Traditional Food of the Dominican Republic

The diet of the people living in the Dominican Republic has been influenced by the foods available locally, by the indigenous cultures, such as the Taino native peoples, as well as by international influences from Spain and Africa. In a period of a week we samples many different dishes and foods and would like to share our culinary experiences.

Fried Plantain

Plantains are a type of banana. They are larger, less sweet, and more starchy than the type of bananas familiar to us. This means they must be cooked before they are consumed and are a more savoury dish.

Yuca/Casava  

This is a very starchy, carbohydrate rich root vegetable grown in the Dominican, the Caribean and South America. In fact, it is  the third largest source of carbohydrates in these areas!

We had yuca at Jorge’s school where it was peeled, boiled and cut into slices.

Rice and Beans

What a group favourite! We had this meal several times during the course of our trip. We found that rice in the Dominican to be very flavourful through the spices that were added by the use of coconut milk.

We also learned the con-con (burnt rice from the bottom of the pot) is a delicacy in the Dominican.

Stewed Beef (Carne Guisada)

A traditional dish we ate one night for dinner. Meat is always very well cooked

Fruit!!!!

The fruit was amazing and we ate so much of it! Since it was  so fresh and delicious  that was easy to do. The fruits we tried included pineapple, banana, papaya, cantaloupe and avocado.

Monday, February 18

Hi everyone! Emily and Justine here reporting on Day Five of the ASB Trip.

Our first visit on Monday was to the Elizabeth Seton Nutrition Center. We spent the morning playing with the children. There were several rooms of kids ranging in age from two to five years old. At around noon we helped serve and feed them their lunch which was soup. The soup was made from pumpkin leaves and macaroni mixed in to give it some substance. They told us that this soup had an equivalent nutritional value as a piece of meat but a lot cheaper! The kids went for their nap after lunch and we got to try some of the soup. Next we went to visit a rural high school where we visited classrooms and watched a game of baseball. At the school we learned how teachers in the Dominican struggle to be named so that they can be on the government’s payroll. The last stop of the day was to the Saint Martin Shrine which was a little stone building at the top of a hill in a valley surrounded by mountains. We had a magnificent view and took a few photos before going back to our accommodations where we got to watch a beautiful sunset on the beach.

Hi Everyone !

We want to keep you as up to date as possible while we are on our trip. Right now we are in Santo Domingo, the nation’s capital, and luckily found another wifi location.

We’ve had an eventful day thus far. We attended a church service in Consuelo this morning. The locals were very welcoming and it was really interesting to see the similarities and differences between mass in Canada and mass in the DR.

This afternoon we made the journey from Consuelo to Santo Domingo by bus. It was over an hour drive, but there was a lot to see, including the ocean! When we arrived in the capital we had the chance to shop at an indoor market. Many of us purchased jewelery, key chains, wooden sculptures and coffee!

We’re heading to the beach now! Adios!

Jazmyn and Jaclyn

Day Two of the Dominican Republic

We started the day travelling to Barrio 41 (barrio means neighbourhood in spanish). This is where George’s school is located. All of the money raised though selling Pencils, Bricks, and Apples will be supporting the school. After introduction, we were divided into 2 groups, one to spend the day at the school interacting with the children, and the other going to the market, a walking distance away. Both groups thoroughly enjoyed learning about the culture and the daily routines of the Dominican Republicans. Through travels and discussion, our team thoroughly enjoyed making connections with the children, and their families. After both groups returned for lunch, we travelled to a near by health clinic and delivered an eye pressure test machine. As Mary assembled and taught the process of the optic machine, we toured the facilities and met an american doctor who has been living and working in the Dominican for 2 years-completing a fellowship in pediatrics. After learning about ho health care is provided, we continued exploration to an orphanage. Our tour guide, an American graduate in Public Relations, explained how our previous perception of an orphanage differs from how this orphanage is run. Though we thought that an orphanage would consist of a run down building, this place is actually quite new and still growing, consisting of a school, health clinic, gendered specific dorms, a kitchen, a recreational center, a park including a baseball and soccer field, and a special needs facility in the making. The children come to the orphanage to get an education and live together in a family setting with chores, and services required. After they have graduated highschool, they must give back to their home by working for a year at the orphanage. Currently, only 1 male has completed highschool and the year of service. In June, 15 students will graduate! And serve a year after. Following our tour, the guide explained that Dominican is driven economically by tourism, but it is not just a place to go to the beach.She completed the session by explaining the role of a volunteer, their typical lifestyle/schedule, as well as the process of applying and learning Spanish. For more information about volunteering or just general knowledge of the orphanage, visit www.nph.org. We returned to the retreat centre which is a teachers college. Dinner was the traditional rice and beans meal including pineapple and fried fish. Following dinner, the group gathered and had a reflection time, thus discussing our current ideas and experiences. Then an attempt to sleep with the rooster and dogs outside. Should of brought ear plugs…

Day 1: Departure to the DR

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Hola from Dominican!

Jazmyn and Cailin here! The past two days have been very busy! But we finally have the opportunity to write about our first day of flying and fun together. We left Brescia around 9:30 on Thursday morning and headed towards the Windsor/Detroit border. After travelling across, we shortly arrived at the airport in Detroit. Everyone else in our group has flown on a commercial airline before – but this was our first time flying, and it was quite the experience! At the airport everyone grabbed lunch before our flight departed around 3:00. There was quite a bit of turbulence on the plane, but luckily for the two of us, we found it really exciting!  Being first time travellers, we really enjoyed the birds eye view and flying into Miami was an amazing sight! Our first plane took longer  than expected so we were tight for time when it came to catching our second flight. After being in Miami for a short time we boarded our second plane. Everyone was quite tired and many of us slept on the flight. We arrived in Santo Domingo at 11:00 pm ready for a good night’s sleep! We grabbed our luggage and stepped out into the warm humid air, excited for what the next 7 days will bring. We hopped into our Guagua (bus) and drove to our retreat centre in San Pedro. After finally settling in, it was ‘lights off’ at 1am! It has been a great experience so far. Stay tuned for more updates from the other members of the Brescia ASB team!

Jazmyn and Cailin :)

On Our Way!! Day 1

Hi everyone! My name is Krystal and I am the Student Trip Leader for Brescia’s Alternative Spring Break Program this year! This year we are going on an awareness trip to the beautiful Dominican Republic to participate in community development projects, visit local organizations, learn about the Dominican culture and much more! We are going to be leaving any minute now and we are all super excited! Check out our blog posts over the next few days to experience ASB along with us. PS: We promise to send everyone some sun :)

Getting ready to leave!