Humans of FHC: Carlos Silvestre


“Last year in June, we went to the Dominican Republic. Everything I do kind of revolves around service because that’s who I am; it’s an integral part of living in this world that is so intertwined. It’s kind of nice to serve others and give back. So I organized this trip to the Dominican Republic as a [service-oriented], learning experience. We went there with 22 students; the project was we built two playgrounds for kids in poor neighborhoods, and we painted houses for people in need. I think the most touching part of the whole thing was seeing how much the little ones in the neighborhood valued what we were doing for them and to see how they got involved. The kids came and worked with my high schoolers, and actually, my students were touched by having the kids there. Many of them were bare-footed but just so happy and very appreciative– not just the kids, but also the parents and the people in the community. One of the moms that we painted a house for was in tears because she hadn’t had the opportunity to paint her house. The kids were emotional too because she was so appreciative and happy because of the way her house looked after a day of work from our kids. So that was significant for her, and it was just, you know, a can of paint. But that changed basically her whole perspective, and the house looked better after.

I feel like my students benefited from [this trip]. From hearing their comments during and after the trip, I think it was an eye-opening experience for them. Many of them got to see some nice parts but also were able to see poverty as a real thing– something that is part of everyday life for so many people in the Dominican Republic. I think they came back with a different perspective on life and an appreciation for what they have. So I think that was a good experience.”