We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Throwing candy at kids?????

Warwick, Rhode...
Level Contributor
4,056 posts
84 reviews
Save Topic
Throwing candy at kids?????

I have read several reviews where people on excursions, ie buggies, say they throw candy at kids that run out of their homes when they hear them coming. Do people really do this? Honestly, this sounds horrible to me on several levels. I would not want kids running after a moving vehicle, I'm sure it's not great for their teeth and it just seems odd to me. Also, as a teacher, I would fear that kids would not want to go to school as they may miss their candy opportunity.



Edited: 31 May 2013, 19:41
Nova Scotia
Level Contributor
196 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
41. Re: Throwing candy at kids?????

Speaking as a Canadian, all children in my province have free dental care until they are 13 years old. They can receive preventative dental care and have cavities treated to prevent pain and more serious infections if left untreated. Most of our communities have fluoridated water which is proven to reduce tooth decay. There are no such programs in the Dominican Republic. I suspect that many of the children that these tour encounter aren't from families who have the funds to pay for dental treatment. It isn't really fair to compare the children of the Dominican Republic to those living in much more affluent countries with better social programs for their citizens. No one is saying that these kids shouldn't have treats but it should be up to their parents to decide what they get and not some anonymous tourist whether they are throwing the candy off the back of a truck or handing it to them directly.

Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
3 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
42. Re: Throwing candy at kids?????

Our buggy guide deliberately passed by the kids/neighborhoods AFTER school so as to NOT promote them skipping school. We also stopped, rather than throw anything ,to share with the children. The children shared local flowers with us. It was a beautiful exchange of smiles and appreciation.

Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
895 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
43. Re: Throwing candy at kids?????

I believe as tourists we must be mindful of both what country we are in and what our “kind” actions are doing in the long run. Countries like Canada, D.R. and Haiti are all very different, Haiti being one of the poorest of the poor. Sure it sounds kind and innocent enough to give one child a candy, but how many hundreds and thousands of tourists are thinking the same thing in the general vicinity? As Travelsharkali put it, “I LIKE feeling good and making people happy...”. Are we giving because it makes US feel good, and to heck with the consequences? I’m saying this as someone who came loaded with candy, clothing and everything else on my first trip to the D.R. I wanted to be nice and help those less fortunate and it was great giving it to people directly rather than just donating money to an organization “out there”. Since deciding to visit Cuba and spending time on that forum I have totally rethought my actions. This is an excerpt from an article written by “Don Thomas” entitled, “Read this before taking gifts to Cuba”. It’s located on the right hand side of the Cuba Forum page under, “Top Questions about Cuba”:

“And then there is the willy-nilly off resort gifting, which is even worse. Tourists invading schools with pencils or throwing candy at children from tour busses. Teaching children at an age where they are learning how the world revolves, that it's way better business to stand by the road waiting for the tourist bus than getting an education. One can only imagine the consequences when these children turn young adults having been raised thinking of all foreigners as a quick way to gifts and money. Those tourists that spend their time in Cuba off resort do not have to imagine, the consequences of two decades of thoughtless gifting is all too real.

There are now schools in Cuba (located near resorts) that have guards posted by the entrance to stop tourists from entering and disturbing the children.”

Aside from throwing candy keep in mind also how many coloring books, soaps and shampoos a maid can really use when they may rather need cash for dental care for their kids.

new jersey
Level Contributor
169 posts
106 reviews
Save Reply
44. Re: Throwing candy at kids?????

NovaScotia - you said "No one is saying that these kids shouldn't have treats but it should be up to their parents to decide what they get and not some anonymous tourist whether they are throwing the candy off the back of a truck or handing it to them directly"

Yes, it isup to their parents to decide if they get the candy or not. If they don't want their kids eating/collecting the candy, then they wouldn't let their kids stand outside their house to get it, would they? My assumption - rightfully so, is that if the kids are standing there waiting for the candy to be given to them, then their parents are fully aware they are getting it. We are not their parents, and I'm sick of hearing (not just in relation to this, but in general) that we should think or act like a child's parents. Let their parents be responsible for their children, not the public.

Edited: 04 June 2013, 14:07
Punta Cana...
Level Contributor
13,848 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
45. Re: Throwing candy at kids?????

Cindy...you are comparing parents back home who have had the full advantage of a quality education, to that of the many rural parents who "may" have had the opportunity to at least attend a few years of school in their younger years. Most haven't a clue about dental care, beyond the basics of brushing.

I have never been one to support the random tossing of candies to kids. One must remember as well, that many of these tours do the same circuit 4 or 5 times a day. It would be my suggestion that the companies that do operate in this style, collect all candies and such to have distributed on special occasions such as the end of school, birthdays,...etc. Many of those who work these common areas know the families and many are part of the community they pass through.


PuntaCana Mike

London, United...
Level Contributor
3,101 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
46. Re: Throwing candy at kids?????

Very interesting post Winnipegger. IMO the majority of these "safari" businesses are more interested in providing entertainment for tourists than any real benefit for the locals. What should be supported are well organised local NGOs (Dominicans working for Dominicans) eg MUDE providing professional training for women throughout the country. There is no shortage of crayons or candy in the Dominican Republic what these local groups need is money. They are the ones who know the country best and what the priorities are. Bringing trinkets to the DR in your luggage may make you feel better and may make a good post on TA but does little to provide real help to the poor of the Dominican Republic. + bringing and distributing trinkets also suggest that the tourist knows better than the local what is required.

BTW PCMike I do get off my as.. the main differnence between you and me is that I don't have a business to promote.

Bavaro, Dominican...
Level Contributor
1,506 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
47. Re: Throwing candy at kids?????

domingo it may not be a perfect and you may not like the fact (or tourism in punta cana in general by many of your posts) but the fact is the safari companies do a lot of good work in the community they serve that you don't know about, not only in sponsoring the schools and orphanage but even in the way of employment, I have many friends who work for these companies who simply would not have had the same opportunities without them and are very proud to show off the country to foriegn tourists.

Bayahibe, Dominican...
Level Contributor
4,436 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
48. Re: Throwing candy at kids?????

It is always a delicate matter to deal with donations.

In my opinion, the best way to do it is approaching community centres such as schools, medical centres and churchs.

If you visit a school, it is best to deal with teachers and directors and with their help, give the donations. Best on the break time not to disturb lectures.

In case you don't know, the are two shifts of school due to the lack of classrooms and teachers in most of public schools. So if you see children at school hours not in the school, doesn't mean they are skipping school.

I strongly do not recommend to give anything in the streets as they commented to avoid beggers and to avoid parents send children to beg.

Many things can be be donated from first aid kids, vandage, cotton,dispossible gloves, paracetamol, ibuprofen, etc things that are extremly cheap in your country, here are expensive.

Another thing in the schools you can take are childrens books. Very basic and with lots of pictures. Find out if there is a project of a library for example.

Ask your tour operator how they deal about donations as it is very easy to change the way how is done.

They may arrange to pay visits at the right time in stead at any time.

Sometimes trying to help we can do more harm

49. Re: Throwing candy at kids?????

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

TripAdvisor staff removed this post because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum posting guidelines with regards to family-friendly language and/or subject matter. We will remove messages or topics that contain objectionable language and images (avatars or links to pornography), including but not limited to profanity, obscenity, vulgarity, pornographic literature, racial slurs, hate speech, personal insults, hostile comments and threatening language.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 21 August 2014, 11:09
50. Re: Throwing candy at kids?????

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post was determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community and has been removed.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

Our staff may also remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason. Thanks for being a part of the TripAdvisor travel community!

Removed on: 05 June 2013, 19:35