Enrique Hazel

As interviewed by Adrian Popps, March 24, 2019

Enrique Hazel: In His Own Words

HI, I’m Adrian Popps and I interviewed Enrique Hazel about his experience with immigration in the Caribbean. In this portion of the interview he talks about how his family helps a Jamaican women find hope in a hard time.

My full name is Enrique Hazel. I am from the U.S Virgin islands, the island I claim is St. Croix, but I’ve also lived in St. Thomas, which is also part of the U.S Virgin islands, and I’ve lived in St. Maarten, which is Dutch Caribbean.

Is there a memorable story about an immigrant living in your house when you grew up?

The latest one we had was about four years ago that was a Jamaican girl, that illegally migrated to St. Maarten and she was working, but she got into trouble, not in a legal sense. She got in some issue with someone else that was supposed to be taking care of her, and basically it was not a big situation, and this person wanted her deported. A friend of the family knew my mom and just said to let this lady, her name is Pamela, stay with us for about two years, and then my mom, knowing Pamela just wanted to work, sent her to the island of Dominica, which is where my mom has family, and then from there she ended up making it to Canada, and which I talked to her about a year ago, she’s doing well, has a kid now, but she’s always grateful for my mom because if not she would be back in Jamaica making a couple dollars a day or something. So, it was just the opportunity of her roll to the Canada, and went through St. Maarten, then Dominica, being hidden in St.Maarten, like we would have guests come over and we would say you can’t come out you know, the only time she would come out is really at night time because we can see far away if somebody is coming.
So, you learn cultures, different mannerisms, so the Caribbean has one culture, but generally everyone does something different on your island that you may not do on my island. The Haitians would sing beautiful French songs, and my mom was a singer, so it would be cool to listen to them sing, and talk in French. My father spoke Spanish, and so that was kinda always cool to hear, and my father only spoke Spanish when his people were around, as he would say, and so that was cool, but I think more importantly was helping other people because we, I wouldn’t be born in the U.S Virgin islands if I wasn’t helped, i would have been born in the Dutch Caribbean, or born in the British Caribbean, but my family was helped so I, I think that continues. Our goal was not to harbour criminals, so it was, they were here working, and some of the people would go to work everyday, most of them would go to work, except for Pamela, cuz she couldn’t work cuz we were trying to save her. Everyone that stayed on our property went to work everyday so it was a good experience, never thought anything different of them. It wasn’t till i got older that I appreciated what we did. I didn’t understand it when I was say your age.