Meet Leonor, Isauri, Bechi, and Nero: Cooks in Our Dominican Republic Home Base

volunteer vacation in Dominican Republic

In our past profiles, you’ve met a Discover Corps travel specialist and former volunteer — but what about our people in-country? They are a big part of what makes our organization so special. We love them, and we know you will, too!

So today, we’re going to introduce Leonor, Isauri, Bechi, and Nero (pictured from left to right above). They’ve all been working in the kitchen of our home base in the Dominican Republic for two or three years. If you join us on a volunteer vacation there, you’ll definitely meet them — and taste some of their delicious food!

Alright, time to meet these special women and hear what they think about their country and experience working with Discover Corps.

1. Why do you love the Dominican Republic?

Leonor: It’s just the best. We are free!

Bechi: We have the best food, the best parks, and the best beaches. We have beautiful rivers and forests. And we celebrate almost everything — we have lots of parties!

Nero: Here, the poor help each other. If I don’t have food, I can go to a friend’s house; and if she doesn’t food, she can come to mine. Our doors are never closed; they are always open.

2. What’s the most beautiful part of this country?

Isauri: All of it. I like it all!

Leonor: Moka. Because I’m from Moka.

Bechi: Samaná.

Nero: Cabarete, because of the beach.

3. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

Leonor & Nero: Spain.

Isauri & Bechi: New York, because we have family there.

4. What’s one good memory you have from the Discover Corps groups?

Nero: I liked the last group a lot. They were always dancing and singing!

Leonor: I had a girl who came to stay who was very special. In the mornings, she would say “Mommy!” and give me a big hug. I was like her Dominican mom.

5. Why is it important that our groups travel and volunteer here?

Isauri: To give help. And provide jobs.

Bechi: To help the poor. They helped to create the school and the clinic.

Nero: Because if they don’t come, we don’t have work!

6. What are the biggest challenges you face?

Isauri: Health. When we didn’t have jobs, we couldn’t buy medicine when we were sick.

Bechi: But now that we have a clinic, we can go there.

7. Does Discover Corps have an impact on the community in general?

Nero: Yes; we’re working, so it’s good. Before, we were in a difficult situation, but now my husband, my daughter, and I all have jobs. Discover Corps also supports the local vendors. For the food we serve to the guests, we buy local fruits from the market — products from the region that you can’t get in the supermarket.

Bechi: It benefits us in many ways. Having this job resolves many problems.

8. What have you noticed about the gringos who visit?

Bechi: They work a lot, and they like to read. And they are always on their computers.

Nero: They are very educated and smiley.

9. Have you learned anything from them?

Bechi: I learned some little English words that I never knew before.

10. What is something they can learn from you to bring back to their home countries?

Leonor: Cooking. I also try to speak to everyone; I am a parrot! I say “Good morning” and “How are you?” to everybody. I am never angry.

Bechi: Happiness. The Dominican Republic is a very happy place. We are also an open place. We have lot of humble people. We like to talk and ask a lot of questions, and we like to go out!

Thanks so much to the ladies of the kitchen for sharing their insights with us. Our founder Andrew had a blast interviewing them — and he hopes you’ll get to meet them on a Dominican Republic volunteer vacation very soon!

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