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CIEEWELCOMESTHESTUDENTSOF2016 It ?s hard t o bel ieve t hat t he CIEE Service Learning st udent s have al ready been in count ry f or six weeks! During t his t ime we?ve t ravel ed t o Sant o Domingo, Pl aya Ensenada, and t he rural communit y of Rio Grande Abajo. We?ve visit ed wit h various communit ies, government project s, non-prof it s, and indust ries. Wit h such a packed semest er t he st udent s t ake t he t ime t o ref l ect on al l t hey have been up t o! So gl ad t o have t his group of st udent s wit h t he rest of t he CIEE f amil y t his semest er!

WANTTOBETHENEXTSLINTERN? Shout out t o al l our CIEE Service-Learning Al umni! CIEE is HIRING a new Al umni Int ern f or t he 2016-2017 academic year! The Al umni Int ernship is onl y avail abl e t o past CIEE Sant iago SL st udent s and is a unique opport unit y t o f urt her devel op skil l s in communit y organizing, f acil it at ing st udent group process, and inspiring new generat ions of st udent s t o become conscient ious change-makers.

Int erest ed? Send al l quest ions, comment s, or request s f or an appl icat ion t o SLint!



SIAHIGA CLARKUNIVERSIITY International Development and Social Change

It has been a little over a month since I began my journey in the Dominican Republic. On the surface, the Dominican Republic is a small country that is full of celebrations, campaigns, palm trees, and excellent food. Below that, there is so much more to this country. Unfortunately, corruption, disparity, and racism are still prevalent. Living in a middle-class household and working in a rural area, the disparities are very apparent.. Being an international student abroad and studying the field of development, I believe it is my duty to approach these realities with an open mind. Coming from a mixed background and moving to America as a young child, I never identified myself as American. However, this trip has forced me to change my perspective on my identity. To the public eye, everything that I do and say comes from an Americana, something that I am still adapting too. This affects my work in the community in a way where I am absorbing the realities of the country and developing new knowledge that will enrich my time abroad. I am still listening and learning about the social issues that face the DR. In the past I have been very critical of ?service work?, and the reasons for which people choose to participate in it. Entering an underdeveloped country as an American student can seem intervening. Service work is often times criticized as egotistic and unsustainable. Therefore, working in a community was very uncomfortable for me at first, though I am beginning to adjust. I was introduced to my community as an estudiente Americana (American student), who is here to observe and accomplish a research project. That did not sit well with me, and I felt as though it devaluated the true reasoning behind my purpose on studying abroad. There are egotistical reasons, but I am truly here to learn as much as I can. I believe that everything I learn and gain during my time here will help me to better understand my work in the near future. Traveling to different places around the country, whether with the program or with a group of friends, I have learned a lot. The Dominican Republic?s culture is pure and authentic, and it is visible within its people, architecture, music, and language. There



Being an international student abroad from the United States comes with many preconceptions, challenges, and eye-opening experiences. In essence, being a typical United States citizen studying abroad entails gaining some (although very limited and still 100% privileged) insight to what it is like living in the United States while still feeling like a complete outsider. When a person feels like an outsider in the States, it is likely because a group of people- the privileged majority- has worked hard to make them feel unwanted and lesser. However when a United States citizen like myself goes to another country and tries to immerse herself in the culture, she is put on a pedestal because ?Americanos? are seen as the top dogs. When arriving in a different country for the first time, I carried many expectations along with their luggage. However, there are a multitude of cultural norms and occurrences that cannot possibly be accounted for until actually arriving in country and experiencing them firsthand. Some of these include dress codes, piropos (catcalls, pickup lines, or flirtatious remarks), the size of a student?s backpack, or the timing of when to go to an event, club, or classes. It can be quite disorienting learning how an entire other population factions. The most difficult one to become accustomed to of those mentioned above was the dress code. We are not supposed to wear shorts at all unless we are working out or going to the beach. I am a summer camp counselor normally in this kind of weather, which means my entire warm-weather wardrobe consists of shorts and tank tops. Needless to say, I shed more than a few tears getting used to the fact that people wear pants in ninety degree weather. With regard to these cultural norms, it is essential to appreciate the country?s socio-cultural context in order to understand the norms. The Dominican Republic is an exceptionally conservative, Catholic country with Santiago being the heart of the most intense convictions of that sort. The Dominican Republic was the site of the beginnings of the transatlantic slave trade in the Americas. As well, the country is a fusion of different ethnic backgrounds including but not limited to Spanish, French, African, and TaĂ­no (the indigenous peoples of the island) roots, along with a tangible population of Haitians. Today the country celebrates independence from Haiti in addition to the liberation from the rule of a dictator named Trujillo. The country?s


EDUCATION,HEALTH, OUTREACHANDAWARENESS CIEE Service Learning has had the absolute honor to call Hospital Juan XXIII a community partner for the past nine years. The Hospital Juan XXIII is a public health center focused on providing health care, preventative interventions, and educational campaigns to low resource populations in Santiago. In the near decade that CIEE has partnered with their Department of Health Education and Outreach, the students along with the support and guidance from Juan XXIII health promoters have realized numerous investigations and projects. From studying mental health outcomes in women to analyzing the efficacy of a diabetes support group the students have had the opportunity to study a Fall 2015 student, Patricia Tapia gives a presentation myriad of topics. about mental health for single mothers


REFLECTIONSFROMAGIRLWHOCOULDNEVERFIND THERIGHTWORDS If I could write eloquently, I would write about the number of speed bumps in this country, which without a question outnumber the number of stop signs. Finding the right words, I would detail the witty encounter I had with a Dominican friend when I questioned the number of speed bumps and her response that Dominicans would never waste their time stopping for stop signs. I would use this anecdote to transition to the many hours spent in looking out of the window on guagua (vehicle bigger than a van, smaller than a school bus) rides across the country, and the frequent moments spent crossing over a speed bump and making eye contact with locals. My description would be worded in a way that the reader would understand the feeling I get each time I encounter a speed bump with an individual outside of the guauga. A moment where cultures collided; my American culture behind the glass window of the vehicle and the Dominican culture outside looking in from a chair outside of the colmado (corner store). I would find better words to explain this feeling other than the clichĂŠ ?reality check? as it was more of a general awareness that while I have the privilege to study immersed in this culture, I am still an outsider and need to be aware of my role within these spaces. If I could write eloquently, I would write about how alive I have felt over the course of this month, more alive

MEGTIGHE CLARKUNIVERSITY International Development and Social Change

MEGTIGHE CLARKUNIVERSITY International Development and Social Change

CONTACTUS! CIEE Advisor: Susan Pol l is spol l Academic Direct or: Mercedes Mu単oz, Resident Coordinat or: Ryan Bowen, Al umni Int ern: Anne Saf ar, sl int CI EE SERV I CE LEA RNI NG

CIEE Service Learning Newsletter 2016 | Issue 1  
CIEE Service Learning Newsletter 2016 | Issue 1