Dear beautiful readers,

Today was a great day to learn about a complicated issue we face everywhere in the world, and that is immigration. Throughout the day, we met different immigrants from two different countries: Venezuela and Haiti. They told us their stories and the struggles that they have been through. We also watched a documentary called Chantravay, a documentary about the the relationship between the D.R. and Haiti that was worked on by a former Global Glimpse Program Coordinator.

The first activity we did was to meet up with an immigrant that had problems in Venezuela. The guest speaker was named Mariangel and she immigrated to the Dominican Republic to hide from the dangers that are currently happening in Venezuela such as theft, lack of medicine, kidnapping, and physical violence in the streets. Mariangel stated that this problem started three years ago when Hugo Chavez died and his chauffeur, Nicolas Maduro, took over the presidency. The country fell into economic chaos and that is the reason Mariangel left. Mariangel also taught us how to create a bracelet using the colors of the Venezuelan flag. Then we went to learn about the differences between the two countries: the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The documentary I have mentioned earlier takes place in both Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The documentary focuses on a Haitian man and his troubles with medical issues. The documentary made me think about the two countries and how different they are. The final activity was to meet with a family of Haitian immigrants and hear how they have suffered while living as Haitians in the Dominican Republic. The Haitians are treated unfairly because their skin color is darker than the Dominicans. The guest speakers also mentioned how a Haitian was shot after an argument with a Dominican over 20 pesos (which is 40 U.S cents). This blew my mind because of the injustice that the Haitians must face. I have no knowledge of the Haitians because they are never mentioned in the news that I read at home. One of the guest speakers also mentioned how he had lived in the Dominican Republic for 20 years and nothing between the Haitians and Dominicans has improved. They are scared every single day, and  they keep in their minds that they can die anytime. They want to go back to their homeland, Haiti, to be with their families but must stay because there is more work here, which allows them to send money to their families in Haiti.

I was an immigrant, I came from the poor area of the Philippines. The U.S supports their immigrants throughout the trip and encourages them. I never thought of returning to the Philippines because of the way I was treated in the United States. The story is different for the Haitians because they are treated unfairly and are thought to be inferior. The Haitians are trying their best and patiently waiting to return to their own country. I feel thankful for everything that has happened to me such as getting help from the United States, or I would have never heard this important story.