Enriching lives in the Boca Chica community

Enriching lives in the Boca Chica community

Date: 09/01/2023

The Caribbean town of Boca Chica in the Dominican Republic is home to a diverse population and DP World Caucedo is pioneering its Vision Futuro Initiative to improve the lives of women and young people in the local community through education and employment training programmes.

Natural assets

Known for its white sand and sheltered waters, Boca Chica is a Caribbean town in the Dominican Republic near Santo Domingo city. The town is a popular destination for tourists coming to explore the coral reefs and submerged shipwrecks at La Caleta Underwater Park.  

With more than six million visitors every year, the Dominican Republic ranks in the top five for tourism in the Americas. Home to the capital’s main beach, Boca Chica is a sprawling urban, commercial, industrial, and tourist hub, with a local population of around 142,000.

Challenges to disadvantaged young people 

Despite the tropical landscape and thriving tourism industry, communities in and around Boca Chica have struggled for access to education, training, and employment. Low incomes and a lack of opportunity have meant that some residents have struggled to gain employment and access to educational resources to break the cycle of poverty. 

In The Dominican Republic, nearly 16 percent of female youth of secondary school age are out of school, with one in four girls dropping out of school due to pregnancy. While the literacy rate of the Dominican Republic is around 92 percent, studies have found that students who complete high school enter university at a sixth-grade reading level.  With overcrowded classrooms, poor-quality facilities, and outdated curriculums, these systemic barriers have challenged disadvantaged communities, preventing at-risk youth and women from reaching their full potential. 

Innovative programmes to help local communities 

DP World Caucedo prides itself on championing education and women’s empowerment. Together with consulting firm, Entrena, DP World Caucedo launched the Vision Futuro Initiative. It aims to provide support and training to women and youth at risk so that they have opportunities to improve their quality of life.

“As a global company, we are committed to the sustainable development of the communities in which we operate. For this reason, this project aims to support Boca Chica through educational programs that promote the wellbeing of approximately 1,946 community members, helping them to prosper”.

- Morten Johansen, CEO of DP World in the Dominican Republic, COO DP World Americas

So far, young women have benefitted from taking part in women’s empowerment courses and pregnancy prevention workshops as part of the project. Young people have taken advantage of training programs that provide tools to achieve success in education, closing learning gaps and aiming to lower school dropout rates in the community. Vocational technical training has provided useful skills to give them a better chance of securing employment, while entrepreneur programs have encouraged women to think innovatively and develop their own business ideas. 

Now, the initiative has helped almost 2,000 women and youths in the local community. The project also champions the idea that the financial, social, and physical well-being of the local people directly contributes to their ability to develop and improve their quality of life. 

With DP World Caucedo’s financial, logistical, and physical support, the project aims to ensure that strengthening community ties continues to break cycles of poverty in the area. Ultimately, its goal is to promote social cohesion to build a promising future for the community.