Providence in the Desert is a grassroots ministry formed by Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind., who saw poverty and need among a group of God’s people and stepped in to provide hope and offer support, primarily through education.
Providence in the Desert provides English as a Second Language instruction for adults, music lessons for children and other services as needed. The program serves immigrant farm worker families living in the Thermal/Mecca area of the desert in southern California. Most of the families live in isolated trailer parks, many of which are substandard.
Sister Carol Nolan, SP, established Providence in the Desert in 2002. She gives violin and guitar lessons to children and teaches music to five third-grade classes in the local schools. Sister Carol, Sister Loretta Picucci, SP, and Sister Concetta Bañez, SP, all teach English, offering both daytime and evening classes in students’ homes. Providence in the Desert is also currently assisted by two paid lay teachers, one of whom is also a student. The ministry is working to identify other students in the program capable of learning to teach English.
Providence in the Desert also receives and distributes donations of clothing, furniture, supplies and food and, when possible, facilitates assistance with medical and legal needs.
Providence in the Desert became a division of Guerin Outreach Ministries in September 2008.
For more information, contact Sister Carol Nolan, SP, at 760-347-3937 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Providence in the Desert’s mailing address is 48665 Agua Caliente, Coachella, CA 92236.
Members of the Providence in the Desert Advisory Board are Josefina Andrade, Delia Alvarez, April Bradley,Don (Brad) Bradley, Emma Contreras, Dora Flores, Margarita Gamez, Martha Langarica, Frank Orlett, Gloria Perez, Lorena Tellez, Mike Veto, Carol Nolan, SP; Loretta Picucci, SP