This video was filmed and produced by Sarah Hutchinson, who served with the Sisters of the Holy Child in the Dominican Republic for a year. In it, Sarah gives a video tour of Batey Lecheria and many of the people we serve.
Our school and medical clinic are located in the Dominican Republic’s Batey Lecheria, which is home to approximately 2,500 Haitian immigrant workers. It is a very poor rural community where unemployment and illiteracy cause hunger and despair.
Bateys were created in the 1930s when sugar was a profitable industry in the Dominican Republic. Cane cutters were needed to harvest the sugar crop and rudimentary company towns sprang up to house seasonal workers who arrived from Haiti to work the harvest. Over time, some workers remained and put down roots in the bateys. Because Haitian immigrants and their families have been denied citizenship and the sugar industry has dried up, residents of the batey look for work wherever they can find it. These bateys are now some of the poorest areas in the Dominican Republic, lacking infrastructure and educational and medical services. Our help is crucial to the people of the Batey Lecheria.
We are building a community here–and we want you to help us do it.