Cabarete Shoeshine Boys Dare to Dream Big

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The DREAM Youth Program, Estrellas Jovenes, offers innovative solutions that target students at risk of dropping out of school through offering programs with literacy and leadership components, which tackle the various needs of Dominican youth.

In the Nearby Sosua, an assistance program for the so-called “street children” of Sosua was announced in May of 2010 by the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Cesar Jose de los Santos, which will provide food, shelter and religious training for these children.

Pablo and Yeuri have become my friends, dirt poor, yet always respectful and with a big smile on their face each time I pass them on the street. Sadly, I realize that their smiles are more of a survival tool than anything else. They know how to present themselves in a positive way, know that money does not come without an effort and a job well done. They have all the qualities of becoming great future employees and employers of this country. They have dreams just like you and I, but they need your help to reach them.

World Famous Baseball Player Sammy Sosa was once a shoeshine boy in the Dominican Republic. Rafael Corporan de los Santos finally won El Soberano (the top award for best entertainers and media figures), and his humble beginnings include working as a shoeshine boy on the streets of Santo Domingo. Jan Marcos Riveras, the hero in the movie “Shoeshine Boy”, was once an illiterate shoeshine boy working the streets of Cabarete and is now a world champion in Kiteboarding. These boys dared to dream, and despite all odds, managed to fulfill their dreams.

It is my wish that the film “Shoeshine Boy” inspires you to become an agent of change and an advocate for the less privileged than you, by giving them hope. You can choose to support one of the organizations mentioned above or assist with financing of our film “Shoeshine Boy”, which plans to donate a portion of its profits to the children’s charities located on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic.

“Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good.”

(Vaclav Havel)

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