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SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – The Mariners are making a difference off the field in the home country of several of their players.

The Mariners franchise has spent more than $10 million creating and developing an academy for young men. The players are invited in, live in onsite dorms, are given three square meals a day, and are provided an education. The Dominican Republic, by all accounts, is underserved by the high school system in particular.

The academy, not far from Boca Chica, is also a half hour away from where Robinson Cano grew up. The Mariners star also funded a Montessori school in one of the poorest neighborhoods in his hometown.

Mariners All Star Nelson Cruz is also giving back to his hometown of Las Matas de Santa Cruz, with an assist from Seattle.

Look for stories and updates from the Dominican Republic throughout the week from reporter Chris Daniels and photojournalist Ty Nguyen, and how Seattle's Mariners are giving back.