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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Project Esperanza

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Educational Services, International, International Migration & Refugee Issues, Residential Care & Adult Day Programs

Mission: The mission of Project Esperanza is to create positive change in the city of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic and in the New River Valley of Virginia. We do this by uniting the two communities in mutual support while providing innovative educational and social efforts in both. In the Dominican Republic we work with the Haitian refugee population through providing a home for boys and supporting several grassroot schools. In the U.S. we run an after-school program and engage our community in social awareness and involvement.

Results: Since 2007 we have maintained two grassroots schools as well as a group home and school for kids from the streets. This past year (2012) we have worked hard to improve our international volunteer program and small business endeavors in order to create sustainability for our schools and group home over the long run.

Target demographics: Haitian immigrant youth and adults in the Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic area.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 700

Geographic areas served: Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Programs: Home and School for Haitian street kids living and working in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic 2 Grassroots Schools which educate Haitian immigrant children who face many difficulties attending school otherwise. International Volunteer program which leads hundreds of expats to serve in the area and receive great insight into the societal problems and successful solutions. Small business endeavors that employ locals who were without work otherwise and raise to support our other service programs.

Community Stories

62 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Amy_310

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went there for their summer camp teaching English emergence. It was such a good learning experience for me as well as them I will try to get down there again. Loved the group and the kids.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Amazing Organizacion! Really special community! Very motivated and eager to learn! Project Esperanza is doing something incredible for an extremely vulnerable population! They have a lot of merit for that!

Donor

Rating: 5

I have known Caitlin and Project Esperanza for many years now. Her dedication to the project is immeasurable and the difference she makes on the children and community is obvious. If you are considering donating or helping this cause in any way you can be guaranteed that your dollar will go as far as possible and that you've put your trust in the right place.

Ann_146

Donor

Rating: 5

Project Esperanza had bever wavered from their mission. Caitlin and her team serve the Haitian children with humility and love. It is an honor to be associated with this group.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with Project Esperanza was an unforgettable experience. Everyone involved made me feel safe and welcomed into the community. I felt like I was working with the locals, not for the locals. It was an amazing feeling getting to see the direct effect my efforts had on the project.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered here last Spring Break and had such a great experience. The people were all so amazing and the leaders of Project Esperanza really go out into the community to see what people need.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked with Project Esperanza and college students in spring 2016. Project Esperanza is doing amazing work with local immigrant groups. They are very caring and professional. They arranged everything for our group and everyone had a wonderful experience. I look forward to working with Project Esperanza in the future.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Loved serving with Project Esperanza last March and am hoping to go back soon!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went on a trip to help small businesses involved with Project Esperanza last Spring, and I had one of the most eye opening experiences of my life. The local people know those involved with Project Esperanza by name it is so personal and changing. I have kept in contact with people I met during my trip!

reedkennedy2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I took 19 students from Virginia Tech to Puerto Plata over spring break 2016 for 9 days. Project Esperanza set up our lodging and meals and 4 project for my students to work on. As a business professor, my 4 student teams each had a local Haitian entrepreneur "client" to help with a business plan to get their business started.

My students had a tremendous experience. They got to know a number of Haitians and Dominicans, and learned first hand about severe poverty. They felt they had significant impact and had a lot of fun at the same time.

Caitlin is a saint, the " Mother Teresa" of Puerto Plata!!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Caitlin is the Mother Teresa of Puerto Plata!! It is amazing what this small organization has done in a few years, while giving volunteers and college students a remarkable opportunity to serve and grow. We took 19 university students there over spring break 2016 and they had an extremely meaningful time, with many wanting to return.

Marc20

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I co-Led a high school group last March and worked with Project Esperanza in three different venues. It was tremendously rewarding to be a very small part of the excellent work that Caitlin and her organization and school are doing. Can't wait to go back!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We took a school trip to the Dominican Republic to work with Project Esperanza. It was an amazing experience! Caitlin and Katy were great leaders, the kids were wonderfully sweet, and we all learned so much! We are definitely coming back!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A group of college students and I traveled to the Dominican Republic to work with Project Esperanza for our Spring Break and returned to the US changed and inspired. Caitlin and Kati were wonderful hosts as well as the entire town of Muñoz. I would return to Project Esperanza in a heartbeat as the work they are doing is really making a difference in both the volunteers' lives as well as the students and community members' lives. If you have time to take a week (or longer) out of your hectic life to go help an organization, Project Esperanza should be at the top of your list!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

An amazing organization lead by amazing people. They do great work for the community and are truly invested in helping support the lives of those living in it. Would definitely volunteer for this organization again. Great experience.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A great organization that's incredibly integrated with the community it serves! Caitlin is warm and intelligent, and clearly dedicated to her work.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is quite an impressive organization. For being small they do great work with very positive outcomes. They now have 2 schools going for Haitian children, and help the adults with micro-businesses to support their families. The director, Caitlin, is extremely talented and devoted.

Donor

Rating: 5

We took our family to Esperanza for a week. It was life changing. We are a family of 7. Our children are 24, 22, 19, 13, 11. We lived in the house all in one big bedroom, ate at the house, walked around the neighborhood and played soccer with the kids. During the day we worked with the children for half the day and then painted the school the second half of the day. Esperanza was a great host. They were warm, kind, and helped us participate in the community. We all came away changed. Strongly endorse participating with Esperanza.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently volunteered with Project Esperanza with 10 other college students and every one of us had a great time serving and getting to know the DR and Hatian community. It was a huge perspective changer for myself and I wouldn't have traded it for anything in the world. The staff of Project Esperanza are doing great things over there. I would highly recommend this organization if you want to step out of your comfort zone and experience this great adventure of serving others and volunteering alongside these amazing people!

Melissa278

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The experience i had in Project Esperanza will forever stay with me! Meeting the most amazing, charismatic, inspirational people. The way it opened many of my Group's eyes from the University of Central Florida to help our community and to work as a team to achieve a bigger goal. The way we met different individuals and shared their life stories and what had happen to them was very touching! If everyone had a chance to be apart of an organization like this it would change your life perspective completely. It is very clear that Caitlin is very special and she put many stuff asside to help these children and families in Muñoz! Thank you again Caitlin for a unforgettable experience with Project Esperanza 2015.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had an incredible experience volunteering with Project Esperanza! I met so many amazing people. The communities that we helped were so welcoming and kind. I highly recommend and support this organization.