Stepping out of your comfort zone is vital in order to provide leadership. Leaders tend to achieve the unachievable and are always seeking to improve concerning situations. The Dominican Republic is a third world country that struggles to maintain a stable and satisfying economy. This was evidently seen through the “Global Business Day” in which we had the wonderful pleasure to be leaders of the day. As leaders of the day we had the immense task of maneuvering the entire delegation as one organized group. We had to provide guidance and comfort as well as stability and positivity. “Global Business day” was mainly diving into engaging conversations and asking questions to a representative and executive of one of the biggest sugarcane companies in the world. As a group we were able to ask a vigorous amount of questions directly to the man of everything. To our surprise he could not answer all of our questions on the specific practices and general information of his plantation. There were various times when after being asked a question he immediately relied on either the Internet or his assistant for information. He also seemed nervous and defensive throughout the tour. This may have come as a result of the organization’s last experience with the previous delegation when they had a similar experience.
We then heard an inspiring and heart warming speech by Rafael; a blind former bracero (sugar cane cutter) of Haitian decent who lives and grew up in the Bateys. We were also able to visit his town called Batey 6 where we played Simon says with the Children of the town and got to see Pastor Williams’ home. Prior to this excursion, our delegation was given a global business seminar in which were shown very biased and extremely heart wrenching photos of communities of the Bateys. These photos portrayed the people as sad, hopeless, and depressed. This was not the case. This community was very happy and seemed to be enjoying themselves while blasting tasteful Bachata music, competing against each other in a creative game foreign to the rest of us that involved bicycle tires, and making jokes about us Americans who came to visit their towns. In fact, the daughter of Pastor Williams is currently studying to be a lawyer.
This made us come to the realization that a community’s happiness isn’t determined by the resources offered to them by others, but rather by the time you spend with your community. The question of the day was, ‘What role do major businesses play in developing countries like the Dominican Republic?’ Throughout the last few hours of the tour when we got to experience life as a residing member of the Batey community, we were able to see long lasting affects that these major businesses had on the rest of the community. For instance, it was evident that poverty was pretty abundant among the people who lived here. We were also told that these sugar companies who claimed to help the Batey actually had little and almost no influence on the people or the community as a whole. In conclusion, experiences like the one showed today actually makes you realize that the unsatisfactory conditions in which the world is in right now, doesn’t effect their happiness.