Advancing Together With Barrick Gold

People From the communities, for the communities

Meet some of the people behind the successful sustainability initiatives Barrick has implemented in partnership with the communities in the Dominican Republic

What are the most pressing needs in the community? What projects should be prioritized? How will they become a reality? Finding the answers to these questions, which lie at the core of successful sustainability initiatives, is what Barrick’s Community Relations team does. Led by Faby Manzano, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Pueblo Viejo, they work unfathomable hours every day to ensure the voices of the communities – communities where many of them were born, raised and continue to live with their families − are heard. They are the foot soldiers of community engagement whose work fortifies the partnerships that are so critical to sustainable development.

We invite you to meet some of the people behind Pueblo Viejo’s community relations success.

Faby Manzano
Director of Corporate Social Responsibility

Born in… Santo Domingo
Joined the Pueblo Viejo team in… 2007

I’m extremely proud of my team. They’re all from the communities that surround the Pueblo Viejo operation, and they’re living proof of the talent that abounds in the region. Everything they’ve achieved so far shows that communities can effect positive change when they’re empowered to do it, and when they have the right tools to get the job done. No one but local residents can fully understand the real needs, concerns, beliefs and specific groups that shape a community. That’s why success in corporate social responsibility is almost guaranteed when everyone in your team comes from one of the communities, and when everyone has the passion and enthusiasm to do the work, as the people in Pueblo Viejo’s Corporate Social Responsibility team do.

Cecilia Lissette Cerda Rodriguez
Administrative Coordinator

Born in… Cotuí, Sanchez Ramirez Province
Joined the Pueblo Viejo team in… 2012

Being able to see first-hand the positive impact that our team’s work has in our communities is extremely rewarding. I’ve witnessed how the capacity-building programs we execute have helped people in our communities develop skills that advance their economic goals and careers outside the mining industry. I also feel proud of being part of a team that has been involved in the construction of many infrastructure projects in Cotui and Zambrana that the municipalities may not have been able to build without Barrick’s support.

A core element of our community relations approach has always been respect. Respect for people’s opinions and people’s needs. Based on that respect, we strive to provide accurate and timely information. We always keep the lines of communication open, because we know we’re an important ally in our communities’ constant efforts to develop sustainably.

Jahaziel Serrano Munoz
Corporate Social Responsibility Coordinator

Born in… Cotuí, Sanchez Ramirez Province
Joined the pueblo Viejo team in… 2012

One of the most challenging aspects of my job is the fact that many times I must assume the role of mediator: a mediator between the authorities and community residents. Sometimes when the Company commits to support a certain number of projects, there’s a disagreement between the authorities and the communities at large on which projects should receive funding first. Through circumstances like these I’ve learned to become a listener. I listen to people’s concerns on both sides, and that allows me to find a common ground from which we can advance initiatives that benefit everyone. This also creates a sense of ownership, because residents realize that their opinions are taken into account when it comes to how the Company invests in their communities.

Ana Ibelka Reyes
Administrative Supervisor of Educational Programs

Born in… Maimon, Monseñor Nouel Province
Joined the pueblo Viejo team in… 2010

One of the things we want to achieve through our community relations initiatives is to change people’s mindsets; to help them realize that they can be the owners of their success and the development of their community. That can be a difficult task sometimes. But we face it with pride and enthusiasm every day, because little by little we’ve been able to show many community residents that their future is truly in their hands and that we, as a Company, are there as a catalyzer.

To change mindsets you need to earn people’s trust, and that’s something we’ve done over the years. Within our team, we are like a family. We always support each other, work as a true team and help one another to overcome any challenge. This spirit transcends our offices; it’s contagious. When we walk into the communities with that attitude, we’re able to establish very positive relationships. People in the communities share stories from their everyday lives, because they know we care.

Ivet Nayelyn Viloria Hernandez
Social Monitoring Coordinator

Born in… Cotuí, Sanchez Ramirez Province
Joined the Pueblo Viejo team in… 2012

Seeing that expression of happiness and amusement on a child’s face when they first hold a laptop in their hands is priceless, especially when you know they come from very poor communities where computer education rates are very low. I think it’s probably one of the initiatives I feel most proud ofthe One Laptop per Child program the Company launched in 2015. Programs like this highlight an important aspect of the work we do: engaging in dialogue with the communities to understand their needs.

Corporate Social Responsibility is not a cookie-cutter discipline: you can’t pick it up straight from a book, drop it in a community you don’t understand and expect it to work. You can have a theory but it has to be adapted; it has to be based on the needs of the people you’re engaging with. That’s why we focus on getting to know our communities first, on meeting our neighbors, and on understanding the particular circumstances at each of the communities.

Welinton Otanez
Corporate Social Responsibility Supervisor

Born in… Cotuí, Sanchez Ramirez Province
Joined the Pueblo Viejo team in… 2009

We don’t just walk into a community with a magical formula, pretending that it will solve every issue. What we do, instead, is partner with local leaders and community organizations to craft a development plan that benefits the communities. Doing so has allowed us to forge strong bonds with community residents, who see us as peers when we sit at the table to discuss important matters.

I believe that an important factor in the success we’ve achieved so far is the trust we’ve earned within the Barrick Pueblo Viejo family. All departments within our organization value our work and understand the importance of what we do. They engage our team whenever needed and they support us when we need their expertise.