Barton students explore Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Day 3: Exploring Puerto Plata

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Sunday was one of our free days to explore Puerto Plata. Our day began with a ride in a cable car up to a popular tourist destination called Isabella de Torres. On the ride up to the top of the mountain, we were astonished to be able to see the major differences in the different parts of the Dominican Republic. There are many cities in the Dominican Republic: Santiago, Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata, just to name a few. Puerto Plata is known as the “poor” city and being able to see huts on one side of the mountain of Isabella de Torres and fancy condos and houses on the opposite […]

Barton Student with Dominican Children

Day 2: Joy in the Midst of Poverty

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When you think of the Dominican Republic, you probably think of white, sandy beaches and clear blue water. All of that exists here, but there is a whole other world within Puerto Plata that people don’t know about. On Friday, we witnessed first-hand the poverty that plagues this country. We were able to visit the Dove Missions Youth Development Center and spent time playing and learning with the precious children there. They were all so loving and excited to see us. They were also so excited to help teach us Spanish and learn English. The little boy who sat with me was so incredibly patient with me and worked so […]

Nursing Students Arriving in Dominican Republic for Spring Break Mission

Day 1: Spring Break 2016 in the Dominican Republic – Learning and Serving

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After a long day of travel, my group of nine students and I finally arrived in tropical Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. The group includes nursing, gerontology, social work, and health promotion students who are here with me to earn course credit through an international travel experience, Nutrition and Health in the Dominican Republic. Students will assess growth, nutrition, and health status of children served by Dove Missions, a private, non-profit, charitable organization committed to serving at-risk children in Puerto Plata. This experience provides students an opportunity to apply knowledge and skills from their disciplines in a global setting while serving others and expanding their view of the world. We invite […]

Los Cocos Village

It’s Not Goodbye; It’s “See You Later”

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On our last day in the Dominican Republic, we visited the Haitian village, Los Cocos. We learned that this village on a hillside was comprised of 70 different families. The land is owned by a Dominican citizen who allows the Haitians to live on the land for free. As Haitians are not recognized by the government and not allowed citizenship, this opportunity is a blessing for those families. Upon entering the village, we saw rows and rows of huts built with banana leaves. The children were running around playing, the women were washing clothes, and the men were out working. Walking through the village, we saw a lot of trash […]

Dominican Children Sampling Skewers of Fruit

Fruits and Vegetables

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Our first task today was to continue the assessments for the children at the Center. Keeping their attention off the boys was the challenge of Day 6. One thing we quickly discovered when doing these assessments was that the children were fascinated with the stethoscopes and blood pressure cuffs, and they wanted to be assessed repeatedly. When doing these assessments, we gathered demographic data, measured height and weight, and had the older children provide a dietary recall for the past 24 hours. The children also received a brief physical assessment. It was interesting to find that about half or more of the children had multiple cavities on their back molars. […]

Paddle Boarding on the Dominican Coast

Exploring the Beauty of Puerto Plata

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Sunday and Monday were our designated “free days” since the Dove Mission Center is closed on these days. On Sunday, we took the cable car up Isabel de Torres, which was 793 meters high, and it allowed us to see a colorful view of the beach and mountains of Puerto Plata. At the top of the mountain is a replica of the Christ the Reedemer statue in Brazil and symbolizes the protection of God over the city. In addition to the statue, there were beautiful botanical-garden trails that led to a cave and lagoon. Thankfully, we had clear skies and views going up the mountain; but, on our way back down, […]

Barton Student with Dominican Girls

Work and Play with the Children at Dove Missions

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Today we went straight to the Dove Missions Youth Development Center and began assessments again. Saturdays are busy days at the Center when nearly all children served by Dove Missions attend since school is not in session. During assessments, the older girls were helpful in teaching us some Spanish and trying to understand our English. They loved having us listen to their hearts and take their blood pressures. Antony even listened to my heart and thought it was so cool! All the kids wanted to learn how to use the stethoscope; and, of course, we let them! We also assisted with a small gardening project to help the children and their […]

Trash on Beach in Dominican Republic

A Day in the Life of a Dominican

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So, today was our first real day in the Dominican Republic, and we are so filled with emotions as we write this. We saw the Dove Missions Youth Development Center for the first time today. Not having seen it last year, we didn’t know what to expect. It seems that they really have come a long way from last year. We began the morning by unloading all of our donations. We donated everything from peanut butter to school supplies to toothbrushes and shoes for the children and for Dove Missions Center. We were all really excited to meet the kids! While at the center in this morning Liz Sunel, the […]

San Felipe Fortess in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

We Have Arrived!

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Barton College School of Nursing has arrived in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic! Nine nursing students and I escaped the impending freezing rain threatening North Carolina to arrive in the tropical paradise of Puerto Plata. We are here for seven days during Spring Break to join in the work of Dove Missions, a private, non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to improving the lives of at-risk children in Puerto Plata. The course objectives of this international learning experience focus on the assessment of growth, nutritional intake, and health status of Dominican and Haitian children. During our time here, students will have an opportunity to view the world through a different lens as they […]