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Puntacana Resort & Club plays a dual leadership role in the national tourism market: to continue generating value through pioneering tourism innovation and to create a healthier and safer life for our close associates and the inhabitants of nearby communities in need.
The Puntacana Foundation, created in 1998, is the means by which our company promotes sustainable economic growth in the Dominican Republic, especially in the local communities in and around Punta Cana. Our commitment to local sustainable development is not a fleeting interest. Our founders were visionary in combining business objectives with corporate social responsibility. With our community service approach, we have found the necessary motivation to continue putting our hearts into everything that we do, in order to enrich the lives of the people whom we serve.
Our programs address the most basic elements of the community’s needs:
Puntacana International School is a bilingual private school built and operated by the Puntacana Foundation to provide high-quality education to the children of the employees of Puntacana Resort & Club. It has modern facilities, a complete staff of teachers and a comprehensive complementary education program in areas that include youth leadership, culture, arts, physical education and sports. Its academic program also benefits the local community. At present, 450 students from more than 22 different cultural backgrounds interact in the classrooms. The tuition paid by the employees of Puntacana Resort & Club is scaled, meaning that fees are based on parental income, with children of lower-income staff paying less than executives and upper management. In the classroom, children of employees of all levels receive the highest quality education.
The Ann & Ted Kheel Polytechnic High School was built and equipped by the Puntacana Foundation in 2004 in the nearby community of Veron. It is the only semi-public high school in the Punta Cana tourist area serving young people from poor families. Students receive a basic high school education as well as technical training in areas like computer science, hospitality, electricity, plumbing and refrigeration, as well as English language. An Administrative Committee headed by the Catholic Church, the Puntacana Foundation, the Dominican Republic Ministry of Education and an Association of Parents and Friends of the Institution currently manages the Polytechnic. An Elementary School (5th to 8th grades) has been functioning during the afternoons in the same facilities since August 2011, as well as a free Music School that opened in October 2012.
The Puntacana Foundation supports the Public Elementary Schools Program. In addition to its own schools, the Puntacana Foundation helps provide structural improvements to public elementary schools in need in the Punta Cana tourist region. Through this initiative we have built classrooms, bathrooms, sports facilities, offices, playgrounds and other facilities in several of these schools.
Training for Educational Staff is an initiative that seeks to improve the qualifications of teachers at local public schools in the Punta Cana region by allowing them to take part in the Skills Improvement Program. This program has a direct and positive impact on the quality of public education in the area.
The School Donations Program donates school supplies and materials to schools and students throughout the region.
In 2006 the Puntacana Foundation led the rehabilitation and co-management of the Veron Rural Health Clinic with partner organization Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM). Up till then the clinic had been closed for many years due to its state of extreme disrepair. The only public health facility in the Punta Cana region, it now provides healthcare for a daily average of 90 patients in need. The clinic provides walk-in consultations, infectious disease prevention for tuberculosis, malaria and dengue, treatment for sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS, vaccinations, laboratory analysis, prenatal and gynecological care, and family and community preventive medicine. A Pediatric Unit was added in 2011 to enhance the services provided to children. Other programs include Community Medical Missions, Mini-Med School and medical training for public hospital doctors.
Puntacana Foundation has constructed a variety of sports facilities for local children, including a softball and baseball court in Verón and a basketball and volleyball court at the Ann & Ted Kheel Polytechnic High School in Verón. The Foundation also supports community sports tournaments like the Higuey Basketball Tournament.
In 2008 the Puntacana Foundation launched its first annual Puntacana Carnival to celebrate the Popular Carnival of the Dominican Republic in a local event for residents and visitors. Carnival is a great example of the Dominican Republic’s cultural wealth. Every year, the carnival procession, which includes more than 1,200 participants portraying all the traditional Dominican Carnival characters, is enjoyed by a large number of people from diverse cultures.
The Puntacana Art Gallery is a small art gallery built and supported by the Puntacana Foundation, with the objective of providing a space for promoting national and international culture. Artists can exhibit their work for residents, and local and foreign visitors. Since 2010, as part of our cultural initiatives we have been running the Marine Archeological Project, which locates and retrieves archeologically valuable pieces from the sea for future exhibition.
The Puntacana Foundation also supports the Altagracia Tourism Cluster and the Punta Cana-Bavaro Rotary Club. The implementation of these initiatives has a remarkable level of support from local members of the community, all of whom share an interest in creating a sense of community responsibility.