You would be hard-pressed to find an island province as visually beautiful and culturally rich as the Samaná Province in Dominican Republic. Samaná was first discovered by Europeans in 1493 by Christopher Columbus. He was greeted by a barrage of spears and arrows from the native Taino warriors. It is said that this was the first instance of violent opposition to the Spanish conquistadors in the Americas. Samaná is also the place where some newly freed Black Americans immigrated to beginning in 1824.
This immigration of 34 families brought an infusion of 19th-century African American culture, such as their brand of English, food, games, manners, music, and even some recipes that have been preserved to this day. This is due to the relative isolation of the province, which until the 20th century was accessible only by boat. Samaná is a place that values both culture and tradition, even as it has struggled to provide jobs and care for some of the impoverished families that live there
In today’s Samaná, there is a stronger economy supplemented by tourism. This has helped many native families build stronger foundations to bring in the future. However, the one area that continues to be lacking in this region is the care for orphaned and vulnerable children. In Samaná, there is an underserved population of kids that need help. Until 2013, there were no resources available to them.
In 2013, The Advocates of Love Foundation saw the need and rose to the challenge. Advocates of Love is the first ministry and children’s home within the entire province of Samaná. Even after seven years, they are still the only resource in the region recognized by the Children and Adolescents National Council (CONANI) to help the children get the care they need to move forward in life.
Advocates of Love provides food, education and, most importantly, a home and a family to love and care for these kids that have nowhere else to go. Children live in a family environment and attend private school. They have the opportunity to actually be kids. They love to run, play with their friends, make crafts, and no longer worry where they are getting their next meal or where they are going to sleep that night.
Even in the most culturally rich, beautiful places, kids are the future. With the help of Advocates of Love, Samaná’s kids will get to help write their own future. The sky is now the limit for these youngsters. Learn more and sponsor a child at www.advocatesoflove.org.