Dear Friends and Families,

Today was Immigration Day. It was our first breakfast away from Onaney’s. We had bananas and passion fruit juice with a chicken sandwich. We visited the Dominican and Haitian border and got to experience how the immigration between Haiti and the Dominican Republic relates to the American and Mexican immigration issues. Visiting the open border from the Dominican Republic side let us see the peaceful flow between Haitians and Dominicans. Comparing our way TO the border and FROM the border, we noticed a large difference in the amount of checkpoints. This led us to realize how much easier it is to leave the country than it is to enter deeper into the country. The reason why there were so many checkpoints going back into the Dominican Republic was because they were checking to make sure people in vehicles were not smuggling undocumented Haitians into the DR.

We visited a museum that today ironically honors Haitian history but was built by Dominican dictator Trujillo who committed a genocide against Haitian people in the Dominican Republic. This museum showed the similarities between the Dominican and Haitian culture and lifestyle. After visiting the museum, we took a stroll through the cramped market that was shared by both Haitian and Dominican people which is the reason why the border today was open. This happens every Monday and Friday. On these days, Haitian people coming from Haiti can stay in the Dominican Republic until 6pm.

Later in the afternoon, after coming from the border, we had a chance to come back to English tutoring. But this time, we got to depend less on our Dominican Youth Ambassadors and adults, and also teach more and become better teachers on our own. We ended the day reflecting on what we saw today and also relating this again to our issues back in the states. We compared how both issues affect different people and their rights.

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