Dominican Republic

ext. 2019

The Need is Great in the Dominican Republic


The people of the Dominican Republic (DR) suffer from drastic income inequality. 32% of the population live below the poverty line. This country is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. It is estimated that between 60,000 and 100,000 women work as prostitutes in this country. Without proper documentation, children are unable to attend school and parents are unable to apply for many jobs.

Mentors International in the Dominican Republic is providing:

  • Survivors of human trafficking the ability to build successful futures and careers.
  • Personalized training and consulting services to help the poor make sound business and financial decisions.
  • Classes teaching life skills and principles that foster leadership and commitment.
  • Training to clients, helping them cut costs, create additional product lines, and manage their personal finances.
  • Accountability and responsibility.
  • Ongoing mentoring.
  • Small life-changing loans to those that have little to no access to financial services.

Mentoring sessions and business training classes are being well received. Lives in the Dominican Republic are already starting to change for the better. So many people are now filled with HOPE for the future. 

Partnerships with Mentors Dominican Republic

We have been teaching at the Hermanas Oblatas del Santísimo Redentor Vocational School. This trade school is located next to a seaport in an area of high-risk for human trafficking. Their school provides classes including subjects on bookkeeping, sewing, cooking, baking, and beauty services to about 1,500 students per year. Many of these students turn around and apply their new skills in the form of small entrepreneurial ventures.

Operation Underground Railroad has partnered with Mentors International to help facilitate self-reliance among these survivors that have ‘aged out’ of the after care facilities. We have the resources and expertise to provide business training, capital, and support systems for survivors that have the desire to start their own business ventures. This partnership helps integrate human trafficking survivors back into society while empowering them to have financial self-reliance. This relationship will improve the quality of life for those most disadvantaged.

We have experienced great success working in the aftercare facilities in Peru, and are eager to see the growth that our partnership in the Dominican Republic will bring. (Watch the video clip to the right)

Interns with the Utah State University SEED Program working for Mentors International spend time teaching and mentoring those rescued from human trafficking. Through business and financial literacy classes, these survivors learn new skills to succeed. With mentoring as the key, supported by small loans, new businesses are created.

Together we stand united in the fight against human trafficking and in support of the healing process of victims to become thriving survivors. Help us provide even more training and mentoring to these aftercare facilities. We would like to create and sustain a loan fund that is large enough to meet the growing need.

Join with us in this effort to help sex trafficking survivors discover the joys of self-reliance through entrepreneurship.

Pearls with a Purpose is a program under the direction of Mentors International that focuses on providing micro-enterprise training to women through teaching how to make jewelry. Pearls with a Purpose has joined forces with Mentors International and the vocational school to provide both a trade to learn and a market in which pieces of jewelry can be sold at fair market value. 

Read about the success of our first training classes held in March 2019. Click Here

Success Stories From the Dominican Republic

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

January is Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Month  The reasons for human trafficking varies from country to country, but many agree that poverty is one of the primary causes of human trafficking. Low income, unemployment, hunger, disease and illiteracy are...

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Evaline in her poverty is helping those who have less. Many of the women learning from Mentors International want to pay it forward. They are sharing what they have learned from their mentors, and want their friends to get involved with our programs. Watch her story...

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Training in the Dominican Republic Part 2

Training in the Dominican Republic Part 2

We recently returned to the Dominican Republic to teach women from La Represa and San Pedro the jewelry making skill of wire wrapping Larimar stones. They are enthusiastic about learning this new skill. Their eagerness in having training that enhances their jewelry...

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January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

July 30 in World Day Against Trafficking in Persons The reasons for human trafficking varies from country to country, but many agree that poverty is one of the primary causes of human trafficking. Low income, unemployment, hunger, disease and illiteracy are widespread...

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In a world where you can be anything, be kind.

In a world where you can be anything, be kind.

“In the Dominican Republic, I was teaching business and entrepreneurship principles to young women at two different schools who had been rescued from human trafficking or who are at high risk. These students always would help each other. If someone was having...

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Interested in receiving a microloan and business training

to help your small business in the Dominican Republic?

Local Leadership

Ruth Martes

Ruth Martes

Program Manager: Mentors Dominican Republic

Ruth Martes has a masters degree in management and productivity. Ruth is very committed to success in her personal and professional life through hard work and ethical values. She is a faithful believer in God and loves all of His children. Prior to joining Mentors International, Ruth has had extensive experience in microfinance. One of her passions is to serve and mentor people with limited resources. From a very young age, she learned the value of commitment and responsibility.  She is very excited to bring these talents and skills to Mentors International. 

Support Our Mission in the Dominican Republic and Throughout the World.

Opening up a new country we have a greater number of people in need of training, mentoring, and micro-loans.
You can make it possible for more impoverished entrepreneurs and their families to
experience the true joy of self-reliance.  

Other Countries Where We Serve