This project is designed to deepen our work and address the need for profound social change in the Eastern region of Puerto Rico. The goals are broad: fair recovery processes; prevention programs for our children; and economic development for communities. To do this, we are strengthening our role in the region and reimagining what community development can be.
In recent years, an island-wide economic crisis, very active hurricane seasons (including Hurricane Maria in 2017), other natural disasters, and the COVID-19 pandemic have revealed deeply rooted poverty and inequality issues, which put our people in greater risks and prevent them from thriving even in milder conditions. As we reflect on our work of over three decades, we renew our commitment to community development and realize we need to deepen our work.
This project will take our existing programs to a new level: enhancing our alternative high school to leverage education for social change; expanding our entrepreneurship programs so new jobs and businesses can foster solidarity among neighbors and towards nature; and strengthening our prevention services in alignment to goals of resilience and justice.
For 35 years, P.E.C.E.S. has been key in the development of children, families and communities in the eastern region of Puerto Rico. Right now we have contact with 40 communities. This program is aimed at reinforcing our organization and programs, so we can reach more communities and have a regional impact in the long term.