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WestJet 'Christmas Miracle' video brings holiday wishes to Dominican residents

12/01/2014 06:02 EST | Updated 01/31/2015 05:59 EST

WestJet's Blue Santa brought a snowy Canadian Christmas to a beach in the Dominican Republic in this year's "Christmas Miracle" video.

The Calgary-based airline says it decided to go south because it has built a special bond with the community of Nuevo Renacer — one of the four destinations it services in the Dominican Republic.

WestJet has partnered with Canadian charity Live Different to build 23 homes for families living in poverty.   

This is the third year the airline has put a Christmas video together, and past videos have made quite a splash online.

"Having shared the holiday spirit last year with our guests in Toronto, Hamilton and Calgary that resulted in the more than 36 million views of the video in every country around the world, we decided to celebrate Christmas this year with a community that is near and dear to our hearts," said  Bob Cummings, WestJet's executive vice-president of sales marketing and guest experience.

"This was our chance to give the people of Nuevo Renacer a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Beach party held for locals

WestJet had a virtual Santa ask locals what they wished for this Christmas, and used secret cameras to capture their response.

The requests ranged from a crib to a horse to even a washing machine.

"I'm a motorbike taxi driver, but the engine is broken," said one resident in Spanish. "And to support my children, I wish I would be granted a new engine."  

WestJet staff went out the next day to pick up the gifts before inviting the town to a Christmas celebration on a nearby beach. Fake snow was brought in for a snowball fight before lighting a Christmas tree and fireworks. 

The airline also built a playground in the community.

Watch the video below for more on the work WestJet does in Nuevo Renacer.

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