Dreaming of Peace and Stability

In Montecristi, a small town in the Dominican Republic, Olín, a 48-year-old Haitian immigrant, dreams of a peaceful life. At age ten, he arrived in the country to reunite with his mother in Batey* Peligro, a rural community in La Romana province. He has been working as a farm laborer ever since.  

As a community health promoter, Olín supports the humanitarian aid organization CESAL, calling on the community for informative talks and translating into Creole.

Despite his lack of formal education, Olín takes pride in his work and cultivates bananas and rice in Palo Verde, a nearby province. Olín is a father of five, and while his youngest child is with him in the Dominican Republic, his other four children live in Haiti, where they can attend school. He is all too aware that his children, born to immigrants in an irregular situation, are not entitled to Dominican nationality. Olín worries about their future but remains determined to ensure they have access to education and the chance to pursue their dreams.  

In 2015, Olín was able to regularize his migration status under the National Plan for the Regularization of Foreigners (PNRE), a program initiated by the Dominican government to provide an avenue for orderly migration for undocumented immigrants. Olín is grateful for this opportunity and to the banana producer who helped him through the process. However, like many others who participated in the program, Olín's residency card has expired.  

Olín supports the informative talks for the banana workers in the Montecristi area (Dominican Republic) by translating into Creole.

Renewing an ID card requires a valid passport, a document many Haitian immigrants cannot afford or have access to. Olín, for example, barely earns enough from a day's work to survive, leaving him unable to renew his residency card and vulnerable to deportation. The situation is dire for thousands of Haitian-origin farm workers in the Dominican Republic who face multiple challenges accessing essential services and legal documentation.  

According to a study by the National Migration Institute (INM RD), over 90% of operational workers in the Dominican agricultural sector are foreigners and they are a cornerstone of the country’s food and agriculture sector. Olín and others like him have, through their work, contributed to the Dominican Republic’s economy and culture. They wish to live without fear of deportation and with the ability to access essential services like education and healthcare.  

What I would like the most is to have my valid residency card so I can live peacefully.

Olín, a Haitian migrant, has been working on Dominican banana farms since he was 15 years old.

* Bateyes are rural populations that are built near plantations (of sugar, bananas, and tobacco) in very humble conditions and are mainly inhabited by families of Haitian origin.