Escuela Caribe is a Christian reform school run by New Horizons Youth Ministries and is located in the Dominican Republic.
According to former students in a new documentary entitled “Kidnapped for Christ,” Escuela Caribe resembles a prison camp where teens are sent by their parents to get rid of gay feelings and other "ungodly" influences.
Escuela Caribe's program includes: studying the Bible study, very hard work and physical punishment, such as emptying water from a trash pit (pictured).
In the film's trailer (video below), several young people describe being suddenly woken up, dragged out of their home and eventually flown to the Dominican Republic with their Christian parents' permission.
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Julia Scheeres, an alumni of Escuela Caribe, calls the school a "dumping ground for wealthy evangelicals who have problem teenagers."
“They mess your mind up,” Deirdre Sugiuchi, a former Escuela Caribe student told RawStory.com. “The whole time I was down there I thought, ‘This is all going to be for the good, I must be living through this for something,’ but instead I came out incredibly traumatized.”
“When you start at zero level, you then had rules about who you could look at,” said Sugiuchi. “You couldn’t talk to members of the opposite sex until you were on second level and you had to fulfill a wide variety of requirements to move up.”
“At zero level, you’d have to be three feet away from a staff member or a supervisor at all times. You had to ask to go from room to room. It was insane,” added Sugiuchi. “Prisoners actually have more freedom than we had. The kids that were gay, most of the time they were picked on, and always kept on lower levels."
She also claims he kids are fed a diet of “sugar and fat" that "was in no way adequate to the amount of manual labor we were doing. We weren’t getting the nutrients we needed.”
“People get sent off to these places and it ruins them,” stated Sugiuchi. “I’m lucky. A lot of my friends have serious drug problems, broken relationships, broken lives, suicides, you name it.”
Escuela Caribe reportedly closed down, but later reopened as Crosswinds.