Location: The school is located in an urban neighborhood on the east edge of Puerto Plata, right along the shore, called Padre Granero.
School History: Before the 2006/2007 school year, there was no school in the community of Padre Granero set up to serve the Haitian immigrant population. Hundreds of children walked around the streets aimlessly each day. Others street vended or shined shoes to generate income. Project Esperanza began serving the Puerto Plata community in the summer of 2006 by conducting a street census. The majority of the children working on the streets lived in the community of Padre Granero. When Project Esperanza leadership returned in November 2006, children in the program that had begun that summer introduced them to a group of teachers who had begun a school in their church to serve this population. The two groups found a common mission and Project Esperanza began sending funds to pay teachers in December 2006.
By the next school year, Project Esperanza had purchased books, tables, chairs, and began helping out with rent payments. Things went well until 2009 when the U.S. economy declined and funding became more difficult. The inconsistent teacher payments brought out conflict and politics among the teachers. This ended in a school split, causing there to be two schools in the community of Padre Granero. This was not problematic as the community is full of children, many of whom still are not in school. Project Esperanza stuck with the group who shared common views of the continuing advancement of education, a director who is present daily, and discipline and efficiency as one would find in schools in a developed country rather than a more recreational setting. Although funding has remained difficult and teachers are often paid late and inconsistently, the school continues to successfully serve about 50 students.
4 teachers teach 4 classes in the mornings from 8am to 12pm. Kindergarden and pre-school share one classroom, 1st grade, 2nd grade, and 3rd grade make up the other three classes. In the afternoons (1:30pm to 5:30pm) 2 teachers teach 2 classes: 4th and 5th grade. School runs Monday through Friday with weekends off.
Rent - $77.12
Teacher salaries - $673.52
Materials - $52.44
Total - $803.08