Starting out in the Dominican Republic

By Sandra Bernabe MSW ’16

My departure from LAX on June 21 marked the beginning of a 6-week learning experience. As I walked out of Las Américas International Airport to catch a cab, I was reminded that I was no longer in California. I was greeted by the warmth and humidity that is typical of the Caribbean. The weather would be one of several things that I would have adjust to during my 6-week stay in la Repύblica Dominicana. The days following my arrival consisted of introductions to the Dominican culture, food, and its people.


During the first week in the DR, I learned more about the research project, headed by professor Ian Holloway, that led me to Santo Domingo. I had the opportunity to interview participants (male sex workers) during phase I of the project, which provided me with an overview of what the research project will entail. I also had the opportunity to meet with the staff from El Instituto de Sexualidad Humana in the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD) who I will be in direct contact with during my stay in the DR.

I look forward to learning more about the Dominican culture, exploring its beautiful beaches, its many attractions and assisting with the research project.


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