What’s in a dream? Is it purpose? Is it obedience? If ignored will it be passed on to someone else? Many of us can relate to finding ourselves at a point of decision; where either we choose to live our lives and ignore the call to adventure or we step off the ledge and plunge into a greater purpose. For Doña Carmen, she took the latter and found fulfillment. Born in Santiago, Dominican Republic, and after marrying her High School sweetheart, Doña Carmen moved her three children to the United States in the hopes of escaping the poverty that plagued her entire life. As she left she knew the miles would never be able to separate her from the want and need she experienced in her childhood. She vowed to come back and somehow be a catalyst for change in some way.
After 20 years of raising her family in the United States, an opportunity arose, and Doña Carmen and her husband once again packed their bags and moved back to the land of her birth. Doña Carmen’s husband, a businessman with a passion for real-estate, had his eye on a building perched on a street corner mainly plagued by prostitution, drugs and violent crime. As he made plans to gut the building and turn it into an apartment complex, Doña Carmen felt an urging in her heart, a gentle reminder of the vow she quietly whispered as she left her country so long ago. They broke ground in 2005 and began to transform a condemned building in the middle of one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Santiago, into a school for children. The school was named Instituto Cristiano San Lucas (Saint Lukes Christian School) in honor of the author of the third Gospel who himself was a doctor and scientist, a man who knew the value of an education. The School opened its doors in September of 2006 and since then the impact that the school has made in the children and the families in the area has been undeniable.