Lessons

The Conflict Between Haiti and the Dominican Republic

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Juliana Pierre at her home in the Dominican Republic. The denial of her attempt to get the national identity card to which she was legally entitled led to the mass exodus and deportation of Dominican citizens of Haitian descent. Image by Jacob Kushner. Dominican Republic, 2016.

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Dominican Republic: The plight of stateless Haitians

Dominican Republic: The plight of stateless Haitians

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Haitians have long provided cheap labor in the Dominican Republic. They have fueled the country's sugar industry. Image by Stephanie Hanes, Haiti, 2010.

Haitians have long provided cheap labor in the Dominican Republic. They have fueled the country's sugar industry. Image by Stephanie Hanes, Haiti, 2010.

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This village in the Dominican Republic is home to former sugar plantation workers who emigrated from Haiti. Image by Jacob Kushner. Dominican Republic, 2016.

Introducing the Lesson:

1. Have you heard of the Republic of Haiti and the Dominican Republic? What have you heard and in what context?

2. Listen to your teacher present a short introduction about Haiti and the Dominican Republic. 

3. Today's lesson explores the conflict between Haiti and rhe Dominican Republic. Before reading, consider the following:

  • Do you think historical issues can damage relations between countries in present circumstances?
  • Do you think a country should be allowed to favor particular citizens based on their origins and skin color?
  • What role would such a conflict play on the people who are directly affected by it? 
Educator Notes: 
  1. Show students this map of the Hispaniola island. https://www.britannica.com/place/Hispaniola
  2. Create a very short informational presentation (5 minutes) about the history of the two countries, and the context for the constant conflicts between them. You can find information in the article or through the online resources below:
    1. PBS
    2. The Guardian
    3. The World Factbook - Dominican Republic
    4. The World Factbook - Haiti
  3. Use the images, stories, and photography from the article during the activity and discussion. For example, you can use the story of Kimberly to demonstrate the dilemma of Haitians in the Dominican Republic.

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