Pan y Vida Children Center began in 1996 reaching out to needy children in the community of Esperanza, located in San Pedro, Dominican Republic.  Founded by Isaias and Mercedes Nelson, they began initially by preparing breakfast for children in the community.  Within a year, a small, wooden church was built.  After being destroyed twice by hurricanes and storms, they were able to build a church of concrete block, and soon after a school was added.  Since then, the Center has grown significantly. They now have 150 children registered in their program.  The children receive classes in reading, writing, English and computer.  They also receive help and tutoring in other subjects.  2 meals a day (Monday-Friday) are served at the center.  They also provide regular medical check-ups for each child.