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.
I first learned about Project Esperanza when its Director, Caitlin, worked for me part time in Puerto Plata. She was earning money for the project. She is conscientious and very competent and did outstanding work. I also came to know her family and some of the kids she is helping. In terms of "bang for the buck" you can't do better for charity giving. She helps Haitian kids who previously were living on the street being exploited by adults and -- at best -- ignored by the Dominican government. She and her family live simply and she is tireless in helping her kids, trying to get them treated fairly, and giving them a better and lasting chance in life through education. I've since moved back to the USA and count my blessings every day for being born in a country with 24x7 electricity, streets without yawning uncovered man-holes, and the rule of law. Help Project Esperanza early and often and as much as you can.