Last summer, our Mission trip team traveled to La Guama, Dominican Republic with Bridges to Community, a community development organization which works in rural DR and Nicaragua in some of the poorest communities in the Western Hemisphere. While there, our group heard about the very exciting plans in the works to build a new school in La Guama, to expand access to education for the children of the village. Currently, the local school building can only accommodate a limited number of elementary school children, so if students are going to continue their education beyond the 5th grade, they must walk many miles each way to attend a school in another municipality. The community leaders have been hard at work developing these plans in partnership with Bridges to Community.
But then the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Work on construction projects had to be halted and Bridges had to cancel plans to send volunteer groups to the work sites in both DR and Nicaragua for this year and possibly into the future.
However, we are thrilled to report that the construction of the new school building in La Guama recently started up again! The Mission Commission recently send a contribution to Bridges to aid in the construction that is currently underway.
Here is the happy update from Bridges about the project:
“Great news! Work in our partner communities in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic is continuing, even without volunteers. We are very excited that construction on the primary school in La Guama, DR resumed in June!
Bridges has been working in the impoverished community of La Guama since 2017. Located in a mountainous area an hour away from the municipality of San Juan de la Maguana, it has a population of approximately 1,500 people.
The new primary school was identified as a top priority project by La Guama’s community leaders due to a growing student population and the deterioration of the old school. The new school will include four classrooms and will accommodate 120 students, 45 students more than the current 75.
The municipality loaned us a backhoe for a few days and we have excavated more than 28,758 cubic feed of material with help from many community volunteers! The start of construction has filled the people of La Guama with much happiness and hope.
Residents share the excitement: “We’ve always trusted in BTC despite the COVID-19 pandemic. We knew you wouldn’t abandon us, not now. All of the community members are happy now that it’s apparent the project will be a reality for the community.” – Miguel Angel Cordero Contreras, father of two children who will be attending the school.”
We praise God for this good news and for the tenacity of all involved who are making this project happen, despite many obstacles. We extend thanks to all of our FPCY community for your continued support of our Mission projects through prayer and contribution. Through the combined efforts of many, the children of La Guama will soon have a new school to attend and hope for a brighter future.