Dear Glimpsers,

This is TEAM Bonao sending a personal bienvenida your way!  We are very excited about your visit to our site in the Dominican Republic this summer and wanted to send some helpful tips and information so that you are better prepared for your upcoming trip.  We’d like to start by providing you with personal introductions:

Jonás Rosario Peña: My name is Jonás and I was born and raised in Bonao. I am a Graphic Designer, and I can say that my creativity is not only limited to designing images on the computer but also is integral to my personality and relationships with others. I am very excited to bring my past leadership experience working with youth groups to my role in GG. My knowledge of English and bilingual education in school allowed me to make connections and friendships with people from all around the world, something that I love. This has transformed my perspective of life and provided me with a multicultural experience that impacted me forever. I am so looking forward to meeting you and my fuel for my work is being able to share from my culture alongside all of you.

María Nouni Ros:  My name is  Maria and although I am originally from Spain, I come from a mixed-cultured background: Moroccan-Spanish. From a young age, I have been in touch with the cultural differences, which have awakened my curiosity and love for exploring new cultures and their people. After graduating I started teaching languages in the UK and Switzerland.  I also volunteered as a team leader in Nicaragua for projects that collaborate, develop, and empower people and their rural communities. My experiences enabled me to learn about the power of diversity, and the importance of engaging people of all backgrounds with a common goal. I believe that a better world is possible, and I hope that my contribution to the program can positively impact the lives of students and local people. Jonás and I have been working diligently on your summer itinerary and are very excited to give you a glimpse of a couple of the activities that you will be experiencing!

One of the activities that have us really excited is our Living Like a Local day.  You will get to meet the members of Bejuco Aplastado, a rural community surrounded by mountains about 30 minutes outside of Bonao, and spend a day in their homes. You will get to experience their joys and the things that they hold dear to their heart. They cannot wait to see you and welcome you into their family!

We can’t wait to hear your critical perspectives unfold after our Global Business Day. You’ll get to take a tour of an actual mine from a scientist committed to social and environmental responsibility, and that very same day visit a community of people who have dedicated their lives to protect their mountains fighting against international mining companies.

You’ll also have the chance to work on your Community Action Project which is at the same community where we will be for our Living like a local day, so we can share a lot with this committed and powerful community. They are so excited to collaborate with you all and give back to their community the project we will take on together!

In addition to the packing list that you have already received, we also wanted to highlight a few OPTIONAL, but highly ENCOURAGED recommendations for you to bring:

  1. Sometimes, it rains heavily and unexpectedly.  So, bring a poncho and/or umbrella and rain boots or shoes that you would not mind getting mud on.
  2. Bring plenty of bug spray!
  3. Bring allergy medicines. Lots of rain means lush flora and fauna!
  4. Bring light clothing because it’s can get very hot here.
  5. Bring your curiosity, flexibility and open mind (perhaps filled with some background knowledge on the Dominican Republic).

Some of you may be inclined to bring donations with you, and we want to support those of you with a philanthropic spirit to donate in a sustainable way. We’ve identified an incredible partner (who you will get to meet in person) for this purpose: Gemuel who is the leader of the Church where Haitian and Dominicans coexist together.  Gemuel opens his doors to the Haitian population (children, women, men, teenagers) of his community in order to increase and defend their integration with the Dominican community and break down many of the unfair stereotypes. He operates a school on Saturdays at almost no cost for his students, without any support from the government. Furthermore, we have Óscar López who is the inspirational and charismatic director of the Fundación Luis Terror Días who works with children who live and/or work in the streets providing them opportunities to break the circle of poverty through good education and learning a profession. He also runs a school on Saturdays where he receives around 100 children and young people.  Both of their schools are currently struggling for lack of funds, and they do not have many school supplies to provide for their students. Donations appreciated would be school notebooks, filler paper, backpacks, elmer’s glue sticks, pencil box or pouch, eraser, ruler,  folders, pocket. Binder, crayola crayons, Pencils, school scissors, pencil sharpener, crayola washable markers, paperback, protractor,  highlighter, ballpoint pens, and possibly even a soccer ball or two for the children to play at recess, even baseball materials!

If you wonder what our faces look like check out the following pictures 🙂 .  This is also a great time to have everyone begin introducing themselves with a Spanish greeting (let us know how comfortable you are with speaking Spanish to help us plan)! We can’t wait to finally have you here and show you such a beautiful part of the world.


María and Jonás