News Archive 2008

EAB student travels to Guatemala to fight HIV/AIDS. Yanlico Munesi Dusdal, an EAB scholarship student and a member of its leadership committee, visited Guatemala in August with the NGO Grassroot Soccer. As a longtime Trainer and Regional Director for Grassroot Soccer’s DR affiliate, Fútbol para la Vida, Yanlico was invited to help implement their innovative HIV/AIDS prevention model in a new site. This is a letter he shared with us about his experience:

“It is a pleasure to share a bit about my trip toGuatemala…

It was a privilege for me to participate in the training of a group of 27 youth from the organization Mercy Corps inGuatemala, who will then give workshops to form new trainers to work with children, teens and adults in various communities aroundGuatemala.

It was a new experience for me, as it was my first trip in airplane to go out of the country and get to know new people and different cultures. The truth is that it went very well, and I learned about many wonderful things, such as Guatemalan foods, dress, drinks and their manner of sharing and treating people well.

Another surprise came on my birthday, which was celebrated there. I was gifted a piñata, a first in my life. We worked and taught for five days, but I learned as well as taught. I also visited an ancient site namedAntiguaclose to the capital. It is beautiful and offers many great views.

It was really an unforgettable experience.”

EAB is proud of Yanlico for his continuing accomplishments and his commitment to using his talents and education on behalf of the common good.

Batey Libertad reacts to election results. This May saw the re-election of Leonel Fernández to the presidency of theDominican Republic for a third non-consecutive term. Although EAB is non-partisan and its collaborators represent a wide range of political opinions, the results of this election of the election were met with dismay by many residents of Batey Libertad. Those residents of Haitian descent are among many across the DR who have suffered as a result of this government’s systematic and racist campaign to dismantle the rights of Haitian migrants and their Dominican-born offspring.

This campaign, engineered under the direction of Fernández’s Partido de la Liberación Dominicana (PLD), has centered upon the effort to deprive persons of Haitian descent born on Dominican soil of their Constitutionally-guaranteed right to Dominican citizenship. The vicious consequences and sociological and historical context of this campaign are well-documented in publications by EAB’s partner organization, Oné Respe. Likewise, EAB director John McLaughlin has written several pieces highlighting how such discriminatory tactics have adversely affected the lives of Batey Libertad residents, including many of our scholarship students. Find these and other related resources on our Where We Work page.

Primarily for this reason, many of Haitian descent in Batey Libertad had hoped for the victory of the opposition party, the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano (PRD). Despite a widely acknowledged paucity of candidates of bold vision or leadership, these residents have generally felt the PRD to be more favorable to their rights. However the political situation unfolds, though, EAB will continue to stand with the community of Batey Libertad and collaborate in its residents’ efforts to exercise their human rights and break the chains of poverty and marginalization.

Franco Bido coffee receives international recognition. On May 30th, several individuals involved in EAB’s community projects in the rural area of Franco Bidó were prize recipients at the Dominican Republic National Quality Coffee Competition. Melvin Tejada, university architecture student and EAB collaborator, won 2nd place overall, and Juan Cristino Minaya, father of EAB scholarship student Michel Minaya, was among the thirteen finalists. Coming in 4th place was the Juncalito Coffee Farmers’ Association, a cooperative effort involving hundreds of area farmers, which has included EAB project coordinator Felicia Puntiel among its leadership.

The competition, in its second year, is hosted by the Dominican Coffee Council (CODOCAFE) and PROCA’2. Expert tasters from theU.S.,Japan, and other foreign markets are invited to come and judge hundreds of coffee samples from farms across the country. The competition’s aim is to provide international exposure and thus hopefully expand market access for Dominican farmers.

Knowing firsthand the struggle that rural family farmers faced at the hands of volatile and often unjust market forces, EAB fully supports this and any effort that might provide them a greater measure of economic stability. Currently, although coffee prices have rebounded somewhat from the disastrous record lows of recent years, worldwide rising costs of fuel and fertilizer are eating into possible gains. Also knowing firsthand the quality of coffee produced through the strenuous labor of EAB’s friends and others in the region of theCordillera Central, we salute and congratulate the prizewinners and all other participants of the competition.