Around three weeks ago we packed our bags and left Canada to visit the Dominican Republic with some friend’s for their wedding. When I say some friends I mean there was around 70 of us that traveled down there to spend the special day with them! If you want to see more about the wedding and our complete trip click here. This was my first time traveling the ‘all inclusive’ style and I felt really weird about it. I felt as if I really needed to go out of my way to help out the locals to the best of my ability. I didn’t really know where to start but I got some ideas while chatting with a friend and this is what we came up with. Check out my full post on donating here.
Once we arrived in Punta Cana I arranged a van to take us to a local school & there I got the chance to experience something really memorable.
Going to a school to donate was something completely new to me and I had no idea what to expect. I brought about 7 pounds of school supplies with me personally and brought some supplies my friend Kelsey wanted to donate as well. We arrived at the school which had two gates that were locked tight. I had a feeling we weren’t going to be allowed to go in which would have been disappointing but somehow our driver got us inside! This is one of the times I really wish I could speak fluent Spanish. I was inside the principal’s office with the supplies, I showed her what I had brought and then I wasn’t sure what to do. Eventually I asked if I could give them to the kids myself.
She brought me to the front of a tiny classroom filled with at least 30 kids of all different ages. I was extremely shy and intimidated, again I felt silly for barely being able to speak Spanish. At least I knew a few basic things, I guess!
I opened up my bag of supplies, we handed out a pencil to every kid in the classroom. I only had about 10 notebooks, including the ones Kelsey brought, which meant I didn’t have enough for every kid unfortunately. :( I wish I had brought more because there was so many kids inside the classroom and I couldn’t give everyone one. Thomas said there were some kids in the back of the classroom that seemed upset because they didn’t get one. I wasn’t able to reach the back row because the amount of kids in the room, unfortunately. After handing the pencils and notebooks out the principal opened the mechanical pencils I brought and gave them to the 5 older female students that I suspected were helping teach class that day. They were beyond excited to get them which made me really happy! I gave the rest of the supplies I had brought to the principal so she could put them away until needed, for instance, glue sticks, sharpeners, crayons, pencil crayons and erasers.
It was a fantastic experience and I will definitely be doing it again. I know I didn’t change the world but could you imagine the difference it would make if some people traveling, all inclusive or not, brought some supplies or clothes with them and donated them? It would be better than nothing and it leaves you feeling super awesome that at least you were able to help out even a little bit!
** Just a little note I was given when I was going to visit the school. Try to only stay in the classroom for about 7-10 minutes so you do not disrupt the class from their lesson for a long time. **
- How I Plan to Give Back while Traveling! (dawnkealing.com)
- The Dominican Republic & All Inclusive Travel (dawnkealing.com)
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