Today we visited a school in the Haitian batey Palmarejo. We interacted with children through art designing and taught them english. The children ranged from kindergarten to 4th grade. I met some amazing kids. Kids that were very joyful and happy. Some kids were shy at first, but over time they opened up. Some kids, on the other hand, were very verbal, outspoken, and smart as well. I honestly think this was some of the most fun that I’ve had in a long time. The children think that I was there to teach them, but I honestly feel like they’ve taught me way more. My lack of understanding of Spanish made it difficult to communicate with the children, however through translations and sign language I was able to get through that barrier. I found it amazing that the teachers at this school work for free almost, only accepting donations from different foundations.
It never cease amaze me the resilience, strength, courage and confidence these women in the Dominican Republic have. Due to many Dominican-Haitians not having documentation in the batey, there are not many, if any, schools or medical facilities in a lot of the areas. Of those areas that have schools, a lot of them stop at a mere 4th grade level and the lack of documentation hinders further education for them. I loved the fact that this school offers opportunity to children who wouldn’t otherwise have it. Can you believe this school was started by two Dominican-Haitian women in the batey? So even though they are considered stateless, they still believed in the universal right to an education for not only their children but future children in the batey.
This was truly a humbling experience that I will never forget. I met girl named Marielle. A very smart girl who I could tell loves to learn. I don’t think I’ll be able to forget her. It is a shame how education is required and free in America, but people still take it for granted, while children in the batey yearn to learn. Also, the children were so grateful. It’s interesting that in America, we tend to always want more no matter how much we already have. However, children in the batey were grateful and excited for simple things like pencil. People in this community are happy with the little that they have. How is it that there are fortune people that are still unhappy?