Hi, my name is Josue Rojo and I was today’s leader of the day. It was definitely a completely different experience because you just aren’t worrying about yourself, you’re also worrying about everyone else having a successful day. Leading up to today I was definitely worried of not doing things right and messing up the schedule but the great GG leaders (Suzanne, Ricardo, Sara, Elias) guided me every step of the waaaaaay. So my responsibilities started off with waking up a 6:30 which was a pain! I mean like we usually get 7-8 hours of sleep but you’re constantly swatting flies and waking up in the middle of the night sweating all the water you have consumed the day before. So I woke up took a shower and started waking up the rest of the delegation. Had a hearty breakfast of eggs and yucca. I’ve literally had yucca ten different ways.

So today’s overarching theme was politics and we looked in to the Dominican Republic’s policies. So we went to a facility that belonged to a woman’s collective called Confederacion Nacional de Mujeres del Campo (CONMUCA). This organization fights for agricultural rights, abortion, Haitian immigration, etc. So we spoke about current controversial rights in the Dominican Republic. It was interesting to see that many of the political issues are similar to the political issues in the US. They fight against first world consumerism which is slowly sucking the resources out of the country. An issue that I really was concerned about was big corporate companies taking resources and not having beneficial impact on the Dominican economy. So basically the Dominican citizens do not have a lot of rights over their land. An example of this cruelty is a huge American company in the DR called Monsanto. So what they do is buy the seeds from the Dominican farmers, genetically modify the seeds, and sells it back to the farmers. This makes the genetically modified food look better than the local organic food, making the organic farmers lose money. This greatly affects the economy but benefits big companies that don’t really help the countries in need.

We also spoke about a current issue with Haitian immigrants. As of Friday, Haitian immigrants who can’t show the correct paper work to an official can be deported back to Haiti no matter the current situation. This has been an issue in the UN for the past three years. This act was supposed to start in 2013 but the UN pressured the Dominican Republic to push the starting period to June 2015. This would allow Haitian immigrants to gather the right paper work to apply for Dominican citizenship. This has been labeled by the UN as inhumane and is pressuring the Dominican Republic to stop this from happening. Many riots have sprung up across the country because of this issue. Thankfully we aren’t close to any of these riots and are out of harm’s way.

Next we proceeded to our English classes. I think this is my favorite part of the trip because you see people from the ages 8-55 year olds get so excited to learn English. I’ve never valued free education so much because so many people here do not have the opportunity to go to school for various reasons. Definitely a highlight on my trip. After we came back to Rancho Campeche and did our usual nightly recap. I also sprained my ankle running away from a giant moth-looking monster in the boy’s cabin lol. I just want to give a shout out to my parents love you and miss you guys! A shout out to Armando and Malik, hope yall are doing good. STAY OUT OF TROUBLE. Shout out to PSK!!!! To all the seniors! The peanutheads and that boi Andy, Britt TOOOO!! And lastly to Jeremy, Newton, Vanessa, and Lawrence. (AND ALL MY OTHER FRIENDS).

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