Since March 2008 I have been blessed to live in Santa Fe, the barrio where my church is located. Santa Fe used to be a community with jobs, local businesses and entertainment opportunities. The sugar processing plant closed its doors in 1998 and the community has been struggling ever since. Most local businesses closed down also for lack of clients. The plant provided many of the services for the community such as electricity and water which helped create a dependent culture in the barrio. Some folks have found work in the few remaining Free Zone companies in San Pedro or in other sectors of the economy. There is, however, high unemployment and limited opportunities for people. There are gangs and drugs which wreak havoc on the members, users and innocent family members and friends. There is no public high school available, so all high school students must go to a private school or into San Pedro for classes. Kite-flying and basketball are the healthy activities that rival baseball in this area.
Mark 12:30-31 "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all you mind and with all you strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."