How we began and where we are today
Growing up with little opportunity in the San Miguel de Manoguayabo region of Dominican Republic, Pedro’s personal experience paired with his generous heart inspired the launch of what started as the Pedro Martinez Charity in 1998.
Pedro’s commitment to providing support, assistance, and educational programs that positively impact the lives of children and families in vulnerable communities began with a donation of land. In 2007, the first program launched – Hay Poder en Aprender (There is Power in Learning) and brought new life to the community. Each day, children who otherwise faced abuse, teen pregnancy, or crime, raced through the doors to receive education and healthy meals, participate in arts, sports, and recreation, and most importantly, to feel loved. With a holistic approach to education, our children began developing a sense of identity and empowerment while learning valuable vocational and life skills.
The Community Center
In 2009, we partnered with Major League Baseball and USAID, expanding our programs into the United States through partnerships with various non-profits. With over 375 children from socially and economically disadvantaged households being served, our Dominican Republic facility needed to be relocated to create room for continued growth. New construction in Manoguayabo gave the community a place where children could thrive for generations to come.
The Community Center is modeled after a charter school and features classrooms, a playground, volleyball/basketball court, computer lab, kitchen, counseling rooms, a nursery, and a multi-purpose center. We also serve the community with a baseball field open for everyone to enjoy.
The organization’s first program, Hay Poder en Aprender, has developed into 12 distinct programs since launch, each intentionally targeting mental, physical, and spiritual development. We have become an incubator for talent development, a happy place for play, support for those facing adversity, and a healing balm for those dealing with wounds and despair.
Our reach extends far beyond the walls of our Community Center in the Dominican Republic. Along with mentoring, coaching, and providing financial support to children all across the United States, we have contributed to disaster relief all over the world. Thanks to the support of our generous partners and donors, we are able to respond to devastation like hurricanes in Puerto Rico and Haiti with generators and needed medical supplies.