The call

After 15 years working in the corporate arena, Alvaro and Raquel, along with their two children Oriol and Noa, moved to the Dominican Republic to follow their call to serve the poor and bring the message of the Gospel to a beautiful people and country.

Ministry Leaders

Alvaro and Raquel are leading the ministry at the city of Santiago de los Caballeros for a US Christian organization named Students International (SI), whose goal is to bring the poor and the students together cross-culturally to encounter God, share the good news, and disciple and serve others through occupational ministries.

Facts about Dominican Republic

The Taino were the indigenous inhabitants of Hispaniola prior to the arrival of the Europeans. Christopher Columbus explored and claimed the island on his first voyage in 1492, which became a springboard for Spanish conquest of the Caribbean and the American mainland.

The Dominican Republic has long been viewed primarily as an exporter of sugar, coffee, and tobacco, but in recent years the service sector has overtaken agriculture as the economy’s largest employer, due to growth in telecommunications, tourism, and free trade zones. The mining sector has also played a greater role in the export market since late 2012 with the commencement of the extraction phase of the Pueblo Viejo Gold and Silver mine. The economy is highly dependent upon the US, the destination for approximately half of exports. Remittances from the US amount to about 7% of GDP, equivalent to about a third of exports and two-thirds of tourism receipts. The country suffers from marked income inequality; the poorest half of the population receives less than one-fifth of GDP, while the richest 10% enjoys nearly 40% of GDP. High unemployment and underemployment remain an important long-term challenge (source: The World Factbook). Continue reading “Facts about Dominican Republic”

Microfinance at a glance

Microfinance and Mr. Yunnus go hand-by-hand. Former dean of the Department of Economics at Bangladesh University, Mr. Yunnus is the founder of the Grameen Bank and pioneer in offering micro-loans to the poorest communities in the earth.

According to Mr. Yunnus, transaction costs and solvency concerns were the greatest obstacles for the development of a fair and sustainable financial ecosystem within the poor communities.

Mr. Yunnus overcame these obstacles through a new approach to lending, incorporating new ideas as group lending and progressive lending.

Mr. Yunnus was awarded the Peace Nobel Price in 2006.

Decades of success around the globe using micro-loans and universal principles from the Gospel of Jesus have inspired the development of the Microfinance ministry at Students International.

Continue reading “Microfinance at a glance”


Students International does long-term, on-going community development in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Nicaragua through the full-time staff missionaries serving in those countries. In addition, outreach participants join our missionaries on short-term or semester programs throughout the year.

Occupational Ministries

Ministry Sites are locations where we do occupationally specific ministry that correlates with career, academic, or person interests of the participant.  By working alongside our full-time missionary staff in these focused environments – such as dentistry, agriculture, and micro-finance – our short-term participants are able to come together cross-culturally to encounter God, share the Good News, disciple and serve the poor.

Ministry Style

Our overall ministry style is relational and is therefore centered around the long-term presence of our staff missionaries within the communities where we have a presence.

For further insight into SI work, please visit