Dominican Republic

Welcome to the Dominican Republic group page!


During our week in the Dominican Republic, our group will work with Caribbean Social Immersion program which partners with Jesuit ministries. This trip is primarily an immersion trip, focusing on learning about the social justice issues among the Dominicans and Haitians. Our group will meet with Haitian migrant workers who work in the Dominican Republic, but face the struggle of being denied citizenship rights. We will meet and learn about the organization Solidaridad Fronteriza, which helps with providing proper documentation for immigrants similar to these migrant workers.

We will experience the Bi-National market, which is a market on the border of DR and Haiti. Every Monday, the gates of the border open for Haitians to cross over and sell items at the market. Our group will witness first-handed the great variance of commerce and trade between Haitians and Dominicans.

Our group will also spend three nights at Hogar de Cristo which translates as Home of Christ. This is a shelter started by Fr. Mario, a Jesuit priest in Dajabón. This shelters provides a meal and place to sleep for young Haitian boys who currently live on the streets of the Dominican Republic. More importantly, this shelter provides a safe haven for these boys where they feel love and support. Through our visit with Hogar de Cristo we will hear the stories of the boys and the struggles they face.  Our hope is to build a relationship and to bring their story back to Spring Hill. This trip is very much focused on vocation and how each one of us feels called to serve in our communities, so we will meet community leaders who will tell us how each one of them discerned their calling to meet the needs of their neighbors.

Because this trip is fully immersive, the group will create and execute a service project back at school upon return from the trip that will in some way directly meet a need the group experienced while in the Dominican Republic.  The 2016 group raised over $1200 for Hogar de Cristo after returning to campus and sharing their experiences in an interactive presentation to our Spring Hill community. Your donation not only makes this incredible immersive learning experience available to students, but also provides donations  to the organizations that we visit, helping them to continue their mission to protect migrants’ rights, improve the economic conditions of the local community, and empower women.

During my experience in the Dominican Republic, I learned of the social justice issues affecting Dominicans and Haitians. I learned that not everyone is receiving their deserved rights. However, I experienced the greatest sign of hope for a peaceful world through Fr. Mario, who runs Hogar de Cristo, a shelter for Haitian boys in Dajabon. Fr. Mario showed these boys love - something that is socially deprived of them simply because of their Haitian descent. I’ll never forget what he told me the night we visited the boys, “All these boys have is love. When they hugged you tonight, they gave you everything that have—love.” I carry the stories of the people whom I met with me always, and I let the stories and my experiences drive me to do better, to be better, and to fight for what’s right every single day.

-  Jess Richmeyer ‘17



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