The Community of Muñoz
The community of Muñoz is located to the east of the city of Puerto Plata along the main highway, right across the highway from the Playa Dorada Resort. This community has a river that runs through as well as lots of farmland and overgrown sugar cane fields. The sugar cane industry has been non-functioning in the areas since 2006.
The broader area of the community is populated by middle class Dominicans but in the center of the community are three bateys which are mainly home to marginalized, Haitian immigrants. A batey is basically a work camp, often in conjunction with sugar cane fields. One should view the documentary "The Price of Sugar" to learn more about the history of these bateyes.
In March 2012, the Virginia Tech group conducted a general demographics/public health census in the batey that is closest to Project Esperanza's grassroots school. Here are some of the results:
- The average monthly income was RD$1730 (US$41.21)
- 78% lack access to an indoor or outdoor toilet
- On average, residents had been in Muñoz for 19 years
- 79% cooked on charcoal stoves
- The biggest requests for aids were: more work, bathrooms, and documentation
Learn more about our work in Muñoz through this blog.