Barahona Province is in the Southwestern part of the Dominican Republic along the southern coast. It is approximately a three-hour drive from the country’s capital, Santo Domingo, where you will find a major international airport. Barahona Province has a population of approximately 235,000 people and is important for its contribution to the Dominican sugar industry, growing some of the best coffee you can find and providing the world with Larimar which is a beautiful stone found commonly in jewelry.
More than a third of the Dominican Republic lives on less than $1.25 a day and over 20 percent of the country lives in extreme poverty.
Most of those living in poverty can be found in rural areas. The rural poverty rate is more than three times that of the urban poverty rate. Barahona province is significantly populated by rural communities. The only major city is Santa Cruz de Barahona which makes up about 60% of the province’s population.
While Christianity is strong in Barahona Province the influence of Haitian immigrants also means a strong impact from the tradition of Voodoo. This practice is more prevalent in rural areas. When Christianity is present the joy of the Lord is unstoppable.