Hey Families, it’s your leaders of the day, Michelle and Sebastian!!!

Today we started our day bright and early at 6:45 as we prepared for our trip to Batey Palave a community of Haitian immigrants and descendants.  After our breakfast consisting of eggs, hot chocolate, and cantaloupe we loaded up la pitufa. 

As we arrived, we were greeted by Javier and Ernesto, two influential people from the community who gave us a presentation about immigrant issues in the Dominican Republic. We heard their stories as well as those from other members from the community.  From these stories we learned about the issues Haitian immigrants face living in the Dominican Republic such as discrimination and trouble obtaining legal paper work. These injustices make it hard for people such as Javier to receive education, healthcare and the opportunities to support himself.

After getting to know our guest speakers, we were given a tour around the community where we saw the conditions in which the community lives but also the strong ties the people hold. People around the Batey Palave always greeted us with a nice smile and kindness  as we walked around their neighborhood. After our tour we were treated to a Dominican lunch which included rice, blacke beans, cornbread, salad, pork, chicken, gnocchi in sardines sauce and a tropical fruit cup. During Lunch my group and I were able to personally talk to Javier and ask him more questions about his life and identity living in the DR. Hearing javiers story was really inspiring and moving aws he taught us to make the best out of the situations we are given. After that we played a game where we able to discover similarities and differences between each other. One quote that stuck out to us was from a member if the batey community as he explained that even though he was in situations where he was in the minority group he felt that he always had a community of people to help him through his struggles.

After that we came back home and had the chance to work on our Community Action Project (CAP) proposals which we will be presenting to the community at the Ferderation tomorrow for approval. We also had the chance to go out to the city of Bonao to get snacks such as empanadas . For dinner we celebrated Fourth of July Dominican style with hotdogs, corn and watermelon. ·We also celebrated Mollies Birthday with a cake and a card.

Given a little bit of time before self reflection and nightly meeting, some of us were able to go to the church on campus and listen to the beautiful music and powerful sermon.

Looking forward to working like a local tomorrow and presenting our CAP proposals.

P.S. Mom and friends, I miss you all !! Love you all (Michelle)

P.S. I miss you, Gia  (Sebastian).