twenty :: dominican republic

‘Twenty’ is an occasional series to mark the first twenty years of my work as a professional photographer.

I visited the Dominican Republic for Tearfund after spending ten days in Haiti for the first time, in 1996. Although two halves of the same island, they’re very different countries – at the time, the DR had per capita income something like ten times Haiti’s.

The Tearfund partner was working with Haitian migrant families who came across the border to work on sugar plantations – very physically hard work, badly paid, and fairly dangerous. We were taken on a tour of a sugar processing factory (strictly no cameras allowed) with the most amazing open walkways and huge, unguarded grinding and mashing machines, with light filtering through the holes in the cathedral-high tin roof.

In the workers’ villages, the housing was poor quality, but these children were playing in front of their home, and it just became one of those images of joy and hope in fairly rough circumstances that I love – this is one of the pictures I have up in my living room.

Migrant Haitian sugar picking family, Dominican Republic, 1996 :: photo Richard Hanson :: copyright Tearfund

Migrant Haitian sugar picking family, Dominican Republic, 1996 :: photo Richard Hanson :: copyright Tearfund

richard hanson :: photographer :: tearfund

hansonphoto.co.uk