Hello! It’s Naya Murdock. Due to technical difficulties, the Immigration day blog from yesterday has been delayed until today. Sorry for any worry this may have caused. With this said, yesterday was a very action packed day. We began by getting up at 7:00. At 10:00 we had a wonderful Venezuelan family come over to talk to is about immigration. We made bracelets that were originally made in their home country. We discussed the immigration process that they went through in order to move to the Dominican Republic, as well as the motivation for their departure. From them we were able to learn about the Dominican Republic’s immigration system, as well as the cultural differences between the two countries. It was especially interesting to learn about their experience moving to the Dominican Republic in terms of how the local community received them. She described moving here as being relatively easy and that the local community soon accepted them and their background.
This was a stark contrast to the afternoon. In the afternoon we went to a local community of Haitian immigrants. They allowed us into their homes for the afternoon, and were so kind as to answer all of our questions. They discussed their experience in the Dominican Republic and their reasons for leaving Haiti. They described the extreme poverty that they lived in when they lived in Haiti. When asked what their dream was when they were in Haiti, one man responded by saying his dream was just to have house live in. This was the most moving and devastating part of the day. To learn that the one thing that they wanted above all else was a house was incredibly heartbreaking to me. This dream of something that many people take for granted is very telling of the economic opportunities they had there. It is for that reason that I think that the most inspiring people we have met today, and perhaps even the entire trip, are the Haitian families.
The similarities between the Dominican Republic’s immigration situation and the United States immigration situation was striking. I found it very interesting to compare U.S. sentiments towards immigration to those of the Dominican Republic. I think that this comparison was eye opening for many of us, and the discussions that this topic invoked was engaging and insightful.
I found it difficult being leader of the day yesterday, but I also found it rewarding. I was the first solo leader of the day, so I had to make sure that I was always on top of things. With this said, I think that yesterday helped me become more comfortable and confident as a leader. It was a wonderful day to lead, as the entire group seemed to be interested and involved in the discussions and events. All in all, it was another wonderful day on Constanza!