Posted July 6, 2024

Rotary International is well-known for their service projects that address community issues and humanitarian needs. Community-based Rotary Clubs are established throughout the world. Many of our supporters are connected to Rotary and some may have even learned about us through a presentation to a local Club.

We were introduced to Montgomery Village Rotary Club in Maryland by Dale Howard, a member of both our Board of Directors and that Club. Following our presentation to the Club in the fall of 2020, and subsequent updates, this Club has supported our outreach to families living in poverty in the Dominican Republic.

Early this year, the Club provided a gift of $10,000, specifically to help us address the long-standing need for concrete flooring in homes where we serve. Many of you know of this need either from personal experience on a mission team or from past articles or conversations. In fact, concrete floors have been a common mission team service project for several years.

They were excited about their new floor and wanted to show it off!

Many of the houses in the communities served by our ministry are built of the most basic materials: corrugated metal roofing, rough-cut timber, and various scrap materials. Most of the homes are not built on a concrete slab, so they have dirt floors. These floors provide direct exposure to pests and soil-based pathogens that can cause health problems. Rain and moisture exacerbate the unhealthy conditions, causing mud, and allowing mold and mildew to flourish.

A concrete floor immediately improves the condition of these basic houses, allowing families to keep their belongings dry. Residents are able to more easily keep their homes cleaner, and the floor reduces the amount of pests in the home. The average cost of materials and labor for one floor is about $330.

Work started on the project in April, with 11 homes completed by the end of May. Our staff in Barahona is working with leaders in each community to identify the most urgent need for floors. The first two communities to receive the floors were Bateys Algodón and Los Robles. As of this writing, work in Batey Altagracia is expected to start soon, followed by Batey Santa Maria.

The floor construction is being led by two local Maestros (a job Foreman/Supervisor) and community members are hired to assist with the labor, providing a short-term employment opportunity. An important aspect of this project is that the Maestros are teaching the trade to men who are interested in learning to become Maestros. Future team members may work with one of these men on a team project!

Our long-time friend, Alonzo, works on one of the floors.

We are very grateful to the Montgomery Village Rotary Club for this gift that will have a far-reaching impact on many families in these communities!

Photos from Bateys Algodón & Los Robles

Click on any photo to enlarge & scroll.