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El Cercado, San Juan, Dominican Republic SocialMinistryElCercado@gmail.com 1-809-558-0215 (esp) | 1-829-762-2762 (eng)


A mural painted by children at the inauguration of their classrooms
A mural painted by children at the inauguration of their classrooms.
Social Ministry is working with the current needs of the town and villages that include lack of school buildings, overcrowded classrooms, school absenteeism, poor quality education, high unemployment rates, juvenile delinquency, interfamily violence, child labor, illiteracy and high rates of poverty. We do this by expanding education opportunities and acompanying children, youth and women in the process of providing hope and improving their future.

The Education Outreach Committee of Social Ministry in collaboration with the Society of Jesuits, Fe y Alegria and the local public school district has constructed and currently administers two public schools in El Cercado; San Francisco Javier – (kindergarten – 8th grade) and San Francisco  of Assisi (a high school).

The majority of the youth in El Cercado will not attend college and 50% of those who do attend leave after the 1st or 2nd year because of high costs or family obligations. Due to these staggering statistics, immediate short range plans include the construction of a Vocational Technical School offering certified courses and a trade for those interested in electricity, plumbing, carpentry, masonry, refrigeration, beautician, barbers, sales, secretary, seamstress, computers and more.

A commitment has been made by a national Dominican Institution called INFOTEP to provide all of the necessary accredited teachers free of cost. Currently we are searching for donors and foundations to construct the building. The cost of a 3 floor, fully equiped, building will cost $351,000 US dollars. To build the first floor, that includes 4 classrooms, is $113,175.

The Education Outreach Committee has worked hard to construct:

  • 11 rural schools with two and three classrooms,
  •  10 after school tutoring programs for children from 8  to 14 years old and
  • 170 literacy groups for youth and adults.

The Education Committee also sponsors the ongoing legal training of 35 human rights promoters who accompany victims who are unable to hire a lawyer with sexual abuses and homicides cases through the complicated judicial system. The human rights promoters also help parents to register their children for birth certificates and work with Haitian immigrants to obtain legal documents.

Children presenting an exposition on climate change and water conservation.
Children presenting an exposition on climate change and water conservation
Group of volunteers
Technical Agrarian school participating in reforestation of the water shed basin
Breakfast, lunch and snacks are provided for students at San Francisco Javier
San Francisco de Assis high school, Fe y Alegria.
San Francisco of Assisi high school, Fe y Alegria
9th and 10th graders taking a break
Young students in school
Grammar school students with parents participation
Youth pose durring the construction of the youth center.
Youth pose during the construction of the youth center using 50,000 recycled plastic bottles
The finished youth center constructed with recycled bottles
Computers in the youth center