The Spaniards first settled here in 1492,
bringing a strong Roman Catholic influence,
which is still prevalent today.
was the first colonial city
established in the Americas.
The highest peak in the Caribbean,
Pico Duarte (10,164 ft)
is a 3-hour bus ride from Santo Domingo.
The Dominican Republic is also home
to one of the largest humpback whale sanctuaries.
Dominican culture, like the weather,
is warm and inviting.
Hola amigos! My name is Angelica!
We are so glad you are here!
I am excited to show you how
Compassion and churches all over our beautiful country
are serving children in poverty!
Let’s grab your bags and get on the bus.
Our first visit will be to a child’s home.
There is always a lot of traffic in the city,
so please make yourself comfortable for the ride,
and get to know our country as you look around.
The Dominican Republic has one of the fastest growing economies in the Caribbean.
Yet, 25% of people still live below the poverty line.
Poverty presents many challenges for children and youth
in communities all over the country.
25% of students drop out of primary school,
and only 40% continue into secondary school.
Paying for uniforms, shoes and school supplies
is a burden for families living in poverty.
Children in impoverished communities
are more vulnerable to criminal activity and violence.
Gang activity is widespread in urban areas,
often recruiting children as young as 8 years old.
Over 20% of girls 15-19 years old become pregnant.
More than 1.5 million women are single moms.
Compassion Dominicana is working to reverse these statistics
by offering hope and opportunity to children living in poverty.
Let’s get out and meet my friend, Jonathan,
who also works with Compassion.
He is going to introduce us to Kaysha,
a young girl in Compassion’s program.