Dominican Republic


The Need

The Dominican Republic has one of the fastest GDP growth rates in the Caribbean, but rural communities still lag far behind. In fact, 56% of people in rural Dominican communities live be¬low the poverty line (CIA World Factbook). And while the D.R. is becoming wealthier, a growing gap between rich and poor leaves the poorest half of Dominicans receiving less than 20% of the country’s income.

In rural communities, poverty is linked directly to environmental degradation. Deforestation and unsustainable agriculture techniques deplete the soil and decrease crop yields. Farmers then turn to cutting trees to sell as charcoal or firewood to care for their families, continuing a vicious cycle of poverty and deforestation. As farming families lose hope, many head to the city, where they often wind up in urban slums repeating a cycle of poverty.

The area near the border of the D.R. and Haiti consists of some of the poorest, most deforested regions of both countries. In many ways, the trans-border communities have been forgotten as the D.R. and Haiti both focus on the growth of their urban areas.

The Solution

Farmers we partner with in the D.R. have had great success in reforestation efforts. In fact, the Dominican government turns to Plant With Purpose to help oversee national reforestation programs. Partnering farmers have also had success in their sustainable agriculture efforts, including food production and cash crops such as cacao and coffee. Village Savings and Loan Associations are increasing the economic well-being of families, and groups are discovering what they are capable of accomplishing together. Through church-mobilization efforts, local congregations are working with community members to meet needs through locally led efforts such as literacy training programs.


Sponsor A Village

Dominican Republic

By sponsoring a village for as little as $1 a day, you can make a lasting impact on an entire community as they are given the tools and training to lift themselves out of poverty. Sponsor A Village in the Dominican Republic today and change the future for people like Juana Cruz.

Sponsor A Village How to Sign Up