I spent last winter semester as an intern for the LDS Self-Reliance Services in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. I was surprised by the large population of Haitian immigrants I met there. Although Haiti and the Dominican Republic are bordering nations which split the island of Hispaniola, it’s obvious that they are widely different when it comes to levels of development. I spoke with several Haitians who, although they were learning Spanish as a second or third language and working 12-hour shifts as security guards or peddling cookies or handmade crafts on the street, were grateful for a chance for a better life in the DR than what they had available to them in Haiti.
The news of the Hurricane Matthew’s destruction in Haiti is especially tragic when taking into account the dire circumstances that already faced this poor country. This article describes how recent improvements in local government and individual families have been destroyed by this natural disaster.The US Marines is one of the organizations currently engaging in providing much-needed relief.