2, Ago 2016 (Posted one day late due to internet connectivity issues; photo to be attached later!)
Today marks our one week glimpse into the lives of the Dominican people. With today marking our 6th daily topic; Poverty. We got to experience what poverty looks like here.
The day was filled with tear jerking new experiences that allowed us to perceive how local Dominicans live their lives. We juxtaposed our lives throughout the day and came to a shocking realization that America and the Dominican Republic actually aren’t that different. Poverty presents itself in many shapes and forms; it may not affect us all in the same way but we are now aware that the cycle is hard to break. In the Dominican Republic jobs have been created in order to help employ some people at La Estacion de Transferencia. The people here work to sort trash before it goes to its final resting place at la Duquesa. One can imagine Estacion de Transferencia as a giant water bottle recycling site. Except, instead of just recycling bottles, people are going through bags on top of bags of trash that come from all parts of the country. They are looking for things that can be refurbished such as jewelry, paper, plastics, and cardboard. People work 12 hour shifts, just for the possibility that there may be something of value. On average there is only a 30% chance of finding something that can be resold. This environment is physically and emotional draining on the people that work here.
After we left La estacion de transferencia we were given a chances to internalize what we had just witnessed. We broke into our Self-Reflection groups and were able to discuss our feelings, a new perspective on how we in the United States live, and how we’d like to change ourselves and the world. Our question of the day was about the cycle of poverty and how difficult it is for families and individuals to break that cycle, and this was a strong reminder of how difficult this is, and what poverty looks like.