What do you think when you think of the “Dominican Republic”? Some of you may think of white pristine beaches, while others may think of cruises and spring breaks. Perhaps after seeing the photo above, you have begun to think of something entirely different.
Do you think of poverty? Do you think of a place where thousands of people live on less than one dollar a day doing extraneous and dangerous work? Probably not. Why would you? Poverty is not a fun topic to think about or to discuss among friends. But at International Samaritan, we think about this every day. Though we have come a long way in our efforts to alleviate poverty in the developing world, we know there still is work to be done in our current and new locations around the world.
La Duquesa, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Outside the capital city, Santo Domingo, a smoking garbage dump receives tons of trash daily. It is said that over 60 years of garbage rest in this dump, and its community now extends over 50 city blocks. Families who live here make than less than one dollar a day picking through waste that includes needles, broken glass, and gaseous toxins. Some even find their food here. Disease, child prostitution, child labor, and human trafficking are rampant. The people of La Duquesa build their lives out of the trash. They live, work, and die here. When we think of the Dominican Republic, they are forgotten.
True to our mission and vision, we plan to partner with this community and serve the people of La Duquesa through education and health services. Our immediate goal is to construct classrooms so that the youth in the community can learn real-world, applicable skills to become employable, thus providing hope for a secure future away from the conditions of poverty they currently face. Through your help, we can make this goal a reality. No one should spend their days in unsafe, unsanitary conditions, struggling to get by. No one deserves to be forgotten.