In March 2013 we will be working alongside members of a small Haitian Baptist church, La Iglesia Para Las Naciones, in San Pedro de Macoris. San Pedro is located about forty minutes from the capital, Santo Domingo. It is home to Dominicans as well as Haitians, many of whom are descended from laborers who worked in the Sugar Cane fields and who still occupy the workers' shacks even after the sugar industry declined. Our being there helps the church realize its vision of restoring its neighborhood by providing a vibrant church community and quality elementary and high school education. In addition to construction projects and playing with the children who attend the school, there will be excursions to a few different locations within the D.R. Last year we visited the US Embassy as well as CONACADO, an organization of cacao producers, and saw the impact of fair trading on Dominicans.
The convergence of so many backgrounds, languages, and experiences is especially meaningful because Gordon has established and maintained a relationship with La Iglesia Para Las Naciones over several years. Our time with the church is a time among friends. Come taste justice as we sample fair trade chocolate, come laugh with us as we establish inside jokes and become a team, and come be inspired by the passionate desire the pastor, his wife and the church community share to be near to God.
Preparations for the trip include fund-raising and weekly meetings throughout the beginning of the spring semester to help the team get to know each other and learn more about the D.R and its relation to Haitians within the country. The team training times may include things like language learning and discussing articles.