I just watched a screening of “The Price of Sugar” with a couple of friends. It was eye opening to say the least — especially since the documentary details the sugar industry in the Dominican Republic, a country I visited back in November and where my best friend from high school is currently working.

The treatment Haitian workers have experienced (and still are in many places) in the Dominican Republic is nothing short of criminal. Here’s one article from 2005 in the New York Times. Luring starving Haitians into the DR with the hope of a better life only to lock them in batteys under armed guard is horrific. Yet it continues to happen. If that’s not bad enough — on their way to the batteys where they are forced to cut sugarcane for 90 cents a day, Haitians are stripped of their papers when being smuggled by the Vicini family (who owns the sugar plantations) across the border, so they risk arrest if attempting to travel. Fortunately, Father Christopher Hartley has done outstanding work uniting some of the plantation workers amidst fierce opposition. Without him, the severity of the situation would certainly be a lot worse. If you want to learn more, you can head over to the Price of Sugar website.

If you do nothing else, realize that the sugar in your coffee in the morning is not without a cost — Haitians are slaving away in an almost hopeless environment to power the sugar industry in the Dominican Republic. Much of the sugarcane harvested is then imported into the United States for processing.

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It think it goes without saying — but if you get the chance, I’d highly recommend seeing the documentary.


  • will netflix it — thanks for the reco