Isabel’s FLIP experience in Dominican Republic

Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again. –Nelson Mandela

My name is Isabel Murambiwa, and I am a student studying in the Community Development Work program. During our FLIP to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, we learned how the local citizens of this area are involved in  Community-Based Tourism.

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Lissete, a Community Development specialist in the area who works with the Ministry of Tourism, visited us at the Tubagua Eco-Lodge, where we stayed, to present to us about this new concept of Community-Based Tourism (CBT). From her account I understood that this type of tourism empowers local communities and residents to have substantial control, involvement, and management of their community’s development so that the benefits and profits remain within the community. CBT also fosters use of and collective responsibility for initiatives of ecological sustainability within the community.

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With respect to the Community Economic Development principles I observed, locals in this Puerto Plata region rely on their locally produced goods and services. For example, the food we ate while staying at the Eco-Lodge was locally produced and the staff that worked at this Lodge were also locals in the Tubagua area. Even the Damajagua Water Falls, a project started by local youth, who have managed to build schools and buy buses with the proceeds they get, has now become one of the regions’ great attractions for both locals and tourists.

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In conclusion, I would like to say, I enjoyed every moment while in the Dominican Republic and would go back again if an opportunity comes. I would like to thank Centennial College, International department and the professors that travelled with us. for giving me an opportunity of this great International experience in my learning and this will open many doors for me.

Blog design & Photo credit: Hasan Mahbub, Faculty- Community Development Work.

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