Hola a todos!

Our names are Kathy and Francisco, okurrrrt! Today was a very emotional and challenging day. Our focus was on Global Businesses and Deconstructing Poverty. In order to better understand what Global Businesses are, we visited Maguana Tropical, a local greenhouse which exports tomatoes to the U.S. and Canada. At Maguana Tropical, we met with agricultural engineer, Edwin, who gave us a tour of their greenhouse and factory. He gave us an inside look of the process of harvesting and shipping tomatoes, including how genetic engineering causes a constant renovation of what tomatoes they grow and how long the process takes to ship (90-100 days!). Beyond that, Edwin also shared his personal story about coming from Venezuela and how the current crisis has affected many Venezuelans, including his own family. Because of the difficult situation in Venezuela, he has been working twice as hard to get his family jobs at Maguana Tropical and a better living situation in the DR. His work has paid off, since he has been able to bring his brother from Venezuela to the DR.


After touring Maguana Tropical, we enjoyed a nice lunch consisting of rice and pork chops before we visited San Juan’s City Dump. At the City Dump, we met with Leo, who also shared a touching story about the hardships he has gone through over the past twenty years. Leo has been working at the City Dump for 22 years, and has faced several challenges that have made it very difficult for him to live. The lack of opportunities in his life, such as not having access to an education, has made it difficult for him to escape poverty. Although he has been looking for jobs, he has been unable to find a well-paying and stable job because he lacks an education. His words of wisdom left an emotional impact on the group, “When you are born poor, you usually die poor, especially if you are like me, whose life has been moving backwards instead of forwards. Don’t be like me, whose mind has been slowly rotting away, and go to school and learn.”

Returning back from the Dump, we had a chance to freshen up and prepare for English Tutoring. We all prepared a lesson an hour before class, which is comprised of an icebreaker, a grammar lesson, vocabulary, and active practice. Icebreakers usually consist of a game to get the students moving and energized for class. Grammar lessons can be anything from commands to verbs to tenses and how to construct complete sentences. Vocabulary is usually connected to the grammar lesson in order for the students to be able to form connections and better understand the grammar lesson. Active Practice is a chance for the students to show what they know, in preparation for our graduation on Monday. Look forward to a call from us tomorrow, because it is a free-day and we get the opportunity to call home!


Much love from your Leaders of the Day,

Kathy and Francisco