In 2008 the DR Mission - Building Houses...Building Relationships was established in Los Cocos de Jacagua, a rural community outside of Santiago in the Dominican Republic. A 5 member team from St. Peter's UMC traveled to Los Cocos to build one home for a needy family. To date, 90 houses have been built and over 500 volunteers from nine different churches and 2 high schools have gone to Los Cocos to build homes to replace leaky, dirt-floor shacks made out of palm fronds.
Over the years many of the children of Los Cocos have received scholarships to attend English classes in Santiago. Some of these students have graduated high school and are now bilingual looking for employment. Building Up would compliment the DR Mission by building a school that would provide English classes to the community. This will save on transportation costs to the city to attend classes. In addition, community members that are bilingual would be hired to teach the classes. The school would also double as a community center that would house a library that has been operating out of a home for the last two years. Finally, the building will provide space for a larimar jewelry making workshop. Currently the Mission sells larimar, a semi-precious stone only found in the Dominican Republic, to raise funds to purchase building supplies. Building Up desires to train up jewelry makers from the community and have the Mission purchase it directly from community members.
The goal of Building Up is to provide income generation opportunities and empowerment to community members so that they can build their own homes instead of relying on outside sources.
The funds raised by this web site will be used to build the school/community center. The funds to purchase the designated land have already been provided.
Please join Building Up who will collaborate with Fusion Church in Somers Point, St. Peter's UMC in Ocean City, St. Andrew's in Cherry Hill, Haddonfield UMC, New Dover UMC, Whiley Church in Marlton, 55th Street Chapel by the Sea in Ocean City, Good Shepherd in Northfield, Lifegate in Somers Point, Friendship Bible in EHT, Atlantic Christian School in EHT, and a High School in Vermont in empowering this wonderful community with the education, training, and skills needed to exit the cycle of poverty. "Gloria a Dios!"