This past May, eight students partnered with Point Park University’s Environmental Journalism Program took off to Santiago De Los Caballeros to mold, fire and distribute a unique take on clay-water filters to the surrounding communities.
Housed by Wine to Water, an organization providing clean water in six different countries, the students lived above a clay factory where they worked everyday alongside locals, who showed them how to work with the raw materials to produce a product that would provide healthy, clean water to a local family for years to come.
Located in the town of El Higuerito, the factory was surrounded by a small community in the middle of a lush landscape. The family home of Radhames Carela, the driving force behind these water filters in the Dominican, was located adjacent to the factory. His three daughters, all the same age as the students, were excited to befriend each student and share music and trends that crossed the cultural boundaries.
Everyday, the Carela family provided breakfast, lunch and dinner, and music to the traveler’s lodging above their factory. The students were not only meeting locals and distributing clean drinking water, but also experiencing the culture in the small community, and they were welcomed into the family lifestyle of the Carela’s.
Throughout this week, the Environmental Report will be sharing these students “field notes” daily, featuring one student each day. Through their field notes, we hope you will get a good glimpse into how each student was impacted by this emotionally rewarding experience.
Everyone took something different away from this journey, this may have to do with their varying backgrounds in Biology, Geology, Multimedia, Journalism and even Entertainment. The Environmental Journalism Program could not have asked for a better group of young adults, all showed passion, love for every community and engaged without one complaint in every task asked of them. We look forward to watching what they do in their futures, and how this trip will continue to influence their work.
To learn more about Wine to Water’s work in the Dominican Republic, continue to follow this page for the students “field notes” updates, and check out their website here.