In summer of 2003 we received a request to visit a school that needed a deworming clinic. Upon arrival to the village of Jacagua, Villa Mella on the outskirts of Santo Domingo, we found 32 children in a makeshift cardboard and wood slat school house. They used cardboard for the chalkboard and walls, the floors were dirt and old paint chipped school desks were crammed into the small confines of what appeared much like animal stables.
In 2007, CDS was invited to bring a medical brigade to the impoverished community of Pedro Brand, located on the outskirts of Santo Domingo. What awaited us there, was unimaginable. Over 500 families were squatting in the dark, damp ruins of an old Tuberculosis asylum that had be closed in the 60’s after the epidemic was under control. Living in conditions of no electricity, inadequate water supply and lack of appropriate sewage treatment, the needs were overwhelming.
In 2008, while conducting a medical and evangelistic outreach in Duqueza, Villa Mella, we treated a 12 year old for severe malnutrition and diarrhea. After treatment, her condition improved, but her lab work showed she was HIV+. We went to her village to speak to her family and found that they were a settlement of Haitian squatters that lived close to and made a living on the city dump.