Our Impact

The Dominican Republic

The Reality

A Marked Income Disparity

A country of 10.65 million people, the Dominican Republic has the second largest economy in the Caribbean. However, this nation of beautiful people, culture and landscapes is plagued by a marked income disparity. The richest 10% of the population enjoys over 50% of the country's GDP, while poorest 20% lives on less than 4.4%.

According to a report of the United Nations on Human Development, the Dominican Republic is ranked #71 in the world for resource availability and #79 for human development, but #14 for resource mismanagement, emphasizing that government corruption and the rift between the rich and poor are major issues in this country.

Designed by makyzz / Freepik
Designed by makyzz / Freepik


The Dominican government spends only 2.3% of their GDP on education, leaving teaching materials and facilities lacking. Although primary education is officially free and compulsory for children between the ages of 5 and 14, those who live in rural areas usually do not have access to schools and, due to financial restrictions and limited availability of schools, most children drop out of school by age 12, with only 10% of those who initially enrolled in school graduating from secondary school.


Bateys form some of the lowest income areas in the Dominican Republic. Originally they were formed as communities of sugarcane workers, mostly made up of undocumented Haitian immigrants and their families. Because of how they were formed, bateys are regarded as exceptions to the Dominican governance system and do not receive public services. Since the Haitians who originally filled the bateys were not legal immigrants, their children have also been denied citizenship. Without citizenship papers, these children cannot go to school or receive the benefits of other basic public services

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The Dominican Republic

Some Statistics

Language: Spanish

Area: 48, 670 km(slightly smaller than Nova Scotia)

Capital: Santo Domingo

Population: 10 million  30% of the population under the age of 14, Only 6.5% of the population over 655.5% of the population at or below poverty line ($2/day)

Currency: DR Pesos

Life Expectancy: 73 years

Agriculture: sugarcane, coffee, cocoa, bananas, tobacco, rice, plantains, beef

Natural Resources: nickel, bauxite, gold, silver

Terrain: highlands; mountains; valleys

Climate: tropical humidity; rainy season May-Oct; middle of hurricane belt June-Oct

Economy:67.5% Services;11.5% Agriculture;21%  Industry Top 10% of population holds 53.6% of incomeLowest 20% of population holds 4.4% of income

The Dominican Republic

Partner in the Country

Hope Rising partners with COCREF (Colegios Cristianos Reformados) – a nationally run network of Christian schools that began in 1981 in an effort to reach the most neglected children in the Dominican Republic with the Gospel of Jesus Christ through Christian education. It now consists of 16 Christian day schools, 5 of which have high schools, and serves about 3,000 students and employs 250 people within the Dominican Republic. With a focus on reaching children living in poverty-stricken areas, many COCREF schools are located in bateys to serve the children of Haitian immigrants who otherwise would not have the opportunity to receive an education at all. This is an incredible way to impact these communities with the empowering tool of education and the transformative message of the Gospel at the same time!