With its white sand beaches, turquoise waters, pristine waterfalls and lush mountain landscapes, the Dominican Republic is the ideal Caribbean destination. Embrace a culture rich in history. Get off the beaten path to explore the island as a local and see why the Dominican people are known for their generosity and spirit. Lend a hand with a building project in a rural Batey village. Connect with local school children acting as a camp counselor in a local summer camp. Swim in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean and raft through lush tropical valleys. Spend time wandering the cobblestone streets and colorful facades of Santo Domingo, the oldest colonial town in the Americas.
Historic Santo Domingo
Our program starts in the capital city of Santo Domingo. Known as the oldest city in the New World, we soak in the colonial charm and history by wandering the cobblestoned streets, open parks and restored mansions. After a thorough orientation by a local Dominican historian, we are ready to explore this tropical island country!
Jarabacoa Rafting and Ropes Course
Boasting the highest peaks and biggest rivers in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic is a natural playground. Throughout our two week program, we not only have time to explore the world renowned and pristine beaches, but also participate in a handful of other adventure activities. We spend time rafting the Class III+ Rio Yaque River, paddling into the foaming whitewater. After cooling off in the river, we are able to challenge ourselves on an exhilarating high ropes course by climbing high above the jungle canopy. The mountain town of Jarabacoa is an adventures dream!
The DREAM Project Service
For our first service project, we partner with a highly regarded non-profit based in the costal town of Cabarete. The DREAM Project’s goal is to “break the cycle of poverty and change people’s destinies,” something they have had great success with so far. This organization has connections in over 20 local villages and has built libraries, started school programs and organized adult job training programs, among many other community projects. For three days, we immerse ourselves in village life, living alongside our hosts as we provide valuable assistance to local families.
Cabarete Surfing and Waterfalls
In between our work with the DREAM Project, we have a chance to hang-ten on the famous surfing beach of Playa Encuentro. We are taught the basics of the art of surfing and spend time with our instructors catching the Dominican waves. Finally, a visit to the Dominican Republic is not complete without playing in the island’s multiple waterfalls. We visit all 27 of the waterfalls of “Damajagua” and enjoy a day swimming, sliding, climbing and jumping in these aquamarine pools.
La Mina Service
We spend three days bettering the lives of the children in a small community in the hills above Cabarete called La Mina. Our service here is two-fold. The local village school for young children in La Mina is located next to a very busy road, which has posed a danger to these young students. We learn basic construction skills and apply them to our project, constructing a wall to surround this one-room school house. After completing the wall, we organize and run a mini-summer camp for the children. After our three days at La Mina, the children will have a safer school and an admiration for their new “camp counselors.” Connections between campers and counselors makes this profound service work a highlight for all.
We say goodbye to our friends in La Mina and make our way back to the bustling city of Santo Domingo. We celebrate our accomplishments and friendships made on our last two weeks with a closing ceremony and a Final Feast of traditional Dominican cuisine.