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 provide 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.
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.
Children are stimulated and educated holistically with a variety of activities they would never have access to otherwise, including summer camps, field trips, cooking classes, medical seminars, toy drives, and musical performances.
What sets us apart is our desire to bring parents along on the journey. We offer parenting classes, workshops, vocational training, and counseling for parents to help transform the home environment into a positive and nurturing place for the entire family to grow. We serve children ages 6 to 12, and our waiting list is growing every day with children we hope to continue to open our doors to.
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, a 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.
In 2018, The Pedro Martinez Charity became the Pedro Martinez Foundation – a publicly funded 501C3 – making room for future programs and centers that will continue to invest into the health and well-being of children and families in disadvantaged circumstances. Two annual fundraisers – Feast With 45 and the Pedro Martinez Foundation Gala – along with incredible support from donors around the world, help us continue to grow and serve, impacting children, families, and communities around the world.