Getting Settled in Las Canas

February 1, 2020

Hey Everyone! This afternoon we had the pleasure of meeting this lovely group at the Puerto Plata airport. We drove 45 mins to the lodge in Las Canas, gave the students a tour of the area, and had some time at the local beach. It was a nice, warm afternoon spent together under the Dominican sun 🙂

We had our first meal together, the ’bandera’, or typical Dominican plate of rice, beans, salad, chicken, fruit, and fresh tamarind juice. At 7pm we had our Orientation and got to hangout with these impressive, language expert students! We hope to learn some new phrases and words from this international group.
Until tomorrow, enjoy the beach pics!
Your 7e staff,
-Marie, Alejandro, Junior, Loubens, Gerald

Getting Acclimated and Diving In!

February 2, 2020

Transitioning from cold weather and icy roads, my skin really needed the sun. It was refreshing being able to go out and not having to wear a thick winter jacket. Aside from the luxuries that came with the heat, it definitely wore me out by the end of the day. Myself, along with the Malt Dominican Republic Team and 7 Elements staff worked from the morning until mid afternoon on a green house project, working to bring a sustainable way to bring food to a community.
I enjoyed being able to help the community because this project has found a personal connection with me. Growing up my mother and her family found it difficult to find a sustainable food source to feed a family of 7, so working on this project reminded me of the struggles that my mother went through, which is one of the reasons I wanted to come on this trip. Being able to work a long side my MAlt family has created a bond that I know will only can stronger. I can’t wait to see where the next few days on this trip takes us.
All the love,

Adventures in Puerto Plata

February 3, 2020

Today we went to the city of Puerto Plata! The hour and half drive was spent with great music and laughter and we learned some cool things about conversion rates (such as 1$ = 52 Dominican Pesos). We used our newly converted money, and we traveled to the the Telefrico and even saw some of the best views of the DR!! Afterwards we enjoyed a great lunch in the city, visited the Amber Museum and took some great pictures in the colorful buildings and streets.
This excursion was a excellent way to experience the city traffic, vibrancy and food from a firsthand perspective!! We learned more about the Dominican culture, for example we learned sooo much about the national stone (Larimar) and I truly feel like we are getting closer with the local community!!!

Women’s Initiatives & Brigade Training

February 4, 2020

On our 4th day in Las Canas, DR, our group had the chance to learn from and interact with the community in which we are working. We started the day off by touring two different clinics, where we engaged in thought-provoking discussions with doctors who shared detailed information about where they work and what their roles entail. After lunch, we began training for the medical brigades that we’ll be participating in tomorrow and the next day. Our team ended the day by visiting a chocolate factory, an NGO where 14 innovative women utilize the surrounding cacao to create products and then use the profits to give back to their communities. Our nightly lecture with local director Irene touched on herbal and traditional medicine in the DR and we even got to try home made tea from local plants. In summary, I found the day to be very engaging, informational, and fun. 

Brigade in Nuevo York

February 5, 2020

Today we had our delicious breakfast and then headed out to a community called Nueva York Chiquita, or little New York. Here, we met the community leader Pastor Juan and set up for the medical brigade. We were trained the day before with Loubens, the local director, and today we put our practice into work. We saw a total of 50 patients, from new borns to elders, with different illnesses and symptoms. Dr. Caho, 7 Elements long-term health practitioner and partner, was excellent today working with all the patients.
We worked at different stations including, registration, vitals, interviews, and consultations. After the brigade we had a community tour of the area where we learned about the different human insecurities in Nueva York Chiquita. We had some empanadas on our way back to the lodge cooked by a women who sells famous empanadas to people all over the region, they were so tasty! After our lasagna dinner, we had a discussion about the 7 elements of human security both in our home town and in the local community, which sparked good conversations. 
We are tired but looking forward to another medical brigade tomorrow in another community called Jamao del Norte.

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