Just a few weeks ago we visited the Lyle O. Reitzel gallery in Santo Domingo for the art exhibition opening of Edouard Duval-Carrié’s “Hispaniola Saga” to benefit the Patronato Benéfico Oriental (PBO). After being blown away by the artist’s ability to portray through his art political and social issues that are part of the relationship between his homeland, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic, we had a chance to meet up with him at the Hogar del Nińo for an exclusive tour of the school guided by Xioma Menéndez, President of the Patronato Benéfico Oriental, Sandra Alvarado and Monique Acevedo.

Most everyone who visits the Hogar del Niño falls madly in love with the incredible energy, vibrancy and joy felt at the Hogar del Niño. The children of the Hogar del Niño are some of the most humble children of La Romana and those who need the assistance the most. Notwithstanding this, their life at the Hogar del Niño is a happy and fulfilling one. 1,500 children from a few weeks old up until their senior year in High School all study, play and learn in an environment that engages their creativity. The sight of all this moves just about anyone- including Mr. Duval-Carrié who expressed being truly inspired and taken aback by the wonderful work.

Our visit started at the “Zona Verde” (Green Zone) where children of all ages engage their creativity through a liberal curriculum of art, music, recycling, planting, theatre, handcrafts, languages, and others. We were all fascinated by the positive energy felt throughout and the sheer joy we felt being there. Even Lilly – my dog who toured the school as well and was a total hit with the kids! – had a blast visiting the Zona Verde and having the kids play with her.