Building Community and Family
Twenty minutes outside of Boca Chica, a beach tourist community in the southern region of the Dominican Republic, at the end of a long, rugged, dirt road is a community of incredibly hard working families. In Boca Chica prostitution, child labor, and predatory tourists are part of the daily scenery.
Ashley Holst serves a a Global Mission Intern in the Dominican Republic. Her work with Global Ministries is funded by your offerings to Week of Compassion.
Twenty minutes outside of Boca Chica, a beach tourist community in the southern region of the Dominican Republic, at the end of a long, rugged, dirt road is a community of incredibly hard working families. In Boca Chica prostitution, child labor, and predatory tourists are part of the daily scenery. Unfortunately, many members of the Los Coco community, including a large population of preteen and teenage boys, make the hot, tiresome trip to Boca Chica to sell candy, snacks, or other items to people enjoying the beach.
But in one of the poorest areas in the region, there exists incredible community, faith, and dedication to family. Many of the families in Los Coco are Haitian and as such must rely on one another for support when the anti-Haitian racism gets too hard to take on alone. Children and families are always together visiting friends and relatives.
One incredible leader and mother in the community is a community organizer, self-inspired educator, and religious leader. Sonia Jose Garcia, while working for the small church in Los Coco, also organizes the children for Caminante activities, including weekly English lessons with Global Ministries Intern, Ashley. The children are learning English phrases and vocabulary through fun songs and games. Because of Sonia, Los Coco’s youth have educational lessons, bible study, and fun activities daily! This is especially important because some of the children in the community do not have the opportunity to attend public school.
The families in Los Coco need the support of Caminante to help keep their children safe in Boca Chica as well as enable them to receive the best education possible. But this community also has amazing leaders and families who, despite extreme poverty and the need for their children to work to help support the family, have created unity and dedication to children and the family. For the children of Los Coco, family is more than blood, it is a community. Sonja is only one example of how individuals, despite their own life challenges, can make a family and community stronger through dedication and love for all God’s people and children.