Ramón Santana is a small village in the Dominican Republic which got its nickname Guasa (pronounced Wa-sah) from the Guasabara trees which grow along the road leading to the village. The village is located inland on the southeast side of the island and belongs to the San Pedro de Macorís province. The village and its surroundings have a population of 10,357 people. Both in comparison with other villages in the province and with the rest of the country the prosperity in the village is below average. The rate of unemployment is 18% in the village and 15% in the rest of the country.  According to the Office for National Statistics (ONE) the number of classrooms needed to meet the number of students in the municipality of San Pedro de Macorís was 853 and the number of staff was 122 in 2006.

In Ramón Santana 74% of the households are classified as poor and 17% as living in extreme poverty. More than one-fifth of the children are malnourished.

A significant proportion of Guasa’s population live in rural areas called bateyes. They are rural communities based around a particular type of labour (mostly related to sugar cane) and are often made up of Haitian migrants and people of Haitian origin. The standard of living in these communities is usually far lower and it is commonly known that workers in these communities are exploited and deprived of key rights.

Pictures of Guasa