Clark County Teen Volunteers Build a Children’s Sports Field in the Dominican Republic

We also made an eye-opening trip to the border with Haiti, about 50 miles to the west. There, we experienced the extreme excitement of a binational border market. As we explored the narrow aisles of the open-air bazaar, we jostled with other shoppers and merchants pushing through the crowds with wheelbarrows of goods. For Americans used to having a personal space, it was a “Toto, I feel like we’re not in Camas anymore” moment.

Finally, to celebrate the successful completion of the pitch, Courts for Kids treated us to an eco-tour to a national park near Monte Cristi on the country’s north coast. There we took a boat trip through a mangrove forest and swam in a lagoon. Then we landed on a small island, where we enjoyed a lunch of chicken, fish, eggplant and wheat germ salad topped with lime wedges.

Sport is a global language. Even when sports facilities don’t exist, games find a way. Before April 8, children at El Rodeo played basketball using a metal bicycle wheel nailed to a mango tree.

Now a new tribunal will hopefully bear another kind of fruit. Not only do the youngsters of El Rodeo have a place for all kinds of games, but the community has a new gathering place to strengthen its already strong bonds.

We also have a connection with the residents who so generously welcomed us and then waved us goodbye with hugs as we left for home.

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