We had a lot of great experiences in the Dominican Republic. On our second day, a few of us hiked to the top of this mountain to the waterfalls. It was what I call an adventure. The hike there was hard, but the end was well worth it. The falls were beautiful and the water was crystal-clear. Some people would call that kind of hiking dangerous due to the rocks, but we enjoyed it.
I enjoyed visiting the church in Villa Altagracia. They mix the rhythms of island music with worship, which was awesome. I loved the energy and the friendliness of the people and how they welcomed us to their church. We spent our days doing mostly children's ministry.
We visited some very poor areas but met some really amazing people. We got to work with the people and experience life there from a non-tourist standpoint. I'll never forget the children and their smiles. These were the best experiences we had.
We had one free day. We drove to the coast, east of Santo Domingo, and boarded a boat that took us out into the ocean. The water was some of the most beautiful that I've ever seen. You could see right down to the bottom. We stopped for a while and were able to go snorkeling. They took us to Catalina Island, but we had some engine trouble before we got there. While we were stopped, they let us jump off the top of the boat into the water. It was awesome, like something from a movie. The beach was the most beautiful that any of us had ever seen. The sand was soft and the water was perfect. A few of us went tubing, which was a lot of fun. They had a great buffet there with really good food. The island has bathrooms, island shopping, and hair braiding. It was like being at a resort. Later that day we went shopping at a local market. I found some interesting souvenirs and Dulce de Leche, mi favorito.