The last three days have taken us through three different regions of the Dominican Republic. Although we have spent many hours on the bus, we have been able to see a great deal of the country.
On our last day in the Southwest Region we traveled back to the Haitian/Dominican border in Jimaní. This was the same checkpoint we had previously traveled through although this time we had the opportunity to visit its markets. Our tour guide informed us that documents are unnecessary in order to buy and sell so people are able to cross with ease. While returning to the hotel, we made a stop at Lago Enriquillo National Park. We were able to closely interact with the iguanas there, Pedro in particular, as he got a little too close attempting to feed one of them a Pringle. Luckily, he lived to tell the tale, only needing a small Band-Aid to contain the wound. We were also lucky enough to spot some crocodiles, which our tour guide has not seen in 25 years of leading tours. We ended the night with an African folk show, where we got the chance to hear their traditional music and show off our own dance moves.
On Friday we traveled to Jarabacoa, which is located in the Central Region. This resulted in a long bus ride, but we were able to stretch our legs at the Rancho Baiguate hotel by playing kickball and basketball. We also had the chance to visit an organic coffee factory and see the process of coffee production.
Today we visited the North Central/Cibao Region, which included stops at an organic cocoa plantation and a home museum honoring the Mirabal sisters. While at the plantation, we were able to witness the production of chocolate and even make some of our own! At the museum, we heard about the legacy of the Mirabal sisters, who were murdered while fighting against the Trujillo dictatorship. Later this evening, we were invited to a dinner at the Mejía family home; their son is a Luther alumnus. Complete with a delicious meal, cards, and dominos, it was the perfect end to our day!