Why Placer Bonito

The community members live in homes constructed of scrap wood covered by a metal sheet roof over a dirt floor with no sanitary facilities or potable water and rely on a common public faucet or shallow wells dug along the banks of a nearby stream for water. Almost half of the adults are illiterate and one quarter is unemployed.  The schoolrooms house 1st through 5th grade and children frequently drop out before reaching high school.  Teen pregnancy, very high infant mortality rate and alcoholism are typical community problems.  The children suffer from the lack of clean water and personal hygiene and are infected with parasites, skin allergies, intestinal problems, coughs, fevers and malnutrition. Witchcraft in the form of Voodoo and Santeria, along with gambling and family violence is prevalent.  The challenges are many.  There is a desperate need for the community to hear about the saving grace and transformational power of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


Based on Placer Bonito community information and needs assessment provided by Food for the Hungry, Dominican Republic, the plan focuses on the three strategic areas of the Community-to-Community transformation program: the Church, Families and Community Leadership.  Through this strategy, true and lasting relationships will be built through working side-by-side with the community.

Local Church:

This area is the most important element of the strategy.  True and lasting individual and community change is achieved through spiritual transformation.  The church needs to be the spiritual light into the community, constantly reaching out into the community reflecting the love of Jesus Christ and meeting the needs of the community. The church needs to be in a position to provide for the spiritual, physical and emotional needs for people in crisis situations.  The church must be the “Body of Christ” in the community.


  1. The Church is not reaching out to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the community.  The church is very small and is ineffective.
  2. The primary spiritual beliefs in the community are Voodoo (Haitian witchcraft) and Santeria (Animistic practices from Africa).
  3. Children and youth do not have access to Biblical teaching.
  4. Youth are exposed to un-Biblical social practices such as gambling, alcohol, violence/gangs and sexual relationships.


Families form the core of the community social structure.  Family members have the greatest impact on the development of a child and, therefore, can change a child to influence the next generation.


  1. The school in Placer Bonito is very limited and only provides education through 5th grade.
  2. Children are not motivated to go to school.
  3. Children are especially vulnerable, as their bodies aren’t strong enough to fight diarrhea, dysentery and other illnesses.
  4. Youth do not have the opportunity to receive vocational and technical skills training.
  5. Most families do not have access to potable water.  Clean water is the catalyst for disease prevention.
  6. Most families do not have latrines.  Sanitation is a major health problem.
  7. Families have not been trained in household and personal hygiene and sanitation.
  8. The community does not have trained Health and First-aid Promoters.
  9. No clinics are available for families to have medical and dental examinations.
  10. Community gardens that provide a reliable food source and income.  Self-sufficient households are less affected by external conflict and the environment.

Community Leaders:

Godly men and women leaders will influence the community and have the power to transform the community from an attitude of hopelessness and despair to a community of hope and vision.


  1. No vision or direction set by the community leadership.
  2. No economic enterprise base to create a local economy or organized Farmers Co-op to promote and sell products.
  3. Restore responsibility, dignity, initiative and equality among community leaders.