Communauté Saint Martin – Placetas, Cuba

After-School Support Program and Foodbank (Repaso & Comedor)

The after-school support program run by the Communauté Saint Martin, also known as Repaso, in Placetas Cuba ensures high quality education and educational support for 650 students per day. In Cuba private schools are not allowed, however the quality of the public education system has been putting children at a disadvantage for years and therefore the Communauté Saint Martin decided to open an after-school support program that can help students overcome these deficiencies in the public education system. The current maximum capacity for this program is 650 students per day, however the Repaso has a waiting list of another 100 students hoping to be able to attend the after-school support program in the future.

Aside from their after-school support program, the Communauté Saint Martin in Cuba also provides around 300 meals per week to local people living in poverty through their Comedor. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for nutritional support for the local people of Santa Clara has increased significantly and they expect this to keep increasing until the pandemic and economic crisis has passed. The Communauté Saint Martin is currently preparing to increase the number of meals per week to 600 to hopefully help with the increase in poverty.

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Communauté Saint Martin – Placetas, Cuba

Website
https://www.communautesaintmartin.org/article/placetas-cuba/
  • Don Jean Pichon, Don Grégoire de Lambilly, Don Pierre Doat and Don Régis Maurel
  • Sunday mass in Placetas
  • Local children attending mass
  • Inauguration of the Main School Building in 1919
  • The Beginning of the Renovation of the Main School Building

History

Placetas is an area of Cuba made up of 40 communities with a total population of 45’000 people. Although Cuba had a high human development index in 2019, there is a significant economic crisis going on at the moment which has led to extreme poverty. The average income per person is of 20€ per month, and therefore people who do not usually work in touristic areas or have family abroad to help sustain them, are left in dire conditions. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, shipping companies have been halted and many food and household items have not been delivered to Cuba. This has led to a lack of meat, rice, oil and cleaning products. The prices of locally sourced meat, rice and other food items have increased to almost double the regular price since they have now become rarities, which is leading to an increase of people needing food assistance.

Mission

The aim of the Saint Martin Community is to put itself at the disposal of the pastors of the universal Church: responding to the bishops’ call, entrusting them with various apostolic missions. Priests and deacons of the Community are thus in ministry in parishes, college chaplaincies, boarding schools, and sanctuaries. Most are in France, but many are also on missions abroad (Cuba and Italy).

Dispatched at least three by three, the priests and deacons pray, live and work together in a spiritual and pastoral fraternity. The Community consists at the moment of 115 priests and deacons, dispatched over 22 dioceses in France and abroad (Italy and Cuba). 4 priests currently take care of the people of Placetas in Cuba and run the after-school program and foodbank project.

The Project supported by the Caritas Pro Vitae Gradu Charitable Trust

Thanks to our support the Communauté Saint Martin will be able to renovate their main school, building that was built in 1919 and was starting to fall into ruin, in order to take care of 650 students.

Aside from supporting the renovation of the school building, Caritas Pro Vitae Gradu has also sent support to their food assistance program for the year 2020 to increase their capacity from offering 300 meals per week to 600 meals per week in these difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis.