DR Days 2 and 3 - Volunteering in the DR!
For the past couple of days our rising DCPS seniors have been putting hearts and hands to work helping to restore the environment in the Dominican Republic. Our crew teamed up with the staff from the Escuela de Media Ambiente (National Environmental School) to support their efforts to cultivate and propagate trees that will support national reforestation efforts. On Tuesday we arrived at the school and met with school staff where students learned about the school’s mission and reforestation efforts. Our students also met with area youth leaders who are part of la Brigada Verde, or the Green Brigade, who travel from school to school encouraging, educating, and inspiring other youth to take pro-environmental actions in their communities. The students loved getting to know each other and sharing about school life and local customs and traditions from the DR and the U.S. The end of the day culminated with a mini-dance off - DR students taught our students how to do the merengue, a typical local dance - and students taught and participated in icebreaker activities in English and Spanish. On Day 3, we got to work! Our students arrived early at the environmental school where they got right to work supporting two key projects: the painting of trash cans to support local pro-environment consciousness raising efforts about the importance of proper trash disposal, and preparing mulch used for the cultivation of baby trees. Students worked hard in the Caribbean heat for over four hours, and by the end of their shift, they earned rave reviews from the school’s staff, who commented that our students were amongst the kindest and hardest working that they’ve ever worked with. Later that night, because all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, we celebrated with a typical Dominican party! A local band came to rock in the night with live merengue and salsa music, and locals joined with us as together we danced the night away, Dominican style!