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Community Service in the Mountains of Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic

Just yesterday, memories of last summer flooded back into my inbox when Katie Nicolaou put a video together for our group from our Rustic Pathways program in August 2012. In the program called Latin Beats and Caribbean Sights, the group of 11 girls, along with guides Brielle, Kayley, Eduardo, Cayce and me, learned an intro […]

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YouTube video Rustic Pathways Dominican Republic

Recently the Rustic Pathways northern California salesperson came to my school to drop off brochures / view books for all the students. As he helped me transport the heavy boxes, he finally said, you look so familiar, but I don’t know from where. After brainstorming, he remembered that he had recently seen the above video […]

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Junot Diaz: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Although I was never an overweight Dominican teenage boy growing up in New Jersey, I was in fact a nerdy bookish Slovak-American teenage girl growing up in New Jersey. It was easy for me to identify with Oscar; after all, all immigrant cultures in the United States are the same when you get down to […]

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Everyone’s favorite: Batey Margarita

Rustic Pathways’ Life in the Bateyes program serviced a handful of communities around San Pedro de Macorís, yet every group’s favorite place to go spend time was always the community called “Margarita.” To me it always seemed as if Batey Margarita was the worst off of all the communities; like other communities there was generally […]

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Worldette guest writer

This week I had my first post published as a guest writer for the popular women’s travel website Worldette. The article is about the great work the students accomplished on Rustic Pathways programs in the Dominican Republic last summer. http://www.worldette.com/travel/2012/volunteering-dominican-republic/ Enjoy!

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4 more things I miss from the Dominican Republic

As more and more time passes since last summer, I realize how much my experience working in the Dominican Republic with Rustic Pathways had an effect on me. I learned so much about another country, and Rustic Pathways’s connections as a travel / community service / adventure company really helped to facilitate the cultural immersion […]

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5 Dominican things I really miss!

I’ll countdown from what I miss the least to what I miss the most! 5) “Reliable” transportation Remember Little Miss Sunshine? Yeah… 4) Dominican sound systems In a country that ranks “No. 14 in the world for resource mismanagement” (good old Wikipedia), the people do not mismanage the opportunity to maximize on their sound systems. […]

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Top 5 Favorite of Dominican Republic

Now I have to write a “favorites list” about the Dominican Republic that does not include La Sirena (the Dominican version of a Wal Mart Super Center). Here are the top 5 things I loved about the Dominican Republic while working there as a summer student adventure / community service trip guide last summer for […]

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Scenes from a Dominican carnival in San Pedro de Macorís

Back in June I wrote about my onsite staff training for Rustic Pathways this summer in San Pedro de Macorís about 40 minutes from Santo Domingo on the southern coast of the Dominican Republic. I spent the weekend with Jasmine and Piña down in San Pedro getting to know the bateyes— the communities on sugar […]

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Faro Colón: an urban monolith

Here I am on an afternoon visit inside Faro Colón in Santo Domingo with my first Rustic Pathways group ever! I mentioned the lighthouse dedicated to Columbus (Faro Colón) in Santo Domingo earlier, but it really is worth showing you some photos of the unusual structure. Here Piña poses in front of the super-cool building. […]

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