Hello parents! I am Jensen Martinez, a rising senior from Impact Academy in Hayward, and today I was leader of the day. Today’s theme was based on immigration and how immigration affects the DR. We learned a lot about the whole Haiti and Dominican Republic situation and how Haitians have a problematic political status here in the D.R. A lot of us related the whole immigration situation back in the U.S and how we feel about it, but before anything, we started our day off with a great and delicious breakfast which consisted of watermelon, eggs, mangu (mashed plantains with onions on top) and some french bread with butter and a nice cup of warm coffee. Right after breakfast we had an academic seminar about immigration, and had fun with a quick role playing activity that involved all of us to play as someone that has been affected by immigration or someone who has used immigration in different ways. Roles included former politicians of Haiti and the DR and different individuals in the DR that have diverse political status. We all had to describe who we were without saying our name and by using the facts and info written on a handout.

Right after the academic seminar we all got into a bus to head to Santo Domingo to meet with Mosctha. Mosctha is an organization that supports Haitians in the D.R. by fighting cases in court to avoid getting deported. On our way their, we all took turns on sharing our immigration story. Since some of us are immigrants, we shared the stories of our elders-how and why they came to the US– ย and heard about personal experiences living and working in the US. As soon as we got to destination, we all were pretty bummed out on cutting the activity short but we will hopefully continue it another day.

In Santo Domingo, we met the president of Mosctha, Dr.Cherbin. Dr.Cherubin is a Haitian immigrant who went to the D.R. to study medicine and soon tried to come to the U.S. Because of legal issues, he was sent back to the D.R. where he received his MD and later started to assist Haitian communities in need. He seemed like he was very passionate about what he does and he was very energetic when answering our questions and when discussing about issues in the D.R. and how it affects Haitians. We then had lunch at the same location where we met Dr.Cherubin and according to a loot of the Glimpsers, it was some really good rice with chicken. After lunch we talked to a lawyer who is apart of Mosctha and got the general idea of how laws are on immigration in the D.R.

Right after meeting Mosctha, we headed straight to our English classes to teach beginning adults, and in my class we taught the students how to say different phrases in English and some new words they didn’t know about. After class we all got the chance to hang out with our Dominican ambassadors and to get to know them a little better. We had an intense game of frisbee and enjoyed the time we had together. We then returned to the ranch that we stay at and had an awesome dinner, followed by our daily nightly meeting. We switched the leader of the day, then had a self reflection about our day followed by bedtime.