Agricultural Communications

College of ACES & College of Media

Student Outreach

Taylor Hardy, Class of 2017, Dominican Republic

While I was in the Dominican Republic the most meaningful event to me was the visit to Batey Liberatad, the Haitian Community. I have always Taylor Hardylearned about poverty through school or church but never had actually seen it. Yes, I understood that it existed but sometimes seeing is believing.  When we visited Batey Liberatad, my view on life had changed. I had thought to myself, “How could I ever be upset about not having something I wanted?” As I was looking around I saw children with shoes, with one shoe, and some without shoes. Some of them only had a shirt for clothing. When we were standing there listening to our tour guide a little boy came up to me and started dancing and smiling.Taylor Hardy, Haitan Community He wasn’t shy and didn’t look at us like complete strangers. In fact, he made us feel welcome. All of the children did. They came up to us and held our hands. As we walk to the next part of the community the little boy held my hand. He told me his name was Pio. He was only four years old. He had asked to ride on my shoulders so I let him. What we soon discovered was that he like to be up high because in the distance he could see over a fence where trucks were dumping their loads off. That afternoon we also played soccer with the kids there. We lost the soccer game but it was a lot of fun. That is all that mattered. After the soccer game this little boy wondered up to me and wanted to be held. I’m guessing he was about one or two years old. His name was Julian. He was the sweetest little boy. Like most children he had gotten tired and started to fall asleep in my arms.  It was nice to be able to put a smile on the children’s faces and to be able to comfort them. The boys also played basketball where they won one game and lost the other game.  I also noticed the women preparing food and then men building items. They are always working hard with a smile on their face.