Sister Carol with a group of students who recently earned certificates in English as a Second Language (ESL).

Providence in the Desert is a grassroots ministry formed by the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, 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 (ESL) 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. Sister Loretta Picucci, SP, joined the ministry the following year. The Sisters are presently assisted by part-time teachers and other volunteers. Most classes are taught in the evenings at locations most easily reached by the students (e.g., in the students’ homes or at nearby schools).

Providence in the Desert also offers music instruction to children and helps with students’ material needs when possible.

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 email at cnolansp@hotmail.com. Providence in the Desert’s mailing address is 48665 Agua Caliente, Coachella, CA 92236.

Providence in the Desert
Advisory Board Members:

PND Advisory Board and Friends, March 2017

Shown above are the Advisory Board members for Providence in the Desert. Without their loyal support, Providence in the Desert would not be able to do our good work.

  • Delia Alvarez
  • Josefina Andrade
  • April Bradley
  • Don (Brad) Bradley
  • Emma Contreras
  • Dora Flores
  • Margarita Gamez
  • Martha Langarica
  • Carol Nolan, SP
  • Frank Orlett
  • Gloria Perez
  • Loretta Picucci, SP
  • Lorena Tellez
  • Mike Veto