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The Sugar Babies: The Plight of the Children of Agricultural Workers in the Sugar Industry of the Dominican Republic

For additional information, please contact:

Amy Serrano,
Director/ Writer/ Cinematographer

trip info:
Easter With Slaves: April 3-10 2007

A Summer Week With Slaves: July 2-9 2007

The cane cutter slaves are Haitian. As you probably know, Haitians have an extraordinary degree of painting ability among the population. I have met several on the cane fields. But, of course, they have no materials. (I bring some on each of my trips.) And they have no instruction. If you could spread the word to artists about the trips, that would be great. The Haitians talented in art would love to meet artists! They are very isolated from the world - the slave camps are very remote and unkown to the world. One talented artist is in his early 20's. His name is below.

Reinaldo Isabel Nava.

He can be reached via Abel Gonzalez

BLACK SLAVERY (trafficked forced labour) STILL EXISTS
even though 2007 is the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery.
Black slave labour camps where there is no freedom of movement
still exist. But very few know they do.

The descendants of black slaves who were liberated in the past and all others of good will living in USA, Canada and Europe are challenged to become liberators of blacks still enslaved today.

Americans, Canadians and Europeans meet up at La Romana airport beside the guide holding my name.

24th Annual Haitian Experience (information en francaise: oui)
Dominican Republic
A week with Haitian slave (trafficked forced labour) cane cutters.
(Americans, Canadians and Europeans have participated in the past.)
*2007 is the 200th anniversary of the legal abolition of slavery.
But it (ie forced labour) still exists.

Ap 3 - 10

(People are needed to come on this trip so an Easter luncheon can be served on the cane fields
to the children who live on them.)

July 2 - 9
(People are needed to come on this trip so summer day camp can be run on the cane fields
for the children who live on them.)

* On both trips we will meet with the lawyer who lives in the DR and has given a life time
to advocating for them. Her practice is solely dedicated to them.

Many don’t know that slavery (trafficked forced labour) and slave labour camps still exist
but they do.Not all of contemporary slavery is black but much of it is. Slavery exists in every country on earth (including Canada and the U.S). - the website is down due to the fact that many members have been imprisoned and assaulted by their very own countrymen!

non fiction books on modern day slavery:

Disposable People by Kevin Bales PhD
Global Slavery by Kevin Bales PhD
The Return of the Global Slave Trade&How We Can Fight It by David Batstone PhD
Bitter Winds by Harry Wu (Wu is an escaped Chinese slave.There are twenty million in China today.)
Enslaved by Gordon Thomas
Sex Slaves by Louise Brown
Bitter Chocolate by Carol Off
Enslaved:True Stories of Modern Day Slaves in 2006 by Sage&Kasten

I've been taking teens and adults on slavery awareness trips to the camps of the Dominican Republic since 1984. I've also taken many groups to Haiti. We meet up at La Romana airport beside the guide holding my name. The cane cutters in the DR are slaves. They are trafficked forced labour from Haiti. They are black. The enslavers are white. Both are Catholic.We spend a week on the cane fields. We don’t cut cane. We eat and sleep off the fields in a residential school. We offer a summer camp experience (sports and arts&crafts) to the children who live on them ( Cane cutters and their families live right on the cane fields.), meet cane cutters, and meet with the lawyer who has given her life to advocating for them.

The purpose of Slavery Awareness Trips is to bring new members to the
abolition movement based in Boston. (

NOTE: Black freed former slaves are available to speak to schools, groups, campuses etc. (speakers bureau:

NOTE: The DR is not the only country where blacks are still enslaved today.

* FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE * * CONTACT: Salvador Longoria *

[504] 343-1958

It's about sugar.

It's about children and their families.

It's about change.

It's about time...

Until now, the disturbing remnants of colonial slavery were carefully hidden in paradise.....

While exposing those who continue to profit, the feature length documentary film "The Sugar Babies:The Plight of the Children of Agricultural Workers in the Sugar Industry of the Dominican Republic" vividly explores the lives of the descendants of the first Africans delivered to the island of Hispaniola for the bittersweet commodity that once ruled the world. These very same people been trafficked to work in sugar under circumstances that can only be considered modern day slavery..

"The Sugar Babies" examines the moral price of sugar --present and past -- from the perspective of the conditions surrounding the children of sugar cane cutters of Haitian ancestry in the Dominican Republic, and the continuing denial of their basic human rights.

Composed of gripping field testimonies and hidden camera footage obtained during 18 months of documentation, the film also features interivews with Haiti's Ambassador to the United States, Ambassador Raymond Joseph, the U.S. Department of States' Ambassador John Miller from the Office of Human Trafficking, renowned anthropologist and sugar historian Sidney Mintz, Carol Pier from Human Rights Watch, Public Interest Attorneys Bill Quigley as well as Greg Schell, and a number of activists from the field including human rights lawyer Noemi Mendez, Colette Lespinase of G.A.R.R. Haiti [Organization for Refugees and the Repatriated] and missionaries Pierre Ruquoy and Father Christopher Hartley.

The film is narrated by award-winning author Edwidge Danticat, and contains original music by the film's composer Bill Cruz including the songs "Branded" and "The Devil's Work." The documentary also features the music of Bola de Nieve, Alberto Beltran, Kenny Rankin, The Verve, Solomon Burke and the Blind Boys of Alabama and original field recordings by The Sugar Babies.

"The Sugar Babies" was produced through Siren Studios [Miami] in association with The Hope, Courage and Justice Project [New Orleans] and The Human RIghts Foundation [New York]. The film's production team includes Editor and Art Director Jason A. Ocasio, Production Associate and Legal Counsel Salvador Longoria, Associate Producer Thor Halvorssen, Co-Producer Constance Haqq, and Executive Producer Claudia Chiesi.

The film was written, shot, produced and directed by filmmaker Amy Serrano and will be launched on March 28, 2007 at 7:00 pm from the City of New Orleans at Loyola University's Roussel Performance Hall, 6363 St. Charles Avenue. It is additionally targeted for international release via film festivals, television, universities and as an awareness creating resource for human rights organizations.

The 95 minute documentary is in Spanish, Creole, French and English and at this time, is subtitled in English. An additional version subtitled in French will be available by April.

The Sugar Babies was made possible by The Crowley Children's Fund, Tico Pujals, Cindy Nord, The Fund for a Just Soceity and the generousity of many others. For additional information, please contact:

* * *
Amy Serrano,
Director/ Writer/ Cinematographer

* FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE * * CONTACT: Salvador Longoria *