Her Voz

Las Americas: Blog Response

I hope everyone enjoyed the Thanksgiving Holiday! Fortunately for my family, we were able to relax in the heat and enjoy the ocean view from our Aunt’s apartment.

Cynthia, also known as CrazyKid38, blogged “Now I must say that the only thing that I really knew about Costa Rica before checking out Global Voices is that the weather will be nicer there in March than it will be here.” (Interesting I thought.) Its sort of the same knowledge I knew before my trip to the Dominican Republic. The only thing I could count on was the weather was nicer than it has been here in the Capital.

My only regret is not having read her blog earlier!

The Global Voices link opened up a resource channel that would have far more prepared me for the energy crisis (electrical outages for more than twelve hours a day), public protests of building a cement factory in the historical National Park called Los Haitises and the variations of language and people you see––from Haitian construction workers speaking Creole to the Korean business owners and Dominican citizens and officials.

In the same style CrazyKid38 wrote her blog, I would have written those three issues as points I didn’t know. Unfortunately, I left unwarned about the island’s current conditions. Its never too late. Here’s what I learned, after my trip and reading Global Voices:

1. The electrical outages are due to half of the electrical plants being out of service, resulting in a deficit of more than 600 Megawatts. Marazini, Vice President of the Dominican Corporation of State Electric Companies, has traveled to South Korea in efforts to get technical assistance. A number of homeowners are furious as a results of high energy bills and barely present resources.
2. The cement factory the government previously decided to construct in a protected area of the National Park Los Haitises, has been canceled. Wow. I guess the public protests and radio debates that filled the island airwaves, which I experienced first hand, worked. Its good to see a government listen to its citizens.
3. There are over 1 million Haitian immigrants that fill the streets of the Dominican Republic. From the construction workers, beggars on the streets to Magna Cum Laude graduates Haitians cross the border each year in search of resources and improvements in living environments.

My next read will be about Guatemala. This time it will be prior reading to prepare for a spring vacation/family visit. I hope I learn something new.