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Dominican Republic, El Cidral

El Cidral is a peaceful and unified community located in a valley nestled in the mountains of Villa Altagracia county within the province of San Cristobal, just 45 minutes northwest of the capital city limits of Santo Domingo. 

El Cidral: At a Glance

•550 people live in the community

•306 kids attend school (ages 4-14) *This is only in the hamlet of La Represa where most of our education work focuses

•The average nuclear family size is 5 people

•75% is the rate of unemployment (*This has decreased by 10% since 2012 due to the launch of the Empowered Women’s Cooperative and other seasonal employment generated through SFP involvement

•20-21 is the average age to marry and/or have kids

•12% is the number of kids who pursue high school *(Universal education in the DR goes through 8th grade; after that most children are forced to commute to another community and can seldom afford the money or time to do so)

•3% is the number of students who complete high school

Service for Peace established a Community of Peace in El Cidral in 2006. 

El Cidral is a peaceful and unified community located in a valley nestled in the mountains of Villa Altagracia county within the province of San Cristobal, just 45 minutes northwest of the capital city limits of Santo Domingo. The town is comprised of four smaller communities of hamlets: La Represa, El Cidral (yes—same name!), Barrio Chino and Cambustera. Together, the four communities that form El Cidral are very much focused on the welfare and education of their children, and thus focus many of their development initiatives on the elementary school.

Most of the community members are employed seasonally in agriculture and a high percentage of residents rely on remittances from family members abroad. El Cidral has big plans for the future, and has a vision for its community as a regional center for social services, wellbeing, and community empowerment.

Since 2006, over 200 volunteers from over 15 countries have worked on projects such as:

•Building new schoolrooms
Renovating the bathrooms and school facilities
Constructing levees to protect the community from flooding
Building a fence surrounding the school grounds and
Launching a women’s organic cocoa microenterprise
…And more!