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, 73 houses have been built and over 400 volunteers from six 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. The Mission is 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. The Mission desires to train up jewelry makers from the community and purchase it directly from community members.
The goal of the Mission 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 St. Peter's UMC in Ocean City, Fusion Church in Somers Pt., St. Andrew's in Cherry Hill, Haddonfield UMC, New Dover UMC, Whiley Church in Marlton, Atlantic Christian School in EHT, and Oxbow 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!"