Blogs from Dominican Republic, Central America Caribbean


There is a breeze coming through the gate doors now, lessening the oppressive heat that stays in this casa much of the day. There is no connected air conditioning here, which was an unwelcome surprise, not at all what this B&B had advertised. There are ceiling fans in most of the rooms, allowing for restless sleeping, plus the fans - especially if you are directly beneath one - make the heat almost tolerable. We sweat so much, which is actually good for releasing toxins, but we need to drink tons of water to replenish fluids that are continually lost. Since I've been here in Santo Domingo I drink at least twice as much as I do at home, and still I'm probably dehydrated. Our poor kidneys are overworked! My youngest daughter Laila and I had planned ... read more

Puerto Plata not Cap Cana, Dominican Republic So today is Cap Cana, Dominican Republic…er…maybe not. We have been told the weather is a problem at Cap Cana and we would not be able to tender everyone in, too rough, so… we’ll be going instead to Amber Cove, Puerto Plata, a UNESCO World Heritage Center, on the northern shore of the Dominican Republic. Fine by us. We have not been to the Dominican Republic and are looking forward to it, no matter the location. Today is intermittent rain and hot sunshine. Normal. The port areas of Amber Cove are like many in the Caribbean nowadays. It is developed for the cruise ship passengers…clean, safe and a place to spend your money. But, for us, we want to see the countryside, the town and talk to the people. ... read more
Picking through the dump
Off to the store
Cope Catholic Church

Just back from a 2 week getaway to escape one of the most unpleasant months of the year at Sauble...cold, high winds and no neighbours. Carolyn & Ken (family) had been to Cayo Levantado twice and recommended it...we agreed! Click on the first pic to see each one better.... read more
Dominican Getaway
The dock and main lobby
Huge room

Friday was a bittersweet day. We had to say goodbye to the community of El Capa, which is where we spent most of our week. The families were so welcoming - bringing us coffee, corn and plenty of hugs. They look out for each other and made us feel right at home. We weren't strangers we were friends. We spent the morning celebrating what we accomplished together. From laying floors, painting houses, playing with the children and building friendships; there was nothing but smiles filling the community. We all gathered around to share snacks and give thanks for our time together. Many pictures were taken to acknowledge our work and coming together. We definitely took with us love in our hearts and an experience that will forever change us all. Today is our last day in ... read more
Our team in El Capa
Our team with El Capa Community
The Caves

We are officially more than halfway through our Build! Time is flying by! Today we poured two concrete floors in homes that had dirt floors. Having a concrete floor will reduce family illnesses by 85%. We are blessed to be able to help these families have more sanitary living conditions. The owners were so excited and welcomed us with open arms. We also enjoyed spending time with the children in the community. We colored, blew bubbles, and threw around a frisbee. The children were such a joy to be around and even though most of us speak no, or very limited Spanish, we found ways to communicate with them. In the evening we attended a cooking demonstration. We learned to make a traditional Dominican dish using plantines, pork rinds, and spices. It was very good!... read more
Mixing concrete
High five!
Taking a short break!

Today was our last full day at the build site. We started a new job digging the foundation for a home in San Juan of la Maguana. Our job consisted of digging 3' holes and shoveling out the dirt. It typically takes the locals here about three days to complete this portion of building a home. We had great weather with lots of sunshine, which made our work even more grueling. Lots of sun screen, water and taking breaks helped to keep the team motivated. We ended our work day cooling off with Bon Ice Cream. This truly is a team tradition. Tonight we will enjoy dinner at the local Mexican restaurant El Espia. Tomorrow is our last day here in San Juan of la Maguana. Saying goodbye to the community will be bittersweet, but we ... read more
Digging the foundation
Hauling dirt
Digging the foundation

Today we went to the factory to make the concrete slabs for the prefabricated houses. We were blessed with wonderful weather. We mixed concrete, poured it into forms and smoothed it out. It will then sit for several weeks to dry. This evening we went to the Jinova Community where we met two families who received a prefabricated home earlier this year. What a wonderful opportunity to see the final product of the work we did today, meet the families and see how they have made the house their home. Tomorrow we will travel back to the community and lay concrete floors.... read more
Add Cement

This morning we traveled to the build site. For our first day we plastered and painted a house. The high for many of our team members was interacting with the children and accomplishing a project together. We had a traditional Dominican meal of rice, vegetables and chicken for lunch. In the evening we toured the emblematic parks, had burritos for dinner at El Espia and finished our evening with what has become a team tradition - Bon Ice Cream. Tomorrow we will be traveling to the factory to make cement slabs for the homes. We looked forward to another humbling day.... read more
Plaster House
Plaster House
Plaster House

Our team all arrived in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic today! For many team members, this was the first time we were meeting in person. After arriving at the airport, we traveled about 35 minutes to our hotel, Hotel Hodelpa Nicolas de Ovando in the Colonial part of the city. We enjoyed a team lunch and were able to spend a little time exploring the city. We met up again for our team welcome dinner and enjoyed fellowship by the pool. Tomorrow we will participate in a walking tour of the city before departing for a 3 hour drive to our project site, San Juan of la Maguana. We are excited to get started building and are thankful for this opportunity to serve the amazing people of the Dominican Republic!... read more
Team Dinner
Hotel Room

Our day started with a walking tour through the primary city of America - Santo Domingo. Evelyn was a great tour guide and we even had a furry friend join us. After lunch we traveled three hours to the project site in San Juan of la Maguana. After getting settled into the hotel we enjoyed dinner and fellowship followed by program orientation. We ended our evening with reflection and ice cream at Bon. Tomorrow we kick off our week painting together. We are all eager to get started and meet the families and community we'll be serving. God bless! ... read more
Our Furry Friend
Walking Tour
God is my guide

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