In July of 2011, my family decided to travel south to the Dominican Republic for the summer. I was the only member who did not want to go since I wanted to go to Italy instead. However, I was overruled and forced to go on this “family bonding trip.” After we landed in the Dominican Republic and got near baggage claim, my family and I were welcomed by a sign with our last name on it. We approached the man who appeared to work at Barcelo, and were greeted with a bright smile and an “Hola.” With the Spanish we knew, we were able to engage in a conversation and he was able to explain our means of transportation.
On the way to the resort, I was extremely surprised by the scenery. Instead of the skyscrapers I was used to seeing back home, I was exposed to a view of green trees and shrubbery. I hear a bang on the window and look to my left, to find barefoot children begging for money. From my understanding, I thought the Dominican Republic was just a getaway with a beautiful beach. It was that moment right there when I realized there was more to the Dominican Republic than just a beach, but third-world problems as well. This encouraged me to want to go back and help children like those who knocked on my car window.
Shortly, we arrived to the hotel and I was familiarized with the country I had seen on the brochure. Another Barcelo employee greeted our family, checked us in, and took our bags to our room. It did not take us long to change into our swimsuits, and run to the pool. I swam and played games with my cousins and new friends we made, while my mother and aunts tanned under the caribbean sun. At night my family and I ate dinner at the Brazilian restaurant and shortly after, attended one of the hilarious comedy shows hosted by the Barcelo staff. My family and I spent our stay going to pools, shows, and restaurants day after day. Once, we walked towards the beach around 4 in the morning, and watched the sun rise. That morning, the workers on the beach, were able to braid my hair. Later, my family and I went on a memorable banana boat ride. Unfortunately, days passed, and it was time to head home.
Who would of thought the one who did not want to go to the Dominican Republic, did not want to leave the country when the time came. I have to admit that trip taught me there's more to life then just beaches and luxuries. In every country, you will find starving children, poverty, and rural areas.However, a couple miles away you can also find civilization and luxaries. The trip encouraged me to give back to my community more and to educate myself about other countries. The Barcelo resort continues to be a family favorite not only because of the beautiful scenery and the endless things to do, but also because of the friendly and understanding employees.
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