Hola Mi Gente!

My name is Gustavo Lopez and I am one of the Global Glimpse Leaders and was given the opportunity to be Leader of the Day for “Culture Day.” Today’s learning themes centered around the Dominican culture in the areas of art and music. The students and I were able to meet three incredible presenters Ciliosther Diaz, Angel Diaz, and Cristian Solis that shared with us their passion of creativity and rhythm.

We started off the morning with a special presentation from two award winning artist who support the yearly San Juan de la Maguana Carnival festival. Students were able to listen to the history of the traditional celebrations from the Dominican Republic. One key aspect of these celebrations is the unique mask that are made. Students were able to create and design their own carnival mask. They came out amazing. We have a very artistic group of Global Glimpse students!

The second part of our day experience was to delve into the musical history of the Domincan Republic and what better way to this than dancing!? Cristian Diaz has more than 30 years of experience running his own dance academy, “Escuela de Danza Braza” in San Juan de la Maguana. Students got a chance to see Cristian’s students perform traditional dances with a live band. They learned about merengue and bachata. What made it even better was that students were able to practice with Danza Braza students on the different and various forms of dance moves for bachata and merengue. This made us sweat so much, but it was worth it!

The highlight of the day for Global Glimpse students was reuniting with the Dominican Youth Ambassadors to plan their first lesson plan to teach English classes to the general community in San Juan de la Maguana. This will be something you will be reading about in the coming days.

At dinner we had a special surprise for one of the Global Glimpse students named Jonathan. The Global Glimpse Program Coordinators purchased him a cake to celebrate his birthday! We also created a birthday card that all of us on the trip signed wishing him the best on his special day.

We finished the day reflecting about all the activities we experienced today. One student said today, “I spend more in 20 minutes back home than someone makes in one month in the DR.” Students discussed some of the realities of people we met today and how they can take these new revelations back home with them. I heard many other strong student voices today. It has been an incredible journey so far and to see these students grow in such a small amount of time is amazing. I cant wait for what else is in store for the rest of our time here!

Amor Y Cultura,

Gustavo Lopez, GG Leader