The Boston Red Sox help sponsor a baseball and community service program in the Dominican Republic called Lindos Suenos.
When translated, Lindos Suenos means beautiful dreams. Ipswich High junior Austin Rubino can tell you first-hand that the program makes those dreams come true.
Rubino, 16, was one of 10 teenagers that spent 10 days over the summer in the Dominican Republic. During their time in the country, the boys team with 10 Dominican youngsters to form a baseball team and a community service group.
The service involved renovating and refurbishing homes in the village of El Mamon — “You can’t even see it on a map,” Rubino said — was proved to be a profound experience.
”It was the best experience I’ve ever had. It was helping people that really need help,” said Rubino. “The positive outlook the people have there is amazing to see. The feeling seeing that gives you is inexplicable and I’m so thankful for the chance to participate.”
The Sox have been running the program since 2004, and Rubino first saw it on the team’s Facebook page when he was 14. He went through an interview process at Fenway Park but was ultimately too young for the program; he applied again at 15 and was accepted on the third try for this past summer’s trip, which ran from July 25 through August 3.
The ten Americans selected paired up with ten youngsters selected through the Red Sox Dominican Academy. They formed a baseball team, friendships and a bond of service quickly.
”I still talk to some of the kids on Facebook — with a little help from a translator app,” said Rubino. “I’m really happy with the way it worked out. It was a big experience, a lot to take on, and I feel like there was a reason it took me three years to make it.”