On the same day Columbus Day is observed in the U.S., Dia de la Raza (Day of the Race) is celebrated in the Dominican Republic.

On this day, our students learn about how the island was discovered and founded, and they also learn about different countries and their cultures. Our students are learning about God’s love for everyone—regardless of their color or background.

 Our schools are places where students from different countries and backgrounds learn together and some even become best friends.

Our schools are places where students from different countries and backgrounds learn together and some even become best friends.

Christian Smil Cruz and Mardoche Codio Jean have known each other since first grade, but have been “best friends” since third grade. They studied together at our school in Redemption Village and are now in sixth grade at Colegio Nueva Vida. Christian’s family is Dominican, and Mardoche’s family is Haitian. When I asked Mardoche and Christian what they thought about racism, they both said it was bad. Christian added, “People are judging people just for how they look on the outside. But on the inside, we are all the same.” Many of our students have best friends from other countries or backgrounds. It is refreshing to see so many of our students̓ friendships and how they are an example of God’s love for everyone. ~Heather Williams Katz

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