Back to work in the Batey Villages

Written by: 
Amy and Emily


Hey! This morning we packed up at the villa and ended our New Years break. We then drove about two hours to the Batey communities, which are located in the sugar cane fields. This drive included a detour where we attempted to buy water and were involved in a hit and run, all in the space of forty five minutes! There is no ICBC in the Dominican, so every vehicle is covered in dings, dents, and scratches. The road to the communities is long, bumpy, and partially washed away by rain. 
We received a warm welcome from the team there and were given a tour of the village by Carlos. The poverty here is more extreme than in New Jerusalem, in part because it is so rural. The communities are split into two groups; those who work in the sugar cane fields and those who own private property. The sugar cane companies provide housing for the workers and these houses are distinguished by green and brown paint. It can be difficult to build projects here because the owners of the sugar cane companies are very hard to work with and often cause problems or stop projects from being completed.  

After another delicious Dominican meal provided by the women from the village, we got to work. The guys cleared out a local home that had been destroyed by hurricane Fiona, so that tomorrow they can begin rebuilding. The Dominican culture finds it is not appropriate for the women to take part in physical labour, so the girls took part in entertaining 50 children with some singing and face painting. They also passed out toys and candy that was purchased with the help of our fundraising.  The rest of the day consisted of some sports and piggyback rides. The children here have a strong love for baseball and enjoyed a game with their Canadian amigos. We also played soccer with them, but as one woman stated, “We are Dominican, not Argentinian! We play baseball!” 
The day ended with us travelling to our final guesthouse that is connected to a church which also provides us with meals. We are thankful for air conditioning, clean rooms, and enough beds for all of us! The final highlight of our day was finally getting to have some ice cream for dessert. We are excited for our first full day in the Bateys tomorrow!

Keep connected with us

Stay up to date with the latest news and information from Hungry For Life.

Thank you for joining HFL's mailing list.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.