Providenica

In the year 2004 the Mission began the process of buying the Finca of San José la Providencia. The families had been worried that there was going to be a new owner who might evict them. They were concerned because they did not have any other place to live.
 

There were approximately 23 families who were living on this Finca when the Mission informed them that they had bought the finca and they would be the beneficiaries of the land. The families were very happy and the Mission started to divide the land into lots for homes with separate plots of land for growing food.
 

Later the Mission took in 10 more families that were living on the finca of Sajbina, and so, in total there were 33 families that were living on the land when the community of Nueva Providencia was established in 2005. The community started to create a road so vehicles could enter. They worked with tools such as pickaxes, crowbars, hoes, creating approximately 600 meters of road.
 

Thanks to the Mission, visitor groups started to come and they supported projects such as building a school and a community room for the kids to study.  They were able to build another 150 meters of road.

 

Each year work is done in stages in order to improve both the road and the community. Engineers Without Borders from Marquette university began work on an electrical system, first installing a solar powered system and then a water powered turbine.  The community was connected to the grid in 2018. 

 

In 2013 an additional school building with two classrooms, a kitchen, and an administrative office was constructed.  Engineers Without Borders, in conjunction with the community, built a suspended bridge that passes over the river. In the rainy season the river rises a lot and the people were very affected by this when trying to get to Nueva Providencia. Everything changed with the suspended bridge, because they no longer had to worry about crossing the river.
 

In 2011 a wood church was constructed and then in 2017 a larger church for the community was built by Strickland Construction. There were more families coming from other Fincas (plantations) that no longer had a place to live, so they came to Nueva Providencia.

 

Now there are around 70 families in Nueva Providencia. Thanks to the Mission the community is doing well.

 

All of the community looks very beautiful and we give thanks to God for the opportunity to live here. We also give thanks to the Mission, which has supported us in the community and Father Greg, may he rest in peace, that we are here in this community.

MISSION IMPACT:

  • Construction: Since 2015, the Mission has built 9 block homes, 2 hybrid houses, 2 wood houses, and 20 fuel-efficient stoves in Providencia.

  • Healthcare: In 2019, Providencia was served by 3 visiting medical groups who conducted a total of 108 consults. There were 31 children enrolled in the child nutrition program with 8 families receiving the supplement.

Community Leadership: 

Each community in the municipality of San Lucas Toliman has elected leadership specific to that community.  These groups of elected leaders are usually referred to as a COCODE.  People from the community are elected and usually serve 1-2 years.  The COCODE usually has about a dozen members.