Las Terrenas, on the northeastern side of the Dominican Republic, is a community of 20,000 people equally divided between males and females. One third of its population is composed of children under 15 and one third of its entire population is totally illiterate. Previously a quaint fishermen’s village, Las Terrenas has experienced explosive growth due to its increasing tourism industry.
Las Terrenas is truly a paradise of natural wonders, surrounded by lush mountains, waterfalls, rivers and, quite possibly, some of the best beaches in the entire Caribbean. The area in and around Las Terrenas provides visitors with 20+ miles of beaches.
In addition to Dominicans, there are many nationalities represented in Las Terrenas: Haitians, French, Italians, Germans, Spanish, Swiss, Belgians, Dutch, English, Yugoslavians, Canadians, Ecuadorians, Colombians and some from Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America and elsewhere.
Alongside the illiterate persons there are those who speak 3-4 languages. Next to old Dominican-style houses downtown you’ll find mansions and fancy hotels. The town shows the best and the worst of any rapidly evolving community in which economic growth has come to many while poverty has stricken an even larger segment of the population. Those with poor educational and vocational skills are the most evident target audiences for personal and educational development while problems with waste management, water supply and pollution endanger the future while creating opportunities for creative development and public policy.