LA PERLA, PUERTO RICO
THE FORBIDDEN PLACE
La Perla is a historical shanty town stretching about 650 yards outside the northern historic city wall of Old San Juan bordering the rocky Atlantic coast.
"The Pearl" district is an area where historic drug trafficking, drug abuse and crime was once prominent. This cliff side neighborhood is still considered by many as the most dangerous place in all of Puerto Rico, which contributes to its mystique as a forbidden place; for this and other reasons La Perla is an isolated forgotten place.
It's an enigma located in the shadows of Old San Juan with probably the most desired real estate in all of Puerto Rico, yet nothing to show for it.
The music video for Despacito's filming took place in December 2016 in La Perla neighborhood and the popular bar La Factoría in San Juan. This has created a renewed interest in seeing the revitalization of this historic neighborhood. However, the generational economic, educational and spiritual poverty have decimated this neighborhood, thereby creating an isolated community that seems to be left behind. As resources have poured into Puerto Rico they never seem to touch La Perla. Some have stated that one of the challenges facing the community is that the members are overly territorial and see any external attempts to revitalize the area as a suspicious attempt to invade and supplant the locals. They resist any change to the status quo and so revitalization is elusive!
The good news is that no place is forsaken or forgotten by God.
EHF is embarking on a mission project in "La Perla” focused on empowering the next generation. Most of the youth in this community grow up with no hope and no inspiration for a life that achieves any meaningful success outside of what their parents and grandparent achieved. We are partnering with community leaders as we seek to break generational cycles of poverty and dependency. Resources for after school and/or sports activities for this group are scarce and none are Christ centered.
Our ministry will encompass youth intervention using academic and cultural enrichment, sports and entrepreneurial training mirroring our current City Lights Program in NYC.
In addition, La Perla will serve as a mission destination place where teams can humbly serve and support the local church, practice generosity while learning how to be present in the lives of the people.
Short term housing will be available.
Long term ministry/service roles will also be available.
Secure architectural rendering and development permits
Secure partners to help with praying, building and financing
Recruit future ministry staff
Launch The Mission
Expected Costs and Ministry Needs
The demolition, excavation and trash removal will be approx. US$25,000
The construction cost for a new ministry space will be approx. US$375,000
Construction professionals, architects, engineers, electrician, plumbers and mason workers are all needed. Please contact us if you are willing to serve in any of these capacities.
Call to Action
Please prayerfully consider donating a recurring or one-time gift to help us build a place that will empower the next generation to escape the poverty cycle!
help support the people of la perla