Question of the Day:
‘What basic principles does working the land instill in the workers in Dominican Republic that many developed communities lack?’
It’s safe to say that every Glimpser has stepped out of their comfort zones at least once today. As we began our busy day with a wake-up call at 6:00 AM, we all scrambled to prepare for the day within 30 minutes. Following our quickened individual morning routines, we each enjoyed a delightful breakfast of a ham and cheese croissant with watermelon and pineapple juice. To prepare for the exciting day that Global Glimpse had in store for us, we discussed the work life of a local farmer, their minimum wage, and their concern for pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizer during our daily mental warm up. We then familiarized ourselves with the community of Bejuco Aplatao and the Brigada Verde, the community we worked in today.
We learned that the Brigada Verde, is an organization that aims to reforest impoverished lands that are victims of deforestation. Led by Agapito Marte and Berto, members of the organization work hard every day of the week, for about 8 hours, and are paid about $9 (about 1000 pesos). However, their hard work pays off with their greatest accomplishment of planting an average of 100,000 trees per year. Excited to begin our adventure to Bejuco Aplatao, we relaxed in the air conditioned bus while listening to some of the glimpsers’ favorite songs. Once we arrived, we hiked approximately 2 miles through rivers and hills to find ourselves in area filled with green, rolling hills. There, we found out that we would be planting pine trees! We divided into groups of 4 with a member of the Brigada Verde and spent about 3 hours digging holes and planting pine roots all around the hill. After planting about 285 pine roots in the scorching sun, we made sure to stay hydrated and drank a lot of water during our break. Finishing off our time with the members of the Brigada Verde, we spent about 30 minutes asking the local farmers questions about their motivations to work, goals for the Brigada Verde, and their life as a local farmer. After spending a solid half hour learning about this organization, we learned the value of an individual tree, comparing it to the life of a new born baby, with the responsibility and care it needs. We also discovered a significant difference between the relationships of communities in the United States and the Dominican Republic.
This regarded the unity and happiness that all the communities share. Concluding our trip to Bejuco Aplatao, we gave “Big Love” to the members of Brigada Verde, showing our appreciation for their work, time and effort they put into us Glimpsers and the Dominican Republic. On our hike back to the bus, we stumbled upon a couple obstacles, but made it to the bus safely. After all of our hard work, we were given the opportunity to explore the city of Bonao with the guidance of our Bonao Ambassadors. We all got some ice cream, ate pizza, stopped by a supermarket to grab some snacks and souvenirs, and enjoyed the city of Bonao. Before dinner, all the Glimpsers, Ambassadors, and kids from our accommodations gathered in the driveway to have a little dance party. Dinner was delicious as usual. We had the yucca root, chicken with bell peppers, onions and broccoli, with a side of pineapple and lettuce. We then proceeded to our nightly meeting, reviewing our discoveries from today and our plans for tomorrow.