Greetings from San Juan de la Maguana

Today we explored two themes in just one day — these being Global Business and Deconstructing Poverty. For our first half of the day, we visited a sugar plantation and learned about the process of producing sugar, and also how the process has evolved throughout the years, and how the sugar is exported nationally and internationally. We also explored the topic of the sugar plantation’s workers, specifically how difficult their jobs are, their living conditions, and how much sugar is produced by the average sugar plant worker. For the second half of our day, we visited a batey, where we met with a small group to discuss extreme poverty and the challenges they face on a daily basis. As we walked through Batey 6, It felt very uncomfortable to walk past so many people and not be able to interact with them. On the other hand, due to us being foreigners, we raised quite a bit of attention.

After our arrival back at the accommodation, we discussed some similarities and various differences we noticed between poverty in the Dominican Republic versus poverty in the United States. We also discussed some issues regarding how companies treat their workers and the inequalities these workers face. To be more specific, Haitian workers are the subject of prejudice in the D.R, and are commonly exploited by employers while receiving very little in return.

Following dinner, we celebrated Lauryn’s birthday!

P.S. Jenna says happy birthday to mom!