After spending 10 days in Sosua, Puerto Plata, I felt compelled to disclose my experiences while building a Haitian family their first home. As a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) that joined Live Different to build houses within an impoverished community - I learned the value of a community. It truly was humbling to observe Dominican children undergo laborious work alongside volunteers and contractors to help a Haitian family receive a brand new home. Despite the cultural conflicts between Haitians and Dominicans, the amount of love, acceptance, tolerance and warmth prevalent within the community was truly inspiring to witness.
Below is a photo of the shack the Haitian family of 4 previously resided in, which is considerably smaller than a bedroom according to most North American standards. It was located on a farm where Ernest -- the father of the household -- was working. The cost of rent (per month) consisted of half his pay cheque. Despite their living conditions, Ernest and his wife, Denisia, remained hopeful for a better future for their two sons Joandi and Daniel.
Today, Denisia and her family have a roof over their heads, two beds, and a stove. She no longer has to worry about snakes and rats in her house, or holes in her roof, which is truly the most rewarding experience. Thank you to all the members of the community, the contractors, translators, WestJet, Live Different staff members, and volunteers from BBBS and Invesco, as a dream has now become a reality for this beautiful family.
Find out more on our BBBS Alumni page >