Fundación La Merced (La Merced)

La Fundación La Merced was born 7 years ago with the goal of providing a more dignified life to children and adolescents, freeing them from child labor and teaching them about their rights. La Fundación was born from the raising of consciousness among a group of people from the community who were worried about the extremely dangerous situation of shoeshine boys of the area. In a spontaneous manner they organized to provide assistance. Little by little, a team of volunteers started forming and began organizing activities according to the observed needs. Since then, the team has strengthened and formalized, explanding the areas of intervention in order to offer a systemic response to these problems. The activities are based on a rights-focused community work. The interventions are made in the following areas: Education, Recreation, Nutrition, Health, Social Work, Legal Assistance, Raising Awareness and in response to Incidents .

General Information

The Team

Management Team:

Administrative Manager: Pilar López Rodríguez
Executive Director: Gina Paredes
Executive Vice President: Tomas García

Board Members:

Alfredo Paredes, President
Tomás García, Vicepresident
Pilar López, Treasurer
Sandra Rojas, Secretary
Tino Deón, Vocal

Contact Information

Contact Person

  • Name: María del Pilar López
  • Position:
  • Telephone: (809) 620-9907
  • Email:


  • Type of Organization: Non-Profit Organization
  • International Affiliations:
  • Years of Operation: 14
  • Number of Employees: 9
  • Number of Members: N/A
  • Number of Volunteers:


  • Sources of Funding:

    • Sponsorship of Children
    • Corporate donations
    • Community donations

  • Products/Services:

    Arts and crafts such as: key chains, sandals, bracelets and rosaries.
    Homework Workshops
    Community Legal Assistance

  • Total Income: Income: 2014 RD$ 1,960,804.16
  • Total Expenses: Expenses: 2014 RD$ 1,725,675.00


Our Vision: To be a leading institution in the eradication of child labor and domestic and sexual exploitation of children and adolescents, guaranteeing them holistic development and respect for their rights.

Our Mission: To prevent and eradicate child labor and domestic and sexual exploitation of children and adolescents, supporting and training them so they may obtain a holistic education through the values of the La Merced Congregation, which allows them to contribute to the development of a free, just and united society.

Our Values: Faith, Freedom, Responsibility, Justice, Gender Equality and Solidarity.

Our Goals:
• Prevent and eradicate child labor and domestic and/or sexual exploitation through rights-focused community work.
• Raise awareness in the population about child labor and about domestic and sexual exploitation which threatens the rights of children and adolescents.
• Propose “holistic educational alternatives” to children and adolescents in situations of high risk for child labor and to victims of domestic and sexual exploitation.
• Contribute to the resilience of children and adolescents, their families, and their community.

Primary Programs and Projects

• Corporate Outreach
• Space to Play and Learn
• Technical Training Project for Adolescents
• Child Sponsorships
• Community Legal Services
• Nutrition Program


Work Areas: Source;

• Eradicate child labor in the Herrera neighborhood, especially of those who work as shoeshine boys, until they reach majority and are autonomous.
• Offer a dignified life to children and their families, collaborating in their education, nutrition, health and recreation.
• Improve the literacy of children.
• Develop their artistic, athletic, human and religious potential.
• Formalize the legal status of these children and their families.
• Raise awareness in the population about child labor and its harmful effects on the rights of children.

Education Areas.

• Inclusion and follow up of children in private and public schools to ensure their education, reinforcing it with homework workshops which include educational materials provided by appropriate foundations.
• Creation of weekly opportunities for psychological, artistic and athletic development of the children, together with activities like arts and crafts workshops, painting, dance, gymnastics, cinema, theater and reading . . ,

Social-Familiar Areas.
• Social, medical and psychological assistance for children and their families, counting on free services from a Parish Medical Dispensary, and the delivery of shoes, clothing and food.
• Motivation, integration, support and follow up to children and their families in the program, through weekly visits to their communities, especially to their schools, homework workshops and homes, by members of the La Merced Congregation and other members of the Socio-Familiar and Education teams.
• Monthly meetings with the parents and guardians of the children in which informational workshops are given about health, hygiene, nutrition, the family . . .

Legal Area:.
• Registration of children, and the offering of legal services to their families.

Sponsorship Program.
Sponsorship contributes to the improvement of the lives of the children and their families. With the monthly donations each sponsor makes, a dignified education is provided, ensuring the necessary health assistance needed in case of illness and appropriate nutrition so that they can continue their studies.

INFOTEP Workshops: We have equipped six classrooms for INFOTEP workshops in the parish next to the medical dispensary in Las Caobas, Herrera. As of now, we are providing instruction in computers, bakery, and sewing. We would like to add a barber/beauty course.

New PROJECT (2017): Our goal is to construct in Bienvenido a Space with multi-use classrooms, a play ground, sports court, daycare center, medical dispensary, multi-use salon, theater, etc. The construction of this space (5,000 square meters) will be done in four phases:

1) Cleaning of lot and building of cement wall (done).
2) Creation of athletic area, with basketball/soccer courts and play area.
3) Construction of classrooms and medical clinic.
4) Construction of day care.


Expert Comments

We ask each of our experts to recommend five entities in their area(s) of expertise which have had a positive impact. Below please find comments from our experts who have recommended this entity.

  • The primordial goal of Fundación La Merced is the eradication of child labor. Previously they provided support to shoe shine boys, and more recentl . . .y have included girls in their action program.
    They carry out projects that have an important impact on the educational performance of the children who participate.
    When a child is sponsored one can see his/her integral development.
  • The shoe shine boys and girls that are part of the program generally leave their work and become integrated into the educational system and graduate f . . .rom high school.

More Expert Comments

  • In Fundación la Merced they work with a lot of energy and they deliver. The institution is comprised of good people with a Christian base.
  • The efforts of those in charge of the program demonstrate their desire to offer dignity and to raise the self esteem of the children who are forced to . . . work in the streets. The program offers a variety of activities, giving young people technical training and the opportunity for healthy recreation.

More Expert Comments

  • They have a small location and implement programs in educational centers. With a bigger space they could expand the gamut of educational services, i . . .n areas such as: habits for life, handicrafts, among others.
    They could benefit from donations of books so that they can continue expanding their library.
  • Try to ensure that the same children have a greater impact in their own neighborhoods and obtain the collaboration of other entities for their program . . .s.

More Expert Comments in this Area for this Entity