The two University of Rhode Island Winter Programs hosted by InteRDom Internships in the Dominican Republic came to a close on Thursday evening, January 17 amidst the colorful scene of the restaurant El Conuco, where students danced merengue, bachata and perico ripiao, ate traditional Dominican foods and enjoyed the sounds of live Dominican music played on instruments such as the guiro, unique to the Dominican Republic.
URI has also participated in the positive promotion of the country in the greater Providence community through their participation in the New Perspectives photo exhibit in October 2011 and their participation in the InteRDom PRO 2012 program.
The celebratory farewell dinner was a fitting close to a strenuous two-week agenda of workshops, field trips and service projects for the 21 students and 4 professors. The students were rewarded for all of their hard work and studies during the previous two weeks with a relaxed and vibrant environment.
After returning from Las Matas de Farfán and Batey Libertad on their respective service learning projects, the group of nursing and political science students participated in a week’s worth of activities aimed at helping them to contextualize their field experiences by providing historical, cultural and political information about the Dominican Republic.
On Monday, January 14, the political science students received special training in their field, participating in two very important workshops in the morning on Dominican Political History, given by Lic. José Martínez Brito, and Population Dynamics, given by Willy Otañez of the National Organization of Statistics. Afterward, they took a tour of the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo to conceptualize the places where the events of which they just learned had taken place.
On Tuesday, both groups took part in a roundtable discussion on public health, featuring the participation of the leading experts and professionals in the field in the areas of nursing, medicine, alternative medicine, tropical diseases and human trafficking. The lively discussion provided opportunities both for the students to learn about the situation of medicine and public health in the country, and for the experts to share knowledge and ideas that will lead to increased understanding and harmonization of efforts in the field.
The students were fortunate enough to dialogue with the following experts: Dr. Marcos Nuñez, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the Iberoamerican University (UNIBE) and former President of the Dominican Association of Medical School Faculties (ADOFEM); Dr. Wilfredo Mañón Rossi, expert in natural medicine, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the National Evangelic University (UNEV); Liyana Pavón, juris doctorate specialized in human and gender trafficking; Mrs. Silvia Tejada, Director of the National Bureau of Nurses, Public Health Ministry; Dr. Yaderis Barreiro, general practicioner and specialist in orthomolecular medicine, Centro de Vida Sana Vista del Jardín; Lic. Mirtha Tejeda, National Director of Nursing Services, Dominican Institute of Social Security (IDSS).
Visits to the Dominican Congress and National Palace and a lecture on Dominican-Haitian commercial relations given by expert Cesareo Guillermo on Wednesday, and a trip to an organic cacao plantation and to the Mirabal Sisters Museum in the northern Cibao region of the country on Thursday rounded out the experience for the students, who were enthusiastic, inquisitive and gracious in all of their activities and encounters.
This program is a result of the previous three January term trips made by University of Rhode Island students to the Dominican Republic. URI has also participated in the positive promotion of the country in the greater Providence community through their participation in the New Perspectives photo exhibit in October 2011 and their participation in the InteRDom PRO 2012 program.
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.