Kids are different everywhere you go, and the longer you stay in one place, the closer they get to your heart. This photo essay is about the kids of our Dominican Neighborhood, the Callejon De La Loma, a small stretch of road that goes up into the mountains of Cabarete.
It’s very interesting to see young Dominicans interact because they’re more like little adults than children.
In general in the Dominican Republic, kids are given a lot of responsibilities at a very young age. From doing chores around the house, running errands, buying food from local markets and even taking care of the little ones, many Dominican kids have what seems like, full time jobs. They still find time to play, of course, but some have to escape their homes to get their “kid time” in, otherwise they’ll be stuck being adults all day.
This life style doesn’t stop these kids from being adventurous though. Generally living close to the great outdoors (the beach, mountains, etc…) the kids find all sorts of things to do. From climbing coconuts trees to fishing in the lakes, not to mention some of their more mischievous activities, they go on all sorts of adventures.
In general, Dominican children are very ingenious. Give them a rope and they’ll make a swing. Give them a tire and they’ll play countless different games. Give them a machete and they’ll spend the day climbing coconut trees and cracking them open for their water. One thing is for sure, they are resourceful. Not having been raised with the types of toys we think of as traditional in North America, children of common class Dominican families will get creative with anything and everything.
After the few years I spent in the DR I built a friendship with many of the kids in our neighborhood, a lot whom came for soccer practice with our Cabarete Futbol foundation. One day I decided to take my camera and go on a stroll through the Callejon. I took pictures of the kids that I saw, printed them and handed them back out to them a few days later. The smiles on the kids’, and their families, faces was awesome and worth the time spent. You can check out a few from the collection below.