Photographer back from HHART mission

 In Community

For the second year in a row I’ve enjoyed working with dedicated men and women to provide much needed humanitarian services to the impoverished people and villages on the north shore of the Dominican Republic. Haitian Humanitarian Assistance and Relief Teams (HHART), under the leadership of Rotarian Steve Wallace of Wasaga Beach, has been helping to improve the lives of impoverished people in Dominican bateys since 2011.

The Rotary sponsored HHART 10 and 11 missions attracted 41 devoted volunteers and the necessary funding to bring medical and dental services, road and roof construction, waterworks improvements, home improvements for seniors, Montessori school supplies, community school kitchen renovations, documenting seniors’ life stories, installation of solar light systems, eyeglasses distribution, and photography services to the bateys (former sugar cane worker villages) of Cangrejo, Pancho Mateo, La Union and Chichigua located not far from the Puerto Plata airport.

Our photography team documented the HHART volunteers befriending and helping the villagers. We also photographed school and family portraits, then printed and delivered them to the people. HHART provided the sand, gravel and cement for Cangrejo’s experienced construction workers to cover the villages earthen, rocky roads and walkways with smooth concrete. Walls of the local school were repainted, new shelving and lighting and ceiling fans were installed, and hundreds of new Montessori-style teaching materials significantly increased the school’s ability to provide quality educational experiences. There was always time for reading, colouring, skipping or walking with the children. And lastly, the local sewing club received many bolts of new fabric to make clothes and bags for villagers to start their own micro business.

HHART offers a unique opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of these forgotten people. For more information visit www/

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