The Lindos Sueños program strives to bring people of different backgrounds together through the common appeal of baseball and community service.
Since 2004, teens of varying socioeconomic backgrounds have been chosen to participate in the program. Ten of the selected teens chosen to participate each year are from the United States; the remaining ten are from the Dominican Republic. Once selected for the program, the American teens travel to the Dominican Republic, where they meet their Dominican teammates for the first time. And for two weeks each summer, these participants work together each morning on a community service project in a Dominican community and play baseball together each afternoon.
While the teens do not always understand the language of their fellow teammates, over the course of the two weeks, they learn that their love of the game of baseball, and their understanding of the importance of community service can serve as a unifier of people of all backgrounds, and cultures.
The Red Sox created this Lindos Sueños in 2004, at the suggestion of a mom, fan, and philanthropist. The Red Sox Foundation funds the program.
More information about the program (including the program staff, photos from previous years' trips, and the application process) can be found by exploring this site. For additional questions, please contact [email protected].
2004: In the program's inaugural year, the American and Dominican teens together built a baseball field and a daycare center in the small Dominican village of El Mamón (which neighbors the Red Sox Dominican Academy).
2005: In the program's sophomore year, further improvements, physical and developmental, were made to the newly built baseball field and daycare center in El Mamón.
2006: In the program's third year, the group returned to El Mamón and worked on creating new uses of the field and daycare center.
2007: In the fourth year of the program, the participants ventured to an Oceanside town called Haina. The program chose this town in part because it is the hometown of both Red Sox great David Ortiz, and also the hometown of Jesus Alou, the Director of the Red Sox Dominican Academy. While in Haina, the participants made drastic renovations to an existing baseball field.
2008: In the fifth year, the participants worked at an orphanage in San Pedro de Macoris (a town known as "the hotbed of Dominican baseball"). There, the participants built a baseball field for the children to use.
The Lindos Sueños Program once again returned to the Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos Orphanage in San Pedro de Macoris, to complete work on the orphanage baseball field. The participants also led the children in group activities.
2010: In the seventh year, the participants worked at Futuro Vivo, a school for impoverished children living in and nearby Guerra. There the teens refurbished a baseball field. The participants also refurbished the tables and chairs the students use for their lunches.
2011: In the eighth year of the program, the teens returned to El Mamon, where they worked on four homes in the community - making them structurally sound for the families who live within them.