La Plata, Puerto Rico, was the location of Civilian Public Service Camp Unit No. 43, which was approved in June 1942 and closed in March 1947. Operated jointly by the Brethren Service Committee and the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), it served under the Puerto Rican Reconstruction Administration (P.R.R.A.) in the area of public health. In April 1943 the MCC, upon the invitation of the Church of the Brethren, approved the establishment of its own service unit under CPS No. 43 in Puerto Rico and in the following month sent its first workers to this assignment. Cooperating with the P.R.R.A., the Mennonites first undertook medical work, opened a clinic in December, and in August opened the 24-bed La Plata hospital which they had built. In addition the Mennonite unit opened clinics in four outlying districts and offered dental services. The second part of the work consisted of community service, particularly the direction of recreational activities. When in 1947 the P.R.R.A. liquidated its program in the La Plata area, the Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities, Elkhart, Indiana, purchased the property. The Mission Board not only operated the La Plata hospital but built churches and other institutions. In 1955 there were 267 members in 12 Mennonite churches and missions on the island, all an outgrowth of the work begun by the Mennonite Central Committee in 1943.
Gingerich, Melvin. Service for Peace: A History of Mennonite Civilian Public Service. Akron, PA: Mennonite Central Committee, 1949: 263-270.
Holsinger, Justus. Serving Rural Puerto Rico. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1952.
Cite This Article
Gingerich, Melvin. "Civilian Public Service Camp (La Plata, Puerto Rico)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1958. Web. 26 Jul 2016. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Civilian_Public_Service_Camp_(La_Plata,_Puerto_Rico)&oldid=55733.
Gingerich, Melvin. (1958). Civilian Public Service Camp (La Plata, Puerto Rico). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 26 July 2016, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Civilian_Public_Service_Camp_(La_Plata,_Puerto_Rico)&oldid=55733.
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