Under the same sun...

Programs for this blog post

Leadership & Service in Youth Development

Authored By:

Sheila Zarzuela

The song "One Day" by Matisyahu states the following in one of its verses:


"All my life, I've been waitin' for

I've been prayin' for, for the people to say

That we don't wanna fight no more

There'll be no more wars, and our children will play

One day, this all will change, treat people the same

Stop with the violence, down with the hate

One day, we'll all be free and proud to be

Under the same sun, singin' songs of freedom like.”


This description in the song is exactly what I have seen happening with the service of the kids in the communities we have been working with. Each community is different: different backgrounds, needs, idiosyncrasies and the children have different personalities and ways of expressing themselves. Despite all these differences, the students have found a way to adapt to their environment in order to love and support each group according to their identity. The children in the communities have become children again with the students around, they have laughed and played, they have felt that they are important and loved. That we are equal to them and accept our differences.

The students have been able to bring this same light to their activities outside the communities. They have broken down barriers and formed a beautiful family, where everyone treats each other with respect and loves spending time together. We did this by having dinner together at each of their homes in our "progressive dinner," where we enjoyed different dishes and got to know the small caves where each one lives with their host families. Likewise, we danced together, enjoying Merengue and Dominican Salsa in a special class just for them.

They enjoyed nature at its best during our getaway to Moncion on Saturday, a place where rivers, nature, and delicious "casabe" make you never want to leave. To end the weekend, we went for a walk through the picturesque streets of the neighborhood "Los Pepines," where we enjoyed a tour of the meaningful murals on each street. We enjoyed delicious local empanadas along with the freshest juices we have ever tasted, and we prepared for what would be a week full of action and new challenges.

Service in the communities, seminar classes to learn how to serve better, Spanish classes to communicate better in their environment and activities rich in history (such as visiting the museum of the Mirabal sisters, who were recognized as national heroines after fighting against Trujillo's ruthless regime in the Dominican Republic) have characterized this new week. And that's how we will continue, with strength, giving everything for this unforgettable experience.

By Sheila & Kokayi