Darlington School: 6 Things You’ll Get to Do in the Dominican Republic this Fall
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6 Things You’ll Get to Do in the Dominican Republic this Fall

Reid Owens | June 20, 2018 | 866 views

Are you looking for a unique cultural experience that combines both exploration and service to others? Consider coming with me to the Dominican Republic during Thanksgiving Break for a nine day community service and cultural immersion trip.

Here are six things that you'll experience on this amazing adventure:

1. Spend time in nature
In Jarabacoa, you’ll hike to waterfalls and work in remote communities helping locals gain access to running water. In Bayahibe, you’ll visit a national park, take a catamaran to a uninhabited tropical island, and snorkel the Caribbean for starfish.

2. Connect
Throughout the trip, you’ll connect with your classmates, teachers, program leaders and local community members as you work alongside each other for a common goal whether it’s digging a ditch to connect an aqueduct, mixing cement for a cement home or floor, or taking a break and enjoying the beach and Caribbean climate.

3. Gain a broader global perspective
Did you know that the Dominican Republic shares an island (archipelago) with Haiti? Did you know that sugar cane workers in the Dominican Republic subsist on only $2 wages per day? Did you know that in 2013 the Dominican Republic revoked the citizenship of thousands of citizens of foreign descent violating international law and the United Nations’ Declaration on Human Rights? On this trip you’ll have the opportunity to learn about not just one but two countries, cultures, and histories. In the end, you’ll learn that some of the issues affecting other countries aren’t really that different than the ones that we face at home.

4. Complete over a year’s worth of community service hours (20-25)
During the trip, you will spend five days participating in community service and exchange activities in collaboration with local community members and organizations designed to help you learn more about the local area where you will be visiting. The projects will be challenging and you will learn about issues that affect local and global populations. Don’t worry, it won’t be all work and no play. You will have breaks and beach time with plenty of time to enjoy yourself and those around you.


5. Help others 
Do you have running water in your home? Do you have a clean place to use the bathroom? Do you have to worry about a leaky roof when it rains or that your floor might wash away? Many people in developing countries around the world (including the Dominican Republic) don’t have the luxury of running water, electricity, or even a clean, safe place to sleep. You will be contributing to community service projects that are designed to have an immediate and lasting impact on developing communities.

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6. Learn and use another language
What better way to use the language skills that you have been learning that to travel to a place where it is spoken? You will be working in communities where both Spanish and French/Creole will be spoken and understood. Don’t worry if you aren’t sure about a specific word or phrase as your program leader will be there to help guide you along the way.

Who should go?
This program is perfect for the following students: 

  • Students that need community service hours. You can earn 20-25 total hours on infrastructure projects like water access, sanitation, and safety (housing, flooring, etc.). 
  • Students that are completing a course in International Relations, Spanish, Human Geography, World History, or Comparative Government
  • Students that are interested in human rights issues
  • Students that are interested in traveling to a Caribbean island and spending time on an uninhabited island during Fall/Thanksgiving break

What?
A nine day community service and cultural immersion trip to the Dominican Republic. Students will be able to complete 20-25 hours of community service, travel by catamaran to a tropical island, hike to waterfalls, and get to know the history and culture of the Dominican Republic.

When?
During Fall/Thanksgiving Break - Nov. 17-26, 2018

Where?
Students will visit the Central Highland Region of the Dominican Republic (Jarabacoa) to work on water access projects (aqueducts or black water treatment plants) before traveling south to the sugar cane fields of the Hato Mayor Province (Monte Coca) to work on infrastructure projects (cement homes, floors, latrines). After five days of hard work students will head east to Bayahibe where they will travel by catamaran to Isla Saona. The following day they’ll return to the capital, Santo Domingo and visit the UNESCO World Heritage designated town before returning home.

Why?
To offer a unique opportunity to Darlington students to broaden their global mindset and worldview, gain a different perspective, and dive in to critical issues that are affecting people in our local and global communities.

How Much? 
Program cost - $2,075 (plus airfare - $901)

(Cost includes transportation, meals, and accommodations but does not include snacks or souvenirs.)

Want more information?
Click here to visit the official trip website and to get started or send me an e-mail with your specific questions.