Two Families, Two Nationalities, One Home
My name is Hannah and I’m an intern in the Dominican Republic this summer. Today was our first work day for public trip #2. The two families we are building for are strong single mothers with beautiful children. The two families will be sharing a duplex. One family is Dominican and the other Haitian.
Today I had the opportunity to speak to the mothers of both families receiving new homes. The first mother I spoke to is Haitian and her name is Yudelca, (you can see her project page here). She has 13 children! With no support economically from any of the fathers, Yudelca said that to make money she cooks and then sells the food. Yudelca has 3 triplets, who were born 2 months pre-mature, and I also was pre-mature myself by 3 months. Yudelca was very surprised when I told her how I too was pre-mature, and seemed to really appreciate me saying how beautiful and healthy her triplets looked. Yudelca is a very caring mother for all her children.
The second mother I had the opportunity to speak to was Rosa, a mother of 3 children, (you can see her project page here). Rosa explained how she works 6 days a week cleaning the house and looking after the kids of another family. A neighbor looks after her youngest daughter while she’s at work. Rosa is a very loving woman, which was clear when she began explaining how unlike herself, many Dominicans would never live next to a Haitian family. Many Dominicans believe that Haitians don’t belong in Dominican Republic because it is not their country of origin, and they become very racist towards Haitians by not wanting to associate with them just because of their heritage. But Rosa doesn’t believe this and says that nationality is not going to change the way she sees another person, and that she loves everyone no matter where they come from. Rosa said that she hasn’t known Yudelca for very long but can tell that she is a beautiful and nice woman, and Rosa is overjoyed to be sharing a duplex with her.
Hearing how these two women of different nationalities can feel love for one another as opposed to racism is a story that will hopefully spread through the community and other parts of Dominican, which can spread awareness and teach others that the mistreatment of Haitians should not happen and that love is a better answer. I hope that other Dominicans begin sharing the same opinions and feelings towards Haitians as Rosa, and that other Dominicans and Haitians can get along as well as Rosa and Yudelca, despite their backgrounds.
I hope that Rosa and Yudelca’s relationship inspires you as much as it inspires me.
Hannah – LiveDifferent Summer Intern, Dominican Republic, 2014