On Monday, July 21, 2008, InteRDom began its summer seminar series with the forum, “Aspects Relative to Haitian Immigration in the Dominican Republic.” Natanael Concepción opened the night by introducing the presenters to a crowd representing over nine organizations and ten countries. Regional Director for the Pan American Development Foundation’s program, Nuestra Frontera, Cesáreo Guillermo, provided a historical overview of the island of Hispaniola’s political division, highlighting the role of colonial and outside powers in shaping the political divide.
Following Guillermo’s presentation, Sebastián Molano, a Program Assistant for the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), spoke about how trade relations between Haiti and the Dominican Republic are created, sustained and fortified, particularly in the border regions. He emphasized the economic benefits of trade, but also the difficulties facing the border region, such as corruption, poor sanitation and health services and unreliable border control and transportation.
Flady Cordero, a PADF Consultant in the area of bateys, was the final presenter of the night. He discussed the evolution of bateys, as well as current living conditions within these communities and the types of governmental and non-governmental programs in place to raise the quality of life of individuals in these communities. The seminar closed with a question-and-answer session, allowing audience members to direct questions to the speakers.
The Pan American Development Foundation Established in 1962 through an agreement between the Organization of American States (OAS) and the private sector, fosters alliances between communities and public, private and non-profit institutions, with the objective of positively contributing to economic and social development throughout the Americas.
InteRDom, an initiative of Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) and Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (FUNGLODE), is the premier internship and academic study program in the Dominican Republic. The Program offers international students the opportunity to obtain professional experience by interning with Dominican organizations and businesses related to their field of study, complemented by courses and seminars at local universities.