The Vatican confirmed today that during the annual Populorum Progressio foundation meeting, held this year in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, it will evaluate the financing of 230 projects in 20 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The projects range from initiatives to improve agricultural production to the construction of schools, health clinics and community centers.
This year’s meeting will be the foundation’s first in a Caribbean country. The location was selected with the hope of increasing the foundation’s awareness of issues concerning the region and to highlight the foundation’s missions in local church communities. In general, the church-funded projects are designed to benefit the indigenous, mestizo, afro-Latino and rural populations of Latin America and the Caribbean.
The meeting will also allow a Vatican delegation to travel to Haiti on July 22 to visit refugee camps sponsored by the Catholic Church. While the foundation already finances a number of projects in Haiti, it has recently approved $250,000 for the reconstruction of the St. François de Sales school in Port au Prince, which was destroyed by the earthquake in January.