Dominican Republic Literacy Rate

Why the Dominican Republic?

Known for its white-sand beaches and soaring mountain ranges, the Dominican Republic (D.R.) is rich in natural beauty—but its scenic tourist destinations conceal a large income gap, with the poorest half of the population receiving less than one-fifth the national income. Though the economy has experienced growth in recent years, unemployment remains a major challenge. As a result, many seek work outside the country to help provide for their families: Remittances from the U.S. alone account for 10 percent of the gross domestic product. At the same time, an estimated 800, 000 individuals from neighboring Haiti have illegally relocated to the D.R. to seek better jobs, often finding discrimination and difficult working conditions instead.

HOPE in the Dominican Republic

In the D.R., HOPE partners with Esperanza International to provide opportunity through a variety of programs that meet clients’ physical, economic, and spiritual needs. As many as 40 percent of clients are Haitian, targeting a deeply underserved population that has traditionally been overlooked in the Dominican Republic. In addition to small loans and biblically based business training, Esperanza works with a network of local partners to provide an extensive array of complementary services to its clients—including preventive health care; dental clinics; and literacy, health, vocational, and computer training. With a strong commitment to holistic ministry, Esperanza integrates times of devotion and prayer into regular disbursal and repayment meetings.

Client Stories

Armando Martinez – El Seibo, Dominican Republic

Armando has turned a lifelong interest in mechanics into a productive enterprise—and is passing on his skills to a new generation of Dominicans.

Ingrid Mendez – Santiago, Dominican Republic

When Esperanza reached out to Ingrid four years ago, they didn’t focus on what she lacked. Instead, they invested in what she had: sewing skills, creativity, and motivation.

Country Facts

Percent Living on Less Than $2 Per Day:9.9% Unemployment Rate:12.4% Adult Population Using Financial Services:29% Average Household Size:3.9 Primary Language(s):Spanish (official) Average Life Expectancy:78 Under-5 Mortality Rate:25/1, 000 Literacy Rate:87%

Sources: CIA World Factbook, the World Bank, BBC, Financial Access Initiative

Programs and Partnerships

Year of Partnership:2005 Program Type:MFI Number of Offices:10 Number of Loan Officers:40 Number of Clients:9, 398 Percent Female Clients:89% Average Loan Size:$331 Net Portfolio Outstanding (NPO):$2, 817, 287 Operational Self-Sufficiency (OSS):
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