Who are they? They are children, parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. They live in the country and they live in the city.
We visited a "typical" Dominican house on our Jungle tour, and saw how the people live. Of course, we don't know how authentic these living conditions were, as the house is invaded daily by hundreds of visitors. I assume they receive some monetary compensation for the inconvenience which may mean they live better than the average family--if so, normal conditions are very poor.
The house consisted of a living room, about 10 feet by 14 feet, with some sofas and easy chairs; a dining room, about 8 feet by 9 feet with a wooden table and 6 chairs; two bedrooms with a double bed in one and 3 single beds in the other. The "kitchen" is about 25 yards from the house and is really just an open air structure with a barbecue pit/open fire. The 'bathroom' is in the back yard too--about 10 yards from the "kitchen'. It is an outhouse without running water, so there's no flushing or washing of hands. The facilities consist of one broken toilet bowl (no tank) set over a hole in the floor. Very 3rd world. Not very sanitary. You wash your hands in a rain barrel outside the door (no soap). I brought hand sanitizer, thankfully.
The children were at home because it was a school holiday. There were 14 people living in that house--everyone from the grandparents to grandchildren. Who knows were they all slept as there weren't enough beds for everyone! They must eat in shifts because there were only enough chairs for 6 people at the table. How very sad; it really makes you thankful for the riches we enjoy in Canada and the US.
Despite all that, the children really seem very happy with their big smiles. They were well dressed and clean and appeared healthy. That's the good news!