Living

Living doesn’t leave us enough time to maintain this blog. Hence, we decided to take a break in Hug the World. By the moment, we continue with our trip across the United States with new projects and histories. We hope to come back soon. Thanks all of you for follow us!

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Picture: Everglades National Park, Florida.

BIRD WATCHING IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

A list of Dominican birds easy to observe in a tour around the island, from Las Salinas to Las Terrenas, pasing from Santo Domingo, Juan Dolio, Bayahibe, Bavaro or Jarabacoa.

Pajaro bobo, Hispaniolan lizard cuckoo, Saurothera longitrostris

Playero solitario, Solitary sandpiper, Tringa solitaria

Aura tiñosa, Turkey vulture, Cathartes aura

Cuyaya, American kestrel, Falco sparverius

Guinea, Helmeted Guineafowl, Numida meleagris

Gallareta pico rojo, Common moorhen, Gallinula chloropus

Playero solitario, Solitary sandpiper, Tringa solitaria

Gaviota real, Royal tern, Sterna máxima

Tortola rabiche, Mourning dove, Zenaida macroura

Perico, Hispaniolan parket, Aratinga chloroptera

Rolita, Common ground role, Columbia passerine

Perdiz colorada, White-winged dove, Geotrygon montana

Vencejito, Antillean palm swift, Tachornis phoenicobia

Golondrina de cuevas, Cave swallow, Pterochelidon fulva

Golondrina grande, Caribbean martin, Progne dominicensis

Carpintero, Hispaniolan woodpecker, Melanerpes striatus

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SNORKELING AT THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – LAS TERRENAS

There are many diving centers to know the underwater life at the Dominican Republic. Our choice: buy diving goggles in Jumbo supermarkets and know the nearest seagrasses in Las Terrenas. Distributed along the coast, covering the sandy bottoms of estuaries, bays and inlets. They are formed mainly by the marine phanerogams Thalassia testudium and Syringodium filiforme and algae. These seagrass beds are important places for feeding and breeding numerous species of different animal groups. However, such coral reefs, these ecosystems are highly endangered in the country by cleaning marine to enhance the attractiveness of the beaches, buried by terrestrial inputs.

Coral reefs are disappearing in the entire coast and, in the last five decades, coral reefs decreased around 50%. Actually, the coral of Las Terrenas is dying due to overfishing, pollution and walking on coral. In this sense, environmental NGO’s (e.g. Reef Check) proposes to develop a coral rescue plan, delimiting several temporary areas reserved or prohibited for fishing in order to repopulate them one by one, by cutting live coral in marine nurseries maintained by metal structures.

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Fishers walking over the coral reef in Las Terrenas.

DOMINICAN CARNIVAL (SANTO DOMINGO)

Last March 5th, thousands of visitors cram the streets of Santo Domingo with colours, music and a festive atmosphere in the Dominican carnival. With the whip yells of Diablos Cojuelos and merengue music, starts the carnival along the Malecon in the city.

 A variety of traditional personages march through the streets of the capital:Diablos Cojuelos from La Vega and Santo Domingo, Lechones from Santiago de los caballeros, Roba la Gallinafrom La vega (men dressed with women clothes), Pintaos from Barahona (with their bodies completely painted) , Guloyas” from San Pedro de Macoris (with their decorated heads with Peacock feathers), or Indios and Africanos from Santo Domingo dessed like African tribes.

The most poppular of these personages is the Diablo cojuelo, a paughty and playful demon. With colored and bright dresses they satirized medieval knights. Masks and costums differ among cities and in other cities they are known as Lechones (with pork masks) in Santiago or Toros in Montecristi with bull masks.

Other picturesque personages are the Platanuses from Cotuí, completely dressed with dried banana leafs.

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A few hours in Brussels (Belgium)

In the way to the Dominican Republic, a short stopover in Brussels (Belgium). A few hours to take our first contact with the hospitality service Airbnb. There we slept at Spirit’s home, a quiet place for an affordable price (30 € one night for two persons), around ten minutes to the city centre. Once in the city, the Cathedral of St Michael and St. Gudula, Grand-Place (Grote Markt), Manneken Pis…  Unfortunately, Brussels is a rainy city and our day finished after a cheap lunch time at the fast food chain Quick. Maybe another time!

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Picture location: Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert

Looking to the Dominican Republic

Last day in Romania after two months enjoying the nice, white winter. Two months giving, two months receiving at orphanage Alexandra. It’s time to pack and head to our next destination: The Dominican Republic!

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Our firts flight will leave us in Brussels to visit during 24 hours the European capital. Then, ten hours to Santo Domingo. We are going yto spend one month in this mazing island, to know some of the most beautifil places: Las Terrenas and the National Park Los Haitises or the Cordillera Central  and, of couse, take a resting in their beaches.

The “Giving back” at orphanage Alexandra

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We ended a new experience of this adventure as volunteers around the world. Along one month, we shared amazing moments with twenty-three children in the Orphanage Alexandra from Onesti (Romania).  We learn a valuable “life lesson” having received much more than we give.

In the communist era children with functional diversity and severe special needs were “confiscated” from families and interned in orphanages. At present, these centers welcome abandoned children or those whose families cannot attend because of their special needs.

Without any doubt this has been an experience we will never forget!