Hello! Today is the fourth day of our Global Glimpse trip. It’s Global Business Day, also known as working as a local day. Our names are Hazel and Su, and we were the leaders of the day (LDD). As LDD, we were responsible for organizing and leading the activities throughout the day with help from the GG coordinators. We woke up at 6:00 AM and got ready to wake everyone else up at 7:00 AM. At 8 o’clock, we had breakfast which consisted of oatmeal, raisins, and bananas. We later learned that this was a common meal that workers in the Dominican Republic eat. Before each activity, we did a mental warm-up where we learned some background information about the places we’d visit.

For our first destination, we went to a greenhouse owned by Alberto who invited us to help harvest tomatoes. We worked together in pairs and rushed to fill our baskets with as many ripe tomatoes as possible. We also enjoyed a snack as a break from the work and then returned to picking tomatoes shortly after. We learned that certain types of vegetables could grow better in greenhouses than if they were grown in the natural environment. Alberto also told us that people working in the countryside don’t have retirement plans as they work from the moment they’re born until they die.

Afterward, we had chicken, rice, beans, and a vegetable salad for lunch. Following a short bus ride, we got hands-on experience working at World Agro-Marketing. There, we toured the factory and saw the process of how cucumbers were exported from the Dominican Republic to the US. The girls cut the flower and stem of the cucumbers while the boys helped restock the boxes with new cucumbers to be processed. From talking to the workers, we learned that some of them have worked there for over fifteen years. They can work up to thirteen hours a day depending on the urgency of the shipment. However, they’re paid only slightly above minimum wage, earning up to 20,000 pesos a month or $368 USD. The cucumbers were sorted into three qualities; Mama Mia, La Vita, and Choice. Mama Mia cucumbers are straight, have no stretch marks, are entirely green, and are $900 per ton. La Vita cucumbers are shorter, thicker, may have a slight curve, and are $800 per ton. Choice cucumbers are much more bent, are a lighter color, and are $700 per ton. Deyanira, the operations manager of the factory, told us that 37% of the cucumbers are usually rejected. This percentage is higher in the summer as there are only three qualities of cucumbers while there are four qualities in winter. The rejected cucumbers can be donated, but can’t be sold because it would decrease the value of the cucumbers exported to the US if sold in the Dominican Republic. This experience opened our eyes to the high-quality standards for exports to the US as we saw workers throw away a big portion of the cucumbers. 


Afterward, we returned to the hotel. Some of us stayed while others went to the grocery store and park. Then, we had a self-reflection meeting where we talked about the businesses we saw today and their impact on the community. We had mashed plantain, salami, eggs, and vegetables for dinner. Lastly, we concluded our day with a nightly meeting where we reflected on our experience as the leaders of the day and passed the torch to the leaders for the next day.

We enjoyed our day as LDD and it was amazing to see how vegetables are grown and exported to the US. We learned a lot about our leadership styles and gained many skills whilst working in a team together. 

Best, Hazel and Su