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Schools and local foundations working on the Dominican ecosystem preservation

by | Mar 22, 2019 | Global Citizenship, Stories from the Road

Service Learning can be lifechanging. It can get dirty. It can make a lasting impact in communities around the world. It helps students learn more about different cultures, develop deeper global awareness, and gain problem-solving skills. Three different stories, from a teacher, an active non-governmental organization (NGO), and an activist in the Dominican Republic, help teach us how we should all get inspired by the kind of progress you can see, and the kind of change you can feel.

Service Learning can be lifechanging. It can get dirty. It can make a lasting impact in communities around the world. It helps students learn more about different cultures, develop deeper global awareness, and gain problem-solving skills. Three different stories, from a teacher, an active non-governmental organization (NGO), and an activist in the Dominican Republic, help teach us how we should all get inspired by the kind of progress you can see, and the kind of change you can feel.

Elaine, turning students into travellers, not just tourists

Elaine is a Spanish teacher who always wanted to take her students on a trip abroad to break their routine. So she did. Recently, she travelled with thirteen students to the Dominican Republic where they worked with locals on a marine conversation project—which was one of the main reasons she chose a Service Learning tour. She wanted to expose her students to a new culture while giving their journey a deeper meaning.

By developing sustainable solutions for the community, they became more connected to the Dominican Republic, its people, and gained a better understanding of the challenges they face. The impact this experience had on Elaine’s students expands beyond the tour itself; travel is proven to help young people become effective communicators, reflective thinkers, lifelong learners, and responsible global citizens. It’s had a big effect on Elaine, too. She’s now looking forward to taking more students abroad to learn, grow, and most importantly of all, discover the difference between being a tourist and being a traveller.

Verde Profundo, saving the ecosystem through mangrove reforestation

Located in Boca Chica in the Dominican Republic, Verde Profundo is a foundation that is dedicated to protecting the Dominican ecosystem by, in part, planting mangroves along the lagoon. Living in a country where conversation can be challenging, Mangrove reforestation is their way of being part of the solution. Through their partnership with EF, students learn about the importance of maintaining a balanced ecosystem and are working towards helping Verde Profundo surpass their goal of planting a thousand mangroves a year.

Papiro, fisherman and activist

When asked to share a funny anecdote from his years of fishing, Papiro will humbly reply that being an angler is a risk from the moment you wake up. His livelihood depends on fishing, and he’s been doing it since childhood—but he has noticed a change, he told us, “on the side for worse, because everything that was natural has been finished and nature has practically disappeared.” So, he has dedicated himself to working with Verde Profundo, where he helps the foundation with species preservation, coral recovery, and mangrove preservation to help save the environment for himself, and for future generations.

More about Service Learning at EF

EF’s Service Learning tours are a celebration of powerful outcomes you can see, plus all the ones that you can’t. Dig into projects that matter in places that will change your students.

Visit eftours.ca/service to learn more about what we do, where we go, and how the students who travel with us make a meaningful, sustainable difference.