Wanda Lozano was one of the recent CAYA mentors from the Dominican Republic who came to the United States in January of 2015. Upon her return home, she guided her CAYA youth cohorts to launch a community development project called “Quisqueya También Recicla” (Quisqueya Also Recycles). This project focused on creating a solution to environmental pollution in the province of Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic. The project taught over 150 youths from different local communities the concept of recycling plastic products and turning them into usable items.
Based on her community leadership work, Wanda was awarded a scholarship by the Japanese Embassy to visit Japan and learn about the One Village, One Product initiative currently being implemented in the Dominican Republic. One Village, One Product is an initiative that began in Japan in 1979. It focuses on developing products unique to a specific community and promoting them on a larger scale to enhance local development. Using what she has learned with both CAYA and in Japan, Wanda plans to quickly introduce the One Village, One Product initiative in her province.
The CAYA Program is a U.S. Department of State youth exchange designed to strengthen the leadership skills of young people from Central America and the United States. This multi-national exchange also builds bonds of friendship and understanding between people of Central America and people of the United States.