Exploring Dominican Traditions: A Day of Discovery in Santiago Rodriguez

Programs for this blog post

Leadership & Service in Public Health

Authored By:

Megan Hoeffler

Post by Julianna Martinez, CIEE PL.

Imagine being a high school student from a different state in the US, embarking on a once-in-a-lifetime study abroad program in the Dominican Republic. For a group of 14 adventurous students, day seven of their 21-day trip brought them to the beautiful city of Santiago Rodriguez, specifically Moncion town. This eventful day was filled with cultural immersion and eye-opening experiences as they dived into the core of Dominican traditions.

-A Taste of Tradition: Casabi Bure Cassava Factory-

The morning began with a visit to the Casabi Bure Cassava Factory. The students were greeted with warm smiles and open arms by the staff, ready to witness the fascinating process of transforming yuca into cassava bread. Stepping into the factory, they were immediately captivated by the sights, sounds, and unique scents of this traditional production. They watched in awe as machinery and skilled artisans showcased their techniques, demonstrating how every step contributed to creating this staple food item. As the students observed the peeling, grating, and pressing of the yuca roots, they couldn't help but appreciate the dedication and expertise involved in this process. This experience allowed them to appreciate the significance of casava in Dominican cuisine and understand the deep-rooted cultural ties it holds.

-Unveiling the Lifeblood: Moncion Dam-

After an enriching morning, the group inmersed into learning about the awe-inspiring Moncion Dam. They soon discovered that this magnificent structure and body of water plays a pivotal role in providing water to numerous cities in the northern region of the Dominican Republic. Standing on the park that was just above the edge, they marveled at the inmensity of the reservoir and gained an appreciation for the vital resource of water. The visit to Moncion Dam left the students with a lasting impression of the Dominican Republic's commitment to sustainable development and resource management. They realized that such infrastructure projects contribute significantly to the nation's progress and well-being.

-Nature's Retreat: Glamping Vista del Rio-

In the afternoon, the students embarked on a thrilling 4x4 truck journey through picturesque landscapes to reach their final destination, Glamping Vista del Rio. Highlighted by a tranquil river in Moncion, this stunning location provided the ideal backdrop for relaxation, adventure and reflection. As they arrived at the glamping site, the breathtaking view amazed them. The students relished in the beauty of their surroundings, immersing themselves in nature's hug. A delicious Dominican lunch awaited them, showcasing the vibrant flavors and culinary heritage of the country. Over the meal, talking and camaraderie filled the air as they shared and bonded. To then be able to bond even more by taking a cold dive in the tranquil river, where they enjoyed splashing each other, swimming with their life vests and rope climbing.

Day seven in Santiago Rodriguez marked a pivotal moment for the group of high school students. From witnessing the traditional cassava-making process at Casabi Bure to understanding the significance of the Moncion Dam and experiencing the tranquility of Glamping Vista del Rio, the day was filled with unforgettable moments of cultural immersion, education, and natural beauty. Through these experiences, the students not only gained a deeper understanding of the Dominican Republic's rich traditions but also forged lasting memories and friendships. This study abroad program was not just an adventure; it was an opportunity for personal growth, expanding horizons, and embracing new cultures. The students' journey in the Dominican Republic has only just begun, promising more exciting discoveries and profound experiences that would probably shape their lives forever.