Hello! Glimpser Lyric here! Today marked a full week that we’ve been active here in Constanza, Dominican Republic, and it was also our Immigration Day in which we learned about the intense relationship between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, in terms of immigration. We began our full day by eating fluffy ham and turkey sandwiches along with today’s mystery juice, passion fruit juice. Soon after, our immigration seminar was held, and the group as a whole was deep in conversation and discussed the issues of immigration between Haiti and the DR and how some of us related our personal immigration experiences with the broader issues, which still happen today. Later on we had a minor setback when our guest speaker, Octave Alix, a Haitian immigrant who lives here in Constanza, was unable to make it to speak to our group at the scheduled time. So we put our flexibilility into practice and watched a powerful and informative documentary which enlightened us on the roots of the distinct separation between Hatians and Dominicans, culture and why it still exists today on the shared island of Hispaniola. Dominicans, while still being part African, tend to relate solely to their Spanish roots from the colonial days, while Hatians tend to embrace their African roots. This leads to Hatians having an extremely difficult time immigrating to the Dominican Republic for work purposes because of their darker shade of skin and compared to Dominicans and the history of invasions between the two countries. Our guest speaker did eventually show up, and we shared a big lunch with him and discussed his experience and perspective of immigrating to the Dominican Republic from Haiti. Luckily, he was able to obtain his documentation and citizenship much easier than others who immigrated to the DR. We then visited the village he resides in and mingled with his neighbors and families to further discuss the perspectives of Hatians who immigrated to the DR. There, my group was greeted by a man who left behind his mother and 6 month old daughter in Haiti, because he feels they would be discriminated against by Dominicans because of their heritage. His life and his family’s were ultimately affected by their perceptions of the locals here. We ended our jam packed day by winding down with each other at the local bakery where we feasted over an assortment of sweets, and talked with each other about our different experiences. We had a dinner similar to what we might eat back home in the States, which was hot dogs and soda, and we reflected on what we learned throughout day and what we may not have ever known had it not been for this amazing Global Glimpse trip. I would not have had it any other way when it comes to my peers, the staff, and location. And on behalf of some of my fellow Glimpsers, we would like to wish all of the fathers who may be reading this blog, a very happy Father’s Day, including my own. Buenos noches from here in Constanza, and remember, it always goes down in the DR.
Hello parents, this is Glimpser Bryan writing my view on the day we had today. So today was immigration day so we learned a lot about the most common immigrants here in the Dominican Republic which were Haitians. We started with a discussion on immigration and people shared their personal experiences with this subject. We were able to get to know our fellow glimpsers on a more personal level and know more about their culture and families. We also talked about the challenges many immigrants here in the DR go through to get here like discrimination and not being able to get a passport. Also, immigrants from Haiti faced a lot of discrimination and are often shunned by the locals because they don’t fit in. We were also told how even if you were a legal immigrant you still faced discrimination and could be deported. Today we met this Haitian immigrant named Ostave Alix who spoke to us in French, English and Spanish about his experience moving to the DR from Haiti and living here in Constanza. However, our speaker was late so we watched a documentary going further in depth on Haitian immigrants in the DR. Our speaker was late because when one of the staff here Angel went to pick him up he was gone and Angel couldn’t find him. This further showed me the fear that immigrants faced here because when Angel would ask where Ostave was the people there wouldn’t tell him because they feared he was trying to hurt Ostave or deport him. We later got to visit Ostave’s community where we talked to many of the locals who were also immigrants from Haiti. The woman I talked to lived with her son alone here in the DR while the dad worked back in Haiti because they would be safer in the DR. We talked to her and asked her about how she feels in the DR and she seemed like she had a lot to say but couldn’t express herself because she could only speak Creole well and only knew some Spanish. We could still tell she was in pain and felt like she was treated unfairly by the people in the DR because she is Haitian. She told us how even when going to the doctor she would have to wait until all the people from the DR were treated first and then she could go. One of the things that stood out to me most was the third question we asked her which was “do you like living here” and she said “no”. She couldn’t speak Spanish very well and we knew she wanted to say more but couldn’t. She was however able to tell us that she didn’t like living here in the DR because of the people and how they treated her people and felt hurt by them. This question changed how I thought about the rest of the talk because it was unexpected and I could tell she meant what she said and it was justified. The fact that she said no really showed me that the discrimination against Haitians is a big problem. I felt bad for her and it just really affected me emotionally. I learned a lot about the way immigrants are treated and I definitely feel like I understand it better because of the way our speakers talked about it so passionately. Hope to see your comments down below and goodnight. Also I want to say happy father’s day and that we all wish we could be back home to say it directly to you and that we miss you.