In the words of Jody Lisbergerer, Associate Professor, Gender and Women’s Studies of the University of Rhode Island (URI), the InteRDom winter program, which concluded this past Friday, was “a superb trip” characterized by the “hard work and marvelous stewardship of the organizers”. This year’s participants in the InteRDom winter program were 8 political sciences students from URI, who started their journey on January 4th 2016. The program kicked off with a seminar at GFDD’s sister institution Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (Funglode), held by Professor Bisono, on the Political History of the Dominican Republic, where students were shown an illustrated time frame and key events of the Dominican Republic’s political history. The first part of the program concluded with a lunch, where students were able to interact with professors before travelling to La Penda, Tenares to complete their service learning project.
The students’ experience with Blue Mission Group was very gratifying, since it allowed them hands on experience and showed them the results of their efforts in helping villagers from a small community with the gift of clean water and sanitation.
During their last week the group explored the cultural, professional, and social elements of Dominican society and attended two seminars. One was held by Professor Edison Santos, “Project Management and NGO work in the D.R.”, and the other by Professor Emil Chireno, “Current status of Economy and Politics in the D.R.”. The students were also given the opportunity to experience work in Santo Domingo, where they were provided with training in their field of study.
The group also visited the Congress of the Dominican Republic where they gained information concerning the two houses- the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies- which allowed them to compare and identify the similarities between the Dominican Congress and the Congress of the United States of America. Among the other learning experiences were visits to the Museum of the Resistance and the Mirabal Sisters Museum, which gave access to the students to a more in depth information on the political history of the country, and a more clear view on how events developed and the reasoning behind them.
The program did not limit itself to academics; in fact, the young students enjoyed several field trips such as the Trikker Tour, where students rode scooters and experienced a beautiful panoramic tour of the Colonial Zone, followed by the projection of a 4D film. They also visited an organic cacao plantation, where they were guided through the process of making high quality cacao, from the initial to final stage, and were shown how the Dominican Republic’s ecosystem offers perfect conditions for the growing of cacao and how it evolves into some of the best quality chocolate.
The internship program, InteRDom, an initiative of Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) and Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (Funglode), is the premier internship, research, and academic study program in the Dominican Republic. It offers international students the opportunity to research important topics at the forefront of the United Nations agenda, obtain professional experience by interning with Dominican organizations and businesses related to their fields of study, and/or earn academic credits by taking courses and seminars at a local university.
Related Links: https://www.interdominternships.org/