Christie Civetta (2015) and Sarah Croteau (2015) write about their Alternative Spring Break in the Dominican Republic.
We slept in tents for seven days in the backyard of an orphanage with 120 other volunteers in Monte Crisiti, Dominican Republic. Everyday the Northeastern students walked two miles to a school, where we taught English classes. After our morning classes we walked back to the tents to eat lunch and siesta. After this we returned to the school and continued to teach classes. Once school ended, the volunteers came together for dinner, hiking, and to experience the culture.
The school we worked at was run down. The building’s windows were without screens, providing an unsafe environment. The school contained only three classrooms with partial walls, which unfortunately allowed the children to easily throw objects from one classroom to another, which as you would imagine is very distracting. When recess came around, a concrete slab was their playground.
During our stay in Monte Crisiti, we tried to develop caring and productive relationships with the children. The volunteers did this by giving English lessons and spending time with the children. Our alternative spring break in the Dominican Republic was very inspirational. All the volunteers had an amazing time. On the last day, a few of the children took off our name tags and wore them around as if they were us, giving on a great sense of pride. It was really beautiful. As we left they chanted “Los Americanos! Los Americanos! We love you!” It was the most heart warming thing in the world.
Coming home to Boston has been bittersweet. We miss the kids and cannot wait to see them again! We will definitely go back there. Christie even plans to spend her 6 months of co-op in either Dominican Republic or Nicaragua teaching children English.
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