S-Trip! Destination: Dominican Adventure, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
For my second summer in a row, I was lucky enough to visit Puerto Plata and reconnect with one of the most caring and heartwarming women I have ever met: Sandra Tineo, the community leader and school teacher. She has always had a passion for bringing her town of roughly 200 families out of poverty. However, this time around, I was welcomed into a town renamed to Nuevo Renacer. With her determination and compassion, it is no surprise that they renamed Aguas Negras (Black Water) to Nuevo Renacer (New Reborn): a fitting description for the developing community that welcomed our eager S-Trip! travelers into their hearts and homes.
Between July 4-19, 140 of our S-Trip! travelers volunteered their time and experienced a completely different side to their Dominican Adventure. They were able to participate in all aspects of the community, including playing with the niños and niñas at the boys and girls club, touring the town while completing an environmental clean up, and contributing to some house repairs and rebuilds.
On the ride to Nuevo Renacer, I told the students about Sandra and that she would hug every single one of us as we got off the bus. They were surprised that I wasn’t lying about the hugs and shortly after we were welcomed into their home with a fun sing-a-long; and then, we showed our appreciation by a student-led Hokey Pokey! We were very pleased to not only complete repairs to two homes, but to also rebuild the home of the Gonzalez family, who were selected by our partner organization, The NWC and their CLOUD Projects, to receive our help.
The impact that I saw these S-Trip! travelers make on this lovely community is something I will always keep with me, but the impact that this community has made on our S-Trip! travelers is something that they will take with them everywhere they go. Learn more about this program at thenwc.com.
Written by Brittany Brennan, the on-site Volunteer Coordinator for Puerto Plata (Sunscape).