We were just finishing our Bible Study time in Cercadillo yesterday morning when Rosa rushed into the group with her exciting announcement, “I have my cedula!” The thirty women in attendance all burst into shouts and applause as Rosa’s official Dominican ID card was passed from person to person for examination.
40+ year old Rosa who has lived her entire life in Cercadillo is now officially a citizen. She can now vote, have access to education and better health care, legally marry, and enjoy other benefits of being a “real person.” AND, Rosa can begin the process of registering her children for birth certificates so they can officially “exist.”
The majority of the people in Cercadillo live without birth certificates and cedulas, undocumented and “non-existing” in the eyes of their government. It has seemed a hopeless cycle, an almost impossible hurdle to overcome. However, there seems to be a slight loosening in the regulations. Perhaps this is the break for which we have been praying.
Rosa “exists” and now others are beginning to have a hope that they can “exist” as well.