All of the Glimpsers were so grateful for having the experience of Working Like a Local. We all had these questions embedded in our minds before we started our day: What’s the workers’ main motivation to work hard? What is success for them? When I first read these questions, I thought that the workers’ main motivation is their family and that success for them is being able to fulfill the needs of their loved ones. But there was a deeper answer that I would not have been able to see if I didn’t go on this trip. I am sure that I am speaking for the rest of my peers as well.
The Global Glimpse team left the hostel at 8:30 AM to go to the Federation of Campesinos, an organization that attracts tourists who love the environment. This was our second time visiting the place (the first time was during Aid and Development day), but even then, the beautiful place still managed to take our breath away due to its lush greenery and earthy ambience.
When we arrived, my fellow Glimpsers went to work almost immediately. Our team was split into two groups. One group was assigned to carry bricks from one place to another while my group carried planks from their storage area to their woodshop. Our groups did that for approximately one hour, and then we all met up at the place where all their cacao plants were being taken care of. Our job there was to pull the weeds out from every single cacao plant that was growing, and there were endless rows of their crops.
All the jobs that we attempted were very strenuous. The planks, which were very heavy, could have easily given people callouses and splinters. We only did that task for an hour, and some Federation employees do that for multiple, consecutive hours at a time. Knowing how much I struggled for such a short period of time made me appreciate the dedication that these workers have. Pulling the weeds out of the seemingly endless rows of cacao plants directly after the first task made our bodies ache even more. The embarrassing part was, we were supposed to work like a local for three and a half hours, and we only lasted for two hours since it started to rain.
By the end of our working hours, we had lunch. The Federation served us La Bandera, a traditional Dominican dish which consists of some type of meat, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, and rice. However, we weren’t informed that the meat we ate was rabbit until after lunch (a major shocker). I nearly burst into flames.
After lunch, our delegation presented out CAP (Community Action Project) idea, which was to use the empty rooms of the Federation to make a reception area and to improve the aesthetic of their culmado (similar to a snack shack). However, our presentation crashed and burned. Our delegation had a hard time estimating the cost of certain materials needed to build our project, and we ended up exceeding our budget (our budget was a little over 20,000 Dominican Pesos, and our idea cost 80,000 Dominican Pesos). My fellow Glimpsers started to panic because we only had a day left before we start CAP, and not having a concrete idea of what to do was very stressful. Luckily, the employees of the Federation had two suggestions for us: a playground and a compost system. All of us got really excited with the idea of the compost system, so all of us (the employees of the Federation and the Bonao delegation) agreed upon making that our project. Not only will the compost system become beneficial for the environment, it will also provide the organization with extra income.
The Bonao Global Glimpse team was very thankful for today’s experiences. The hard work and dedication of the Federation employees have inspired us to exert more effort into achieving our goals. When we first came into their community, they all welcomed us with hospitality and care. But this time, we were all able to work together, and the labor we all poured into the organization’s improvement made the Glimpsers feel that we truly are a part ofthe Federation’s family. In order to show our appreciation, my fellow Glimpsers Jae-An, Lucy, Elena, Evan, Sophia, Mina, Joceline, and Mark helped me make paper cranes. The cranes symbolize the relationship that the Bejuco Aplastado family has. They all display works of altruism like a flock of birds, looking out for one another and not leaving anyone behind.
Regarding the questions that were asked earlier, “What’s the workers’ main motivation to work hard? What is success for them?” The answer is: family, community, and environment.
Reflecting back on the events that happened today, there were many instances where certain things would not go the way they were planned. However, I am so proud of my peers for being able to adjust so well to the unexpected situations that were constantly bombarding us throughout the day. It was very challenging being El Lider Del Dia on a day as hectic as this, all by myself, but with the support of the delegation, I was able to overcome the struggles that I faced. Also, the inspiring people that are a part of the Federation, especially Esteban, encouraged me to take charge and to make a difference in my community and the environment.
P.S. We are currently having trouble uploading pictures. Hopefully, we will be able to resolve this soon.
P.P.S. I want to give a shout out to my beloved mother, my adorable grandparents, my aunts and uncles, and my cousins, especially Stephanie who had her 14th birthday on June 20. I love you all so much and I miss you guys!!!