Claiming Dominico-Haitian Identity in the Dominican Republic

“I learned so much more information about the issue of statelessness in the DR than I could have ever imagined learning before this trip.”

Destination: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Trip Organizers: Alejandra Mejia ’15 ([email protected]) & Anyela Perez Garcia ’14 ([email protected])

The Experience

Participants in the Claiming Dominico-Haitian Identity Break Out Trip worked with two non-profit organizations in the Dominican Republic (OBMICA and ASCALA) that advocate for the rights of Dominicans of Haitian descent who face the risk of statelessness in the DR. Trip members  compiled databases for all the individuals seeking legal status under the Plan Nacional de Regularizacion. They also conducted a study and wrote a report on how different media outlets, both national and international, portrayed the topic of massive expulsions of Dominicans of Haitian descent and Haitians immigrants in the DR since the plan was passed in November 23rd, 2013. Participants attended a film screening and panel on a new documentary that deals with the issue and conducted interviews with affected individuals through ASCALA and MOSHTA (two non-profit organizations). Finally, one participant wrote an article for the blog “Dominicanos X Derechos” and took photographs throughout the course of the trip.

Participant Quotes

  • “The work was really fulfilling. It was a lot of work and a bit tedious but it was something that was extremely beneficial to the organizations we were working with.”
  • “I learned so much more information about the issue of statelessness in the DR than I could have ever imagined learning before this trip.”
  • “I learned so much more in the course of ten days than I have learned in some semester‐long classes at Williams. I believe this has to do with the fact that the hands‐on learning was much more memorable. Being exposed to the issue firsthand also allowed me to gain a greater passion toward advocating for the rights of Dominicans of Haitian descent in the DR.”