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Without faith in better days, these efforts wouldn’t be possible. Every day the people of the Dominican Republic rise with new hope and determination to make enough money to meet ends meet. 


My intention during my visit was to capture the true essence of what the average Dominican citizen does to survive each day. 


Even though a lot has changed in 20 years, much remains untouched in my time here. The streets have been revamped, and there are now streets with asphalt and concrete, yet once you cross the invisible line of “tourist areas” you see how people live.


A lot of the country’s workforce consists of people that have to find their way of meeting the demands of living. A life that consists of the essentials like food, house necessities, rent, loans, and medicine. You cannot discount the need for modern things, the essential must-haves to stay connected with work opportunities and their families like a cellphone and, wifi. 


The mornings are dark even with the new day being just shy of sunrise. Going out to the streets at that time you see silhouettes already setting up their businesses, most of which are set up in front of their homes and consist mostly of a hut that’s made of wood and zinc sheets, held together by rusted nails.


By sunrise, the towns are now fully awake and that’s when all the richness comes out for those that want to see. 


Almost every corner is an opportunity to see survival unfold. People selling, buying, bartering, fixing bike tires, selling sugar cane, fresh coconuts, and more. 


With my short time here, I was reminded of the resilience of the Dominican people, and regardless of the obvious struggle to survive, the spirit of persistence, faith, and cheerfulness never seemed to cease. 


I was greeted happily by most and welcomed to partake of what they had to offer. Even if by modern standards, it isn't much.

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