Two Updates from Our Dominican Republic Mission Site

Two Updates from our Dominican Republic Mission Site
By Julia and Julius Ariail
Posted September 10, 2014

Although the members of our mission teams are in the Dominican Republic for only one week each year, many of us try to stay informed of current activities at our work sites in the village of El Pedregal all during the year. Recently, the wider availability of Internet access throughout the Dominican Republic and the increasing popularity of Facebook for both individual and church communications has made staying up-to-date even easier.

In the recent weeks we have received two set of photographs from Ángela Maria, the wife of Padre Álvaro, the priest in charge of the Episcopal camp, conference center, and school in El Pedregal. One of these sets shows Padre Álvaro blessing the house that we constructed in the village in partnership with another mission team from the Diocese of Nebraska:

Padre Álvaro blessing the house for the homeowner, Jackeline Almonte (in red shirt). Click this image to see more images from this house blessing.

This concrete-block house has 600 square feet, with three bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, and indoor bathroom. It replaces an older structure made of wooden poles, plywood, and assorted wooden planks that did not have an interior bathroom. Jackeline lives there with her mother, her four children, and two nephews, children of her sister who died recently of cancer.

In this photograph, Jackeline is shown helping with the teardown of her former home. Click this image to see more images from our mission trip, including many of the new house construction.

The second set of photographs shows Episcopal school children playing on the playground that our team built in cooperation with the Nebraska mission team. Earlier Christ Church teams in 2005-2007 helped to build the school and level the ground that now forms the play area.

An Episcopal school teacher and her class enjoying the new playground. Click this image to see more images from this playground in use.

School children supervising the start of the playground construction in June, 2014. Part of the Episcopal school can be seen in the left of this photograph. Click this image to see more images from our mission trip, including many of the playground construction.

The school year in the Dominican Republic began on August 19th. Our mission team was very pleased to be able to donate $12,250 in scholarship funds to be used in the Episcopal school in El Pedregal for this 2014-2015 academic year, enough for 35 students @ US$350/year. These scholarship funds came from the generous donations of the members of our “home team,” those in several churches in six different Episcopal dioceses who support our mission projects financially each year, and from donations from the “go team” members, those who actually make the trip to the Dominican Republic with the constant prayers of the “home team” to work on our assigned projects and to deliver the much-needed scholarships and other supplies for the Episcopal camp and school.

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An album of photographs from our June 2014 mission trip is posted online here. A general information webpage about our mission work in the Dominican Republic is posted online here. If you would like to receive email updates about our Dominican Republic mission trips, click here. This online sign-up form also has an option to receive general email messages about Christ Church.