Giving back to the community is a powerful way to bring people together from around the world. Thanks to the efforts of Gloex staff and Spirit representative Colleen, as well as representatives from Noah’s Ark Water Park, YMCA of the Rockies, and Wilderness at the Smokies, our service project in the Dominican Republic was an enriching experience for everyone involved, including the local community.
Twelve Gloex and Spirit Work and Travel program alumni showed up to help clean a local beach that was unfortunately covered in trash from the nearby rivers. A group of young boys were playing baseball near the site and were curious enough to come over, ask questions, and ultimately offer their assistance in the beach cleanup effort.
Local authorities noticed as well, and they explained that the rivers carry trash from all over the community and deposit it at the beach. While they do the best that they can to keep the beach clean for the public, it is a constant effort, and they were very happy to have the extra help, taking pictures with all of the volunteers.
The attending employers and past participants liked interacting with each other on a personal level. They learned a lot about what the alumni have been up to since the completion of their Work and Travel program. One young woman mentioned that she has begun studying to be an engineer!
Volunteer service is emphasized when participants are in the U.S. on the Work and Travel program as a meaningful way to engage with their local communities and learn about the importance of volunteering in American civic life. Spirit participants frequently participate in service projects during their time in the U.S., so it was important to make sure that we joined them in giving back to their own hometown in the Dominican Republic.
The staff at Gloex, led by Wally the General Manager, has a passion for bringing awareness for environmental issues. A beach cleanup project was the perfect way to bring a local community together toward the wider goal of environmental protection across the globe.
Overall, the project was a huge success with over twenty bags of trash collected!
It was a great way to learn more about the environment of the Dominican Republic and to get to know our former participants as they use their tools from the Work and Travel program to achieve an exciting future.
Special thanks to Waly from Gloex for getting the word out locally, and a big shout-out to the alumni who were so excited to come out and spend their morning with us!
Want to see more from the volunteer event? Check out this awesome video from Gloex!
See more photos below: