We’ve been working in the Dominican for over 25 years building village projects to help the extremely poor there have access to shelter, education, church facilities and medical treatment. These projects include homes, schools, clinics and complete villages. So far, through the generosity of our supporters, we have built 12 villages representing over 1500 homes, 12 churches, 8 schools, and 6 medical centers and sports facilities. And the work continues.
You can learn more about the villages we’ve built below.
In 1988, while on vacation in the Dominican Republic, the Madonias went for a walk in the village of Charamicos. Here they found themselves face to face with the squalor of extreme poverty. The people literally lived in mud hovels, without even one of the basic necessities. Mr. Madonia found himself asking God, “why?” and then felt the Lord asking him “what will you do?”
In response, Elio Madonia built the first village, Maranatha, in the Municipality of Sosua Puerto Plata in Dominican Republic. Elio bought a small pig farm and a slaughterhouse, which is where it all began. This small property was converted into a vibrant community starting with only 25 houses. By the time the village was inaugurated in January 1990, it had a large church, a school and a medical clinic. A basketball court and a bookstore were soon added. The original small village has morphed into a town with over 800 homes and business providing work and a place people proudly call ‘home’.
The second village, about a mile from Maranatha, has 50 homes. The village has a Church that ministers to the people of the village and surrounding area. Village children attend a public school only minutes away.
The third village was built about a mile away from Betania. Here another 50 poor families have been assisted and provided with a brand new house. Our friends at Mercy Ships sponsored and built a new Church building. This local church is a beacon in the village and the nearby community. Running water and electricity was provided to the people and the children attend “Nest of Love” school in Villa Emmanuel while others attend school in Villa Maranatha.
This is the fourth village we built. It was planned as a continuation of Betania and therefore shares its water supply and the Church serves both communities. The 50 houses located in this village were donated and built by groups from Canada and a number of other countries. We appreciate all the groups that not only send money for homes, but also come and provide labor support. This village has a basketball court and initiated the first ‘residence council’ to manage and administer the affairs of the village. This has since been replicated in every village.
Redencion is the fifth village, located not far from Nazareth. At the inauguration in 2002 there were 163 homes completed, making it the largest undertaking we had initiated to date. It is the only village with two Churches: one Spanish speaking and one conducting services in Creole. New Mission operates the local school with close to 300 students. The playground and basketball court is well used, providing a place for the children to enjoy daily activities. All the medical services are provided by the clinic that was built by two Canadian Churches in Nazareth. The clinic serves Trinidad, Nazareth and Betania.
Village number six is the first village that was built outside of Sosua, in the municipality of Montellano, half way between Sosua and Puerto Plata. The village was built in an area called Caraballo, where hundreds of families lived in shacks in deplorable conditions. 263 families from amongst the poorest in the Province of Puerto Plata have received a new home to date.
Water is pumped two miles from the Puerto Plata Aqueducts into two 20,000-gallon reservoirs and distributed to the villagers. The village has a first rate school that is sponsored and operated by Kid’s Alive. They provide education to hundreds of children in the surrounding area. The kindergarten and library is sponsored and operated by ‘Dream project’. This community has a local Church that is located close to the local shops (started as micro enterprise), a souvenir and craft centre. The service center has a doctor’s office, a pharmacy and a dental clinic on the way. This center also provides accommodations for visiting volunteers. The children enjoy the basketball court and play soccer almost every day after school. This village was also provided with ‘common areas’ and each home was given a large plot of land for growing vegetables and fruit.
The seventh village is situated not far from Betania, Trinidad and Redencion in the Municipality of Sosua. The location is very beautiful and 100 houses were built on different levels around a hill. At the very top there is a school, a water reservoir and a medical clinic.
Villa Esperanza also goes by the name Los Algodones, located half way between Montellano and Puerto Plata. When we bought the 13 acres of land located across from a luxury home development, we were denied the permission to build the 253 homes for the poor. Upon being refused to build homes, the Foundation demanded to at least be able to build a school, a clinic and a Church. In addition, we were able to supply fresh water by building a 20,000-gallon water reservoir, now serving the villagers.
The houses in Spruceland Paradise are sponsored by the employees of Spruceland Millworks in Edmonton, Alberta. The first 25 houses were given to needy families in the fall of 2008. This was a tremendously emotional event for everyone involved. Many of the families were transported from their shack to their new house. Families were crying, laughing and celebrating in gratitude, despite the fact that it was raining and mud everywhere.
What makes Spruceland Paradise uniquely different is that it can be considered a “full service” community. This village provides for its 206 families an excellent school, full medical clinic, church and Sunday school, large and fertile family garden plots available for each household to help sustain themselves and also a first ever complete vocational school. The vocational school provides for not only the villagers themselves and surrounding communities an opportunity to advance their own education but also the prospect to learn a trade and skill. A trade and skill that will not only provide for them an escape route from poverty but also a new level of self esteem and self worth. Young and old deserve these possibilities and we are thankful that this village can and does provide the poor a second chance at life!
Upper and Lower Villa Zion
Upper and Lower Zion look very much like a little east coast village in the countries of Canada and the northeastern part of the United States. Its houses of many colors add the warmth and friendliness that richly imitates the 60 families that make up these 2 communities within one village. Another wonderful blessing that the residents of these communities enjoy are the benefits of the ongoing agricultural program by our Jose Luis Bohorquez and his assistant Augustine. Currently all the residents from Upper Zion have their own garden plot and residents of Lower Zion will enjoy the same blessings within the next few months. Together they work with many of the villagers in maximizing the outputs of their individual garden plots. Villa Zion is located across from Villa Nazareth and many of Zion’s children attend the schools in Villa Nazareth and Villa Emmanuel.
Find out more about what we're working on now.