DR: A day at the dump.
When you think of a dump, your initial thought is a place where your garbage is disposed of, not a place where it’s the only way of earning a living. Almost all the workers are Haitian refugees who are stateless, living in the Dominican Republic. The “workers” make less than a dollar a day by collecting plastic bottles, tin cans and scrap metal. Each bag that the workers fill is worth approx. 5 pesos, which converts into approx. 17cents Canadian. For us, the Hero Holiday students, we were able to step into the shoes of these workers and getting covered in who knows what. At times the smell was so over whelming we wanted to barf, but after spending three hours in the dump the smell became “normal”. Living in Canadian society, most of us grew up with a need of accomplishment and success, It’s amazing how the dump brought forth these needs. Our goal was to fill over sized bags provided by the workers. Surprisingly, it was rather difficult to find plastic bottles. After walking on mountains of garbage, there it was, “poking out of rotting banana peels- our first plastic bottle! The amount of success that overwhelmed our bodies from finding one little bottle was amazing.From this dump experience I have come to the realization that our society takes things for granted way to much. I know that every time I look at a plastic bottle again, my mind will fill with the memories of the dump. Also, I plan to take some action after seeing and experiencing this accomplishment. I really want to encourage people to see the same realization as myself.Rebecca Price- Student Leader.