was interesting to see each glimpser mold a piece of clay into a piece of art that reflected the glimpsers’ personalities emphasized by our host, Angel.

After the completion of our masks, we went back to the Fundacion de un nuevo futuro to have lunch at 1:00 P.M. After, lunch we headed to Saltos de Jima where we were able to hike and swim in a pool of water near a waterfall from 2:30 P.M. to 5:30P.M.  During our time at Saltos de Jima, we appreciated nature fighting against the intense landscape making our hikes dependent on the “buddy system” facilitating the trust between the glimpsers. After the strenuous hike to our final destination, we were able to embrace the beauty of nature swimming in a pool of water with a waterfall. The pool of water was cold allowing us to refresh after the hike. Reluctantly leaving the refreshingly cold pool of water on such a hot day, we hiked back to the parking lot.

After our stay at Saltos de Jima, we returned to the Fundacion de un nuevo futuro to rest for one hour before we had dinner. We then had a nightly meeting where we discussed the possibility of creating sustainable tourism in the developing world. All of the glimpsers agreed Saltos de Jima was a beautiful example of the natural resources present in the Dominican Republic that would help create sustainable tourism.

Hasta luego from Bonao.