During spring break of 2016, I attended Drexel’s intensive study abroad course in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. I, along with five other Drexel students, were led by Dr. Gabriella Ibieta in a history and culture course that incorporated community engagement.
We had the chance to act as mentors for these young students while simultaneously improving our Spanish-language skills.
Prior to the trip, we attended workshops on cultural competence that taught us about ethnocentric views of culture compared to ethnorelative views. We learned about how people undergo a process as they learn about new cultures and become more aware of traditions that differ from their own. On site in Santo Domingo, we stayed in the Colonial Zone and visited many historical sites such as the Fortaleza Ozama, which was built in the sixteenth century to protect the city. In addition to the touring of historical sites, we had the privilege of working with a talented muralist named Xaviar who was doing a project with middle school students at the time. We spent two full days at their school interacting and painting with the students.
This was an incredible opportunity to learn about what life is like for local Dominican children. We had the chance to act as mentors for these young students while simultaneously improving our Spanish-language skills.
For more information about our trip visit: http://charlottem328.wixsite.com/duinthedr