About the Author: Juan A. Alsace serves as the Director of the Office of the Caribbean in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.
With such close proximity to the United States, many Americans have Caribbean roots. Like many others who feel the pull of the region, my own Caribbean heritage — my parents are from the Dominican Republic — inspired me to serve as a U.S. diplomat there and led to my current position as Director of the Office of Caribbean Affairs. More than 6 million U.S. citizens and residents visit the Caribbean every year and leave with wonderful memories: idyllic beaches, crystal blue waters, and inviting hosts. Relaxation at its best, some would argue.
The reality is that the challenges many Caribbean citizens face in their daily lives are far from relaxing. Poverty, social stigmas, and above all, crime and insecurity deeply impact the people of… more »