Angosto Community Center
Tucked away in the mountains outside of Jarabacoa, DR is Angosto. Accessible by 4-wheel drive vehicle, horse, or dirt bike, this community has suffered since the roya fungus decimated their coffee crops years ago. Time went on, and as the road continues to deteriorate, the locals find it more and more difficult to travel to the city of Jarabacoa for work. This has created a virtual food desert, with little access to store bought product.
The people of Angosto are resourceful, and grow much of what they eat right there on the mountain. Unfortunately, this doesn’t solve the problem of material poverty, and later, spiritual poverty as things continue to get worse. Children too young to drive are sold, alcoholism is on the rise, and feuds within the community are fueled by their difficult circumstances.
In situations like this, it is difficult to decide where to begin. Fortunately, some local people who know the community well saw a need and filled it. The Angosto Kids Club was born 4 years ago as the first building of the open air community center was constructed. ACES was introduced to these caring people in 2019 during a scouting trip. 12 months later we sent a crew of 8 volunteers for 2 weeks to aid in building the next phase of this project. A kitchen.
A kitchen may not sound like much to us North Americans, but this is a place where meals for the children in the after school and summer program can be prepared. It is also a place for teaching. Providing a way to give the youth cooking lessons and a potential career. With an $8000 budget, we even had a little left over to work on the road.
Jarabacoa Community Center
Located in the northern region of the Dominican Republic is a small town called Barabocoa. For years, an abandoned building has slowly been overgrown by the forest. The local community had requested our help in restoring this building to be used as a local community center.
They showed their dedication by removing vegetation and clearing debri and broken materials from the site in the hopes that ACES would help. In just a few short months, ACES raised $9000 to renovate this site into a usable space.
Though ACES provided money for the materials, the community provided all of the labor. This community center was built in 2020 and our travel teams could not assist. We were amazed by the dedication and willingness of the local community to complete this project.
Currently, this center is utilized for language lessons, sewing classes, community events, and after school programs for children. One of our service teams was finally able to visit in 2022 and marvel at all they had accomplished. It was during this trip that residents requested additional help in completing their kitchen. ACES was happy to assist, and funded the purchase of a stove and some cabinets.