Hey everyone! Today was both poverty and immigration day, two of the most emotional days packed into a day because we had to cancel the visit to the dump the other day. This morning we went to the dump and asked questions to understand how people ended up living and working in these conditions. Most of them said it was due to the lack of education and the only way they can help support their families. We learned that we should be more appreciative of the things we have, including food and not be wasteful so that it won’t affect our environment.

After coming back to the hotel we showered and got ready for our guest speaker John! John is a Haitian immigrant who also happens to be a Program Coordinator (PC) for Global Glimpse. John gave us background information on the immigration system here in the Dominican Republic. We learned that those who are born here to Haitian parents aren’t granted the right to citizenship. He talked about his business, which is about bringing internet to communities who don’t have this resource.

We then visited the Haitian immigrant community, Colonia Kennedy, and heard their stories and why they came here. They said that they came for work since the wages in the Dominican Republic are higher than in Haiti. We were separated in groups to learn more from the different families. In my family, I learned that many Haitians prefer the education given in Haiti and that it is very hard for them to be away from their families, especially their children. Ostave has four kids and three of them go to a private elementary school that costs 25,000 pesos (approximately 505 USD) for each child, per year. He also told my group that he had dreams of having a permanent job that he loves and has a good wage, being able to see his kids, and having enough money to start a public school back home. His wife also lost her uncle today and was sad, but when we got there she welcomed us and was happy, which inspired me. Each family welcomed us with open arms and were happy to see us, which was so genuine and made this trip feel like home.

-Itzel (Hi mom I miss you soooooooo much! No más faltan 4 días!)

John talking to us at Mi Casa


C2A with John and some of the Haitian immigrant family members








Julian, Maya, Ivette, Katie, and the Haitian family they spent an hour with this afternoon

Playing basketball with locals during free time