After an early wake-up at 6:00 am, we had breakfast and were on our way to Juan Dolio. After about a 4-hour bus ride and lots of karaoke we arrived and saw our rooms. Our hotel was Hindu-themed with a lot of decorations, paintings, and murals. We ate a lot of fried chicken and left to meet with the ASCALA organization. ASCALA is a group that helps mostly Haitian immigrants orient themselves in the Dominican Republic. We spoke with an immigrant who recounted experiences of discrimination based on his Haitian origin and the color of his skin. Much of our group is made up of immigrants or children of immigrants, so this meeting was very eye-opening and relatable to all of us.

After our talk with ASCALA, we went on a bus ride to a local sugarcane plantation, where we got to speak with some of the Haitian locals and ask them about their experience as migrant workers in the Dominican Republic. They shared some of their experiences as sugarcane workers and how hard they worked to make a couple of dollars each day. It made all of us gain a new appreciation for the labor that goes into the food we eat as well as the struggle faced by migrant workers worldwide. The workers kindly let us try some caña (sugarcane). The taste is hard to explain but it was very sweet, hard, and chewy.

By the time we got back to the hotel, it was already time for dinner. Since it was Felix´s birthday, the Global Glimpse Leaders (GGLs) were kind enough to buy him a cake. After we all finished eating our pasta, we brought the cake over to Felix as a surprise. He did not expect it and was overjoyed with happiness; his only birthday wish was to listen to the Pittsburg Pirate Anthem. After the celebration, we continued with our nightly meeting, where we read all of your birthday messages out loud.

We learned a lot today, from the value of hard work to the struggles faced by immigrants, and finally, the power of friendship.


I am learning a lot about different cultures and I am already improving my English and my Dominican Spanish. Today was a really packed day where I got to show that a leader is composed of actions and not words, I look forward to tomorrow since we are going to the beach. I am super excited to narrate all of the wonderful stories that I have to share from the Dominican Republic, and I want to go to the Chinese Buffet and In N Out already.
Sincerely, Steven A.

Thank you to everyone who left comments saying happy birthday. All of you truly reminded me how loved I am even though I am thousands of miles from home. It was very sweet hearing all of your messages (especially yours Michelle). I really miss all of you but there is still so much to experience on this trip. I WILL make sure to tell everyone about it when I come back. – Felix Artola
P.S: Yaya, everyone always laughs and are looking forward to what you will say during the night meetings. Also, your cheetos should be in the pantry.