In a few days, I’ll be traveling to San Juan, Dominican Republic. From June 9th through the 16th I will be working with the non-profit organization, Bridges to Community, to help build new homes for families in need and I am SO EXCITED!
Below are some facts about the Dominican Republic from the Bridges to Community website and some more information about my trip!
Facts About the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is located on the island of Hispaniola, the second largest island in the Caribbean with the largest population. More than a third of the Dominican Republic lives in poverty, with rural areas being the most susceptible. The highest incidences of poverty occur in the Dominican-Haitian border regions, particularly in the mountainous areas and the lower valleys where there is a high concentration of rural communities. Bridges to Community began working in the Dominican Republic in 2010 and currently partners with communities in the southwest province of San Juan: Derrumbadero, Caimonial, and La Guama.
It is a common misconception that life for all Dominicans is comfortable and easy – extreme poverty is masked behind luxurious resorts and tourist attractions. Exposure to extreme poverty and limited access to water, food, and education is a reality for many.
The San Juan province is located in the southwest of the Dominican Republic, close to the border with Haiti, and tucked into a beautiful landscape of mountains and rivers. Isolated from tourism and jobs with their land plagued by deforestation, residents are left without sufficient ways to earn a living. This means that many adults must leave their families and homes in order to seek employment opportunities in other parts of the country or in the United States. This migration leaves many children with little supervision, few role models to look up to, and financially deficient households. Growing up in an unstable environment makes it much easier for the younger generations to fall victim to alcoholism, teen pregnancy, and child labor.
Bridges to Community programs make a real impact in the lives of Dominicans by helping them develop better quality schools, strong youth development programs, home repair projects, reforestation initiatives, public health projects, and a sustainable environmental plan for the future of their communities.
The Work We Will Be Doing in San Juan
My group will be working to build a new, sturdy home for a family in need. Their current home is no match for the hurricanes and earthquakes that plague the area: their basic human need of a safe shelter is not being met. The impact of having a new home is huge; increasing this family’s health, sense of security, and a safe place to house their families.
I am currently raising money for this trip through GoFundMe (edit: The fundraiser has been closed) and hope to reach my goal of $3,500 by the end of the month! By supporting me and this project, you will be changing real lives and making an impact on a community with families and needs just like your own. Any amount helps, even if it’s just one dollar!
I will be using the funds raised to cover the trip cost and to give directly to the community we will be working in. This amount of money will be life altering for a community where over 59% of the population is surviving on about $100 per month. Your support not only means a lot to me, but will mean the world to our San Juan family.
During my trip I will be taking lots of pictures and writing down my experiences, so when I return I will make sure to share it all with you guys! This experience will be unlike anything I have ever done before and I can’t wait to help bless this community in San Juan. Thank you so much and I can’t wait for next week’s trip!