Hi families and friends,
We just wanted to let you know that all students have successfully departed from the Spring Break program.
We wish to thank our amazing teen volunteers for their contributions of time, energy, and passion during their time in the Dominican Republic, as well as their supportive family members and friends who followed along with their journeys.
New Program Blog and Photos!
Hi guys! Today we split into two groups- group one to Caño Dulce and group two to Polanco.
In Polanco we built a house for a women named Maria and her family. Maria is a single mother of three children and before GLA was living in a one room home under poor conditions. We helped to line the walls with plastic bottles, which helped reduce their garbage problem. We then cemented the walls with cement we helped make with the locals. In addition we built her a latrine and flattened ground for a water tank. We also enjoyed playing with the local children.
In Caño Dulce we prepped the workspace for planting. We cleared all of the leaves and palm fronds with machetes and pick axes because it was extremely overgrown. We then sorted piles of palm fronds into attainable piles for the locals to burn and create fertilizer. After this we moved the dirt into the garden beds so that when the next group came they would be able to plant the different vegetables and crops. Giorgio took us on a tour of the community where he showed us the cacao trees which fueled the communities economy and also the beehives that provided honey for the members. There was also two local girls who were the ages 2 and 4 who helped us move some of the dirt and rocks into the garden beds they were extremely helpful.
After our day at the communities, both groups met for a cultural activity. A local woman taught us to cook a plantain dish called fritas, popular in the Dominican Republic. After a trip to the beach and after a delicious dinner, we learned about environmental security from Georgio and split into our mentor groups. We then were able to reflect on the day and focus on our leaders’ goal- it was important to realize what we were doing in the community and the impact that we were able to make.
3.29.2016 (Two Updates Today!)
Hi guys! Today was our first full day at the Dominican Republic. We started the first day with an amazing breakfast and continued the day with a 2 hour car ride trip to Brison where we hiked 5 miles in total up a mountain. We were in a rural part of the country and along the way we stopped at a small elementary school where we learned a little bit more about their education. Although many choose to drive up the mountain or take a donkey we all bravely hiked the hill and are still sore.
At the top though we were met with a refreshing treat, ice cream, and an amazing home cooked meal. A local even played us a song by using a plastic bag as a whistle. We met some very cute young girls along the way who hiked with us. Many of our GLA volunteers practiced their Spanish.
On our way down we planted 600 orange trees in 20 minutes. We learned later that day how this contribution will contribute to the Dominican Republic’s human security. Exhausted when we got back, we all ran to the beach to cool off. There was a local boy who picked some coconuts for us, which we cracked open and drank their water.
We had great first day, sore legs and all. We are all making friends very quickly and are all extremely close despite it only being one day!
Hi parents – today we traveled approximately an hour away from home base to a place called “Dudú!”
The activities there included zip lining and cliff jumping into the picturesque lagoon, cave exploring, and various sports. We enjoyed a buffet style lunch with rice, beans, chicken, plantains, and a few other Dominican goods including ice cream! We then spent time hanging out with our newly made friends and learned more about each other… completing the “goals” we had each made in the morning.
We returned back to base camp, and some went down to the beach to finish off the day with another refreshing swim while others stayed on campus and relaxed. We then had dinner and our leadership and human security lectures followed by free time and lights out.
We love you and we miss you terribly!