People living in Garbage
Christ In the Garbage Ministries (CIGM)
is MSC’s outreach program specifically for communities who live in local garbage dumps in Dominican Republic and Nicaragua
CIGM Dominican Republic
In 2003, MSC Dominican Republic became aware of a community of people living in the local garbage dump covering 13 acres called La Union in Sosua, just within a few miles of the MSC home in Puerto Plata. After learning that another local organization was discontinuing their feeding program, MSC felt compelled to step in and continue it. After a few years of offering bi-monthly food packages, MSC opened an elementary school in 2008, free of charge, for the children of La Union to learn to read and write, most of whom were Haitian refugees who did not speak Spanish so were previously unable to attend school. The school in Batey, La Union, had over 40 students who attended – ranging in age 4 to 14 years old, and was based on the local public school elementary program which taught three subjects: Spanish, Mathematics, and Faith Studies. The students attended school in two shifts and each shift was provided with a meal.
The Sosua landfill was sold to a private company in July 2016, eliminating MSC’s access to serve the communities who historically subsided on the dump. We continue our commitment to uplifting entire communities, and will evaluate how best to serve this area in the face of change.
In 2004, CIGM Nicaragua began by periodically delivering food packages to families who lived at the main city landfill in Managua, formerly known as La Chureca, which covered 38 acres. La Chureca was home to an extremely impoverished community, of approximately 1,500 people consisting of many single mothers and children, who made their living from the refuse.
CIGM Nicaragua is now focused on helping women learn a marketable skill by way of a Resource Center. The free vocational training program began in 2006 as a sewing center and now offers classes in baking, English, and Mathematics. As many as 20 women at a time take courses in the various specialties offered, and childcare services are provided while mothers attend classes. We also continue to provide monthly food packages for the families and community members of greatest need in the area.