Vanessa lives in Batey Lechería in the Dominican Republic. Batey is the Haitian word for village. The older generations in Batey Lechería are Haitian.
Vanessa was born in the Dominican Republic and speaks Spanish. Vanessa has two siblings and lives with her mother. Her father abandoned the family when she was an infant making their living circumstances even more difficult. Her father still lives in the village but will not acknowledge or help the family. Her mother sells juice on the streets to try to sustain the family.
Currently, Vanessa is in 1st grade attending the primary public school. Her favorite subject is language arts. She likes to play with her doll during her free time. She wants to become a teacher in the future.