A Discussion with Student Two, St. Ignatius of Loyola Technical Institute, Dajabón, Dominican Republic

May 25, 2017

Background: As part of the Education and Social Justice Fellowship, in May 2017 undergraduate student Mary Breen interviewed a student at Saint Ignatius of Loyola Technical Institute (Instituto Tecnológico San Ignacio de Loyola, ITESIL) in Dajabón, Dominican Republic. While explaining the values received through a Jesuit education, the student identifies challenges and hopes for life at the border.

How long have you attended this school?

Three years.

Have you lived in Dajabón your whole life?

Yes.

Can you explain your experience living here at the border? Are there any challenges?

Yes, there have always been problems, not at this school but in general here in Dajabón. You know that Haiti has the same border; they are our brothers. Mainly, there are problems with racial discrimination. There always has been, but studying here is very good. 

From your experience, can you describe the main causes of discrimination?

I think it is the difference in culture, because they are in a very different culture than we are. We think that they are different and should not be equal to us. But, we have been taught that this does not matter and we are all equal.

What is different about Jesuit education?

The formation. We are taught to love, to love the other, and to serve society. At other schools it is more about the classes; they teach mathematics and Spanish language, but here we are formed with integrity and as humans. 

Do you think this type of education plays a role in practice with immigration, discrimination, and life in general at the border?

Yes.

In what way?

In cases in which it is taught that we should love and serve people. We are taught that everyone is equal and that every step we have in life we should take advantage of it. and we should love—give of ourselves—and love Jesus.

How do you want things to change at the border?

I would like us to be united. They belong to the other country and we belong to ours, too, but I would like there to be not as much discrimination.

How do you think a change like this is possible—with governments, policies, education, or something else?

Education begins in the home. My point of view is that, for example, who is Jesus? This is taught in the home, and all of this begins at home. I think to change this it should begin in the home, where parents should teach values of people.

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