(The following is taken from Pelumi Ogunlana's photo essay focusing on the day-in-the-life of a community leader).
My interview was with Celedonio “El Cabo” Rosario, lifetime resident of Rio Grande Abajo, Dominican Republic. In this community, Celedonio is a leader. He is the vice-president of Participación Comunitaria (literally translating to community participation), a community-based organization that works to better the local environment. He has been involved in the organization for 12 of its 14 years of existence. He demonstrates his leadership in the group’s monthly workshops about the environment and projects picking up trash and cleaning the neighborhood. He has also helped with building better stoves for the community and making water filters. Before the water filters, the people of Rio Grande Abajo were complaining of stomach pains and diarrhea.
Celedonio says a leader is someone who works with an organization. He says he is a leader because he works with Participación Comunitaria and because people know him. He enjoys his job because it includes talking to many people. One of the dreams he has for the community is to have a health center. He hopes to have many beds, nurses, and rooms for volunteers.
-Pelumi Ogunlana, University of Missouri