Build a School for Maria

How to Donate

Target Month: November, 2009

Make checks Payable to Johanne LaMont or Martha Johnson % Dominican Outreach

(deductible charity for Canadians for 2009)

or use Paypal


Click Paypal button on left column

For more information email:

How This Project Developed

In 2008 Dominican Outreach, a non-profit charity based in Puerto Plata, began doing community development in the poorest neighborhood of the Puerto Plata Region. Working with local officials (Politur and a local judge) the San Marcos barrio was identified as having the greatest concentration of extremely poor families and children. We began by offering public feeding programs where we offered rice and beans to about 150 children at a time. Local people helped in the cooking and organizing of these events. After several months we began to make an alliance with a local school teacher who gathered children from the neighborhood who could not afford to go to public school or were handicapped and were not allowed in the public school. She has done this for years and is a local hero.

Dominican Outreach has brought teams of volunteers to assist and access this school project.

National Geographic photographer and Professor Binford teach a science lesson to Maria’s students

Build a School for Maria

in the

Dominican Republic

Canadian Volunteer Brad Munn (left) presents teacher award

In the back of Maria’s lot is a broken-downvvv shed. It would be a perfect place to build a proper one room school. Education experts from Canada such as Professor Monroe Doerksen from Brandon University visited the school on Maria’s front porch and believe this would be a worthy project.

The school could be built with a team of volunteers from Canada in 10 days at a cost of less than $6000 US. This cost includes all materials and payment to a general contractor.

Build a School in the Dominican Republic

Can you imagine trying to learn in a school that is the front porch of a wooden shack? Your only protection from the hot tropical sun is a bed-sheet hanging off a roof? You have no desk? You sit on a wooden bench or stand to learn? You feel lucky because your teacher is Maria?

Juan walks to this school everyday in his bare feet because his mother cannot afford to buy him shoes. He loves his teacher Maria with all his heart. She writes on a backboard nailed to a wooden wall. Juan and his 46 fellow students copy her words. There is love in the voice of Maria. She has a passion to teach and her only reward is the smiles of her students.

For many years Maria has gathered on her front porch children like Juan and teaches them without pay. Most of the children are so poor they cannot afford the uniform and shoes to go to the public school. Some of the children have special needs and there is no class for them in the public school even if they could afford the uniform.

From the plans of a proposed 100sm one room school in San Marcos

Dominican Outreach has built a school for 600 children in 2005-2008 with the help of hundreds of volunteers. This will be the second school (on a smaller scale) for this 5 years old organization.

First grade class in Cangrejo

Buy a cement block for $10

Sponsor a child for $60 a year.

Buy a desk for $100

Buy a teacher’s desk and chair $250



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