What do you hope to achieve with this cultural movement you have started in the Dominican Republic?
We want to promote harmony, tolerance, and understanding between all Haitians and Dominicans in the Dominican Republic. There has been so much animosity between the Haitian and Dominican communities in this country, and it should no longer be. There is so much this country can achieve with the united efforts of both communities. Haitians must put themselves in a position, so that a positive light will be shed on our culture.
Why is it important for Haitians to be accepted in the D.R?
We have over three million residents in the D.R, with a significant number in the work force, as well as students who are making a positive contribution to the community and the future of this country.
How can other people join this effort? What must they do?
Be a soldier for your country. The late president of the U.S., John F. Kennedy said it best, ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country’, The Haitian community has to make a name for its self in this country, by taking part in the social and economic progress that will carry this country into a whole new level.
What can Haitians do for the Dominican Republic?
We are a people of many skills and talents, and can take part in the progress of this country
What has the government done to calm the social unrest between Haitians and Dominicans in this country?
Even though the government has made considerable effort against the waging differences between these two communities, this does not mean we are left without any responsibility… It is not enough to sit back and let the government handle the situation. We must assume the responsibility of saving our culture, dignity, and pride in this country. The only way to start is by respecting the differences that make us unique.
Do you have any last words?
We hope to spread cultural awareness education in the Dominican Republic. We have a wonderful heritage that is rich and colorful, therefore we cannot be ashamed. Too often are Haitians ashamed of their roots, because there has been such a stigma connected to their culture. This must cease, especially in the country of Dominican Republic. We need a new level of consciousness to fight against inferiority complex, this mental war. Once we come out and spread our culture the potential of our people will soar. The Haitians of this country are not merely visitors, but are residents. We are a part of what defines the Dominican Republic today. I applaud the individuals who proudly represent their culture, despite the negativity so often associated with it. This is what Festival De La Isla is about. We want to show the world, especially D.R the vibrancy of the Haitian people. Please open your minds to this new cultural manifestation….