During the past year and in particular the peaks of the Covid-19 Pandemic during the last three months, P.E.C.E.S., Inc. has focused on several focus areas as we strive to redefine community development in southeastern Puerto Rico. Our A.N.T.O.R.C.H.A. Program (torch or lamp in the darkness) for victims of violence provided services for 139 families from 45 communities in 6 different municipalities. These families received 247 impact services in the form of counseling, social work support, and direct services. In another focus area our support of local fishermen extended to 19 communities with 86 fishermen participating and impacting 560 families. We assisted them in improving local fish markets, acquiring equipment, and by facilitating their ongoing development as associations.
As we finalize our commitment to rehabilitate housing and community facilities, we impacted 2 communities and completed the restoration of 18 homes; many of which are handicapped accessible. Finally, our licensed and accredited high school which impacted over 294 students during the past year; continued our specialized entrepreneurship program for youth that have the goal of establishing their own businesses. Eleven students completed a series of workshops and experiences that will give them the knowledge and skills to one day become business owners. P.E.C.E.S., Inc. continues implementing our vast diversity of programs and services all with the mission of developing communities and transforming lives.
Returning to A.N.T.O.R.C.H.A. to complete this report, one of our participants had the following to say about her perception of the program. "The team is excellent, they cared for my children while I was in therapy, for this reason I was able to attend all of my therapies. The entire team collaborated to support my family. They are wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!!!"
The past three months the vast sphere of activities and programs implemented by P.E.C.E.S., Inc. throughout eastern Puerto Rico have been permeated by dynamic hope. Within the context of 81% of eligible Puerto Rican citizens having been vaccinated, P.E.C.E.S., Inc. has been able to return to many full presence activities. Our alternative licensed and accredited alternative high school has over 293 participants on a rotating schedule for social distancing. Our program for victims of criminality and violence has continued functioning directly with over 209 participants and 103 families throughout the pandemic. Our economic development programs and workshops continue to serve 182 individuals that are creating their own local businesses. The special program that we wish to present in this report is Smart Plus that works with adolescents throughout eastern and central Puerto Rico. Through workshops, counseling, mentoring, and a variety of activities this program prevents early pregnancy and school desertion. During the pandemic 1018 participants and 1031 families completed this program. One of the comments of the participants is as follows: “This program has helped me since it brought me the necessary tools to be prepared for a future relationship. What I liked most of the program was the information of the videos, detailed and precisely, focusing on what’s more important so you can have a healthy future. The program helped me to say “NO” when it was necessary and to the things that doesn’t benefits me. It helped me think on the possible solutions to the problems that can be presented on life and to take them with calm.” Yanliel
Proyecto P.E.C.E.S. Accredited High School has been characterized by developing in our students’ skills relevant to their academic interests, as well as in science, mathematics and other areas. With the purpose of promoting a more intense, dynamic and integrated approach to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, what we know as STEM, in recent months a team of teachers trained in these disciplines, in collaboration with a young mentor majoring in civil engineering, andwith experience in activities focused on STEM, have been working with a group of students evoking enthusiasm and sharing the importance of these disciplines and how they can improve the quality of life of the world around them. During the 2021 academic year, goals were achieved at the school level, as well as in the areas of science and mathematics.In the mathematics department, 92% of the students passed the courses. In the science department, 90% of the students passed the courses. We are proud to announce that 82% of 12th-grade students graduatedand 39% graduated with honors. 51% of the students reflected an improvement in their academic achievement. 33% of students have identified an aspect of science and technology relevant to their life experience. 40% of the students at the time were trained on the causes of earthquakes, and it is expected that by the end of the year 60% will participate in training on global warming and vaccine development.100% of the students have established an ongoing relationship with a science mentor. To this date, 30% of students have shown enthusiasm for technology. Through the activities carried out, the participating students have recognized the importance of science, technology, and mathematics. Thanks to our collaborators and foundations that subsidize us, the granting of funds provides students with classrooms that are adequately equipped with the necessary materials to work on the courses in biology, chemistry, physics, general science, and mathematics. Their interest in our students and their collaboration has shown us that if we all come together, we can develop a different vision of society.
In an effort to redefine community development, a small fishing village on the eastern coast of Puerto Rico, a neighborhood within the greater municipality of Humacao. Through several initiatives, Punta Santiago’s Fisherman Village Association and P.E.C.E.S., Inc., have come together to restore the village, provide enrichment courses and workshops to the fisherman and activities that promote unity and perseverance. With the workshop Marine Mechanics, the fishermen learned about the operation and identification of problems in outboard motors, the components of the outboard motor, as well as develop skills in solving any emergency situation at sea according to manufacturer recommendations. The “First Nautical Parrandón” for the community, several fishermen decorated their boats and along with a speaker system, spread positive messages and joyful music throughout the community with a parade. Electrical improvements were made to the fisherman village, in January 2021; the relocation of the meter base and some improvements to installations with UF @ PVC cable, that also included individual short circuit receptacles for each of the refrigerators in the fisherman storage area, a necessary improvement. In February, the fisherman received COVID-19 incentives for fishing material and equipment, benefitting the small merchants within the community and the installation of solar panels within the Fisherman Village.
In collaboration with other foundations, P.E.C.E.S., Inc. has provided continuous support to the community and specifically those in need, with the distribution of fresh food boxes and other essential supplies. In collaboration with a local catholic church, the organization's Community Sustainability Center has steadfastly coordinated the distribution, which is welcomed primarily by the elderly and disabled population.
In recent distributions, volunteers and employees are welcomed with happy, gleaming faces of the families receiving the fresh boxes in their homes, and blessings as they depart.
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