Hello everyone! My name is Kaylee and today I had the responsibility of becoming one of the leaders of the day for Immigration Day.

I’m happy to write this blog today because it was one of the most memorable and heartbreaking experiences of my life. Our first stop of the day was at MOSCHTHA to pick up our community escorts. Our escorts name was Machito.  MOSCHTHA is an organization to help Haitians in the Dominican Republic. We drove the guagua (bus) to the batey. After arriving, we had the pleasure of meeting some of the community members who showed us around the batey. We delivered donated food to people who are in need. The batey is a community where sugar cane plantation workers and/or their descendants live. This was a very educational and sad experience for us all to see the way these people live. We were so happy that we helped by giving them food but I think as a group we wished we could do more for the people. Personally for me, it was an eye opener and a lot to take in. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to go there and learn the things I did. I am looking forward to do more research on the batey and to do what I can in the future. I will never forget this experience and the people I met. Everyone was so nice and welcoming to us. It was heartbreaking but I am grateful that I could learn what is happening in the batey.

Hola! My name is Wendy and I was given the honor to be one of the leaders of the day for Immigration day.

The most memorable experience of the day began with the meeting with the community members and donating supplies. Being naive teenagers as we are, we were never given the chance to actually see the cruel and inhumane side of society. Among all the Haitian families we visited, there was one family that was imprinted on my mind. There was only one parent in the household and she was a single mother. Raising nine kids all by herself, she was forced into prostitution in order to make a living. She was so embarrassed for her occupation that she would not even be willing to come out of the house and express her problems and emotions to us.

After the heartbreaking trip in the batey, we took the guagua back to the MOSCTHA office to meet with our speaker of the day, the Executive Director of the organization, Dr. Joseph Cherubin. He generously shared his personal life story with the group. At the age of 18, he decided to flee from his mother country Haiti to the United States for better job opportunities and money for the family. Being unfortunately deported to the Dominican Republic, he picked up his old profession (nursing at a Haitian military hospital), and decided to attend college and eventually earned his doctorate degree. Meanwhile, he also joined MOSCTHA to contribute his compassion to those poor Haitians who had been denied nationality by the Dominican government. The MOSCTHA focused mainly on proving health care, sponsoring education, and defending human rights for the Haitians.

When we returned from MOSCTHA, we taught our second English class, had dinner and finished our long day with a nightly meeting and a self reflection.

Hasta luego,

Wendy and Kaylee