|Dates:||June 29 – July 11|
|Arrive:||New York, NY|
|Depart:||New York, NY|
|Grade||8th, 9th, 10th, 11th & 12th|
(Students Grouped According to Age)
*Airfare for group flight from New York additional
Learn More About Us
You May Also Like
- Lend a Hand Building Infrastructure in a Rural Batey Village
- Shower in the Natural Beauty of the “27 Waterfalls”
- Discover the Cobblestone Streets of Historic Santo Domingo
- Raft the Rushing Rapids of the Río Yaque
- Mentor and Inspire Students in La Mina Community
- Surf the Breaking Waves of Playa Encuentro
- Give Back to Local Schools with a Non-Profit Organization
- 30 Hours Community Service
La Mina Community
The Dominican Republic thrives on tourism. Situated inland, the community of La Mina lacks the ability to capitalize on the tourism industry, impeding their capability to make a decent wage. La Mina struggles to afford basic necessities and most families live in tin structures with dirt floors. Their school consists of one small room and accommodates everyone from toddlers to teens. Our focus in the Dominican Republic is to continue to make major improvements in La Mina while working alongside members of this community in need.
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. 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 and make real connections with the people of this colorful country.
Historic Santo Domingo
Our Dominican Republic summer service 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!
For our first service project, we partner with a highly regarded non-profit based in the costal town of Cabarete. Their 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.
Surfing and Waterfalls
In between our service work, 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.
“There was nothing Caroline didn’t like about this trip! Wonderful service, fun outdoor experiences and a great group of kids.”— Parents of Caroline W., Darien, CT, Dominican Republic Service
“Although she was sad to leave her adventure, she felt as though she had learned and accomplished so much.”— Parent of Raegan T., San Rafael, CA
“It was a great opportunity to help others and have fun at the same time!”— George E., Riverside, CT
“ARCC is so worth it. It is my 2nd year and it only gets better!”— Anna C., Rye, NY
“Immersing myself in the Dominican culture through ARCC was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I’ve come home feeling like I’ve really made an impact and now have the confidence to try new things even if they scare me at first.”— Leah N., Montoursville, PA
“She came home with a positive respect for the people she met, both Dominicans and her follow ARCC travelers.”— Parent of Ingrid B., Denver, CO
“It’s a life changing trip. The people and community service you complete is unforgettable.”— David S., Ardsley, NY
“If you are the least bit nervous or scared to go on this trip, I would highly recommend it because your fears and anxiety will go away right as you begin your adventure of a lifetime.”— Sophie P., Villanova, PA
“The trip met and exceeded his expectations, especially in terms of opportunities to interact with local people, speak Spanish, explore the country, and best of all, surf!”— Parents of Ben C., Cincinnati, OH, Dominican Republic Service
“He loved this trip. I have never seen him happier!”— Parents of Sam P., Philadelphia, PA, Dominican Republic Service
“Dominican Republic is an amazing place with amazing people, and with my incredible group, it was the trip of a lifetime.”— Lucy M., Nyack, NY
“I learned how welcoming the Dominican Republic people are and their love to help their neighbors.”— Katie C., Marblehead, MA
Group Journal Excerpts
Below you will find several Group Journal excerpts, written by ARCC students during the Dominican Republic Summer Service Program with ARCC:
27 Waterfalls to La Mina!
These last few days have been awesome!Our time at the 27 Waterfalls was a complete blast. We hiked for about an hour to our first waterfall, then walked, jumped, swam and slid our way through a beautiful canyon of waterfalls. Surfing was incredible as well! The conditions were perfect and everyone in the group did…
Full Day of Activities!
Hi ARCC Families! Just had a long talk with Alex in Jarabacoa! Sounds like the group is getting along famously! They had a great day of rafting and ropes course. Alex said that everyone loved their whitewater guides and they guided them through many drops and rapids. The ropes course was hard enough to be…
Hola from Cabarete!
The whole group arrived in Santo Domingo yesterday. We piled into our bus at the airport and got acquainted with our bus driver, Alex, who will be with us for the whole program. From there, we drove back into the city, got settled into our hotel, and walked a few blocks to La Plaza España…
Hola from the DR!
¡Hola! From Santo Domingo, the capital city of the Dominican Republic! Although we just met only a short two days ago, we already feel so connected to each other. Yesterday, our first full day, we jumped right into our community service in the small town of La Piedra. We were given a tour by our…
Most memorable moments!
Hello ARCC families! As our trip comes to a close, we all share our most memorable moments. We asked everyone what their most memorable moment has been of the past two weeks. Here it is!!! Sam: My most memorable moment was not on one day, but it was learning all about the DR and seeing…
Packed Few Days!
We have been very busy over the past few days! When we last checked in, we had just visited the small town of La Piedra for our first service project. Since then, we’ve explored historic Santo Domingo on a walking tour led by Conor and Shannon and visited the oldest cathedral in the New World!…
What is the packing list for this program?
Each program has a specific packing list that has been designed to fit the trip’s activities, length, climate and cultural differences. Please click here to view the Dominican Republic: Project Caribbean packing list.
What is the weather like in the Dominican Republic?
In the Dominican Republic, the weather is a lot like Florida in the summer time. During the day it can be hot, sunny and humid (80’s-90’s). Late afternoons often bring showers, which will cool us off. Some days you will go to bed with only a simple cover as it is often warm enough to sleep with a thin sheet. When we ascend into the high elevation of Jarabacoa, the temperature becomes cooler (in the 50’s at night).
What are the service projects like?
The specific service projects that each group will work on depend on the needs of the communities at the time that the groups are there. Possibilities include: teaching English; leading summer camp activities; making improvements to community buildings or schools; planting trees; environmental education and village clean-up.
What kind of health precautions should I take before traveling to Dominican Republic?
The Dominican Republic is a relatively clean and safe place to travel. However, ARCC does recommend that you take some health precautions before your trip. ARCC recommends, but does not require, that all students traveling to the DR be protected from Hepatitis A, Typhoid and that students take a malaria prophylaxis. When you enroll in the program, you will receive more detailed information on pertinent travel vaccinations and immunizations. Please also refer to the Traveler’s Health section of the CDC website by clicking here. Our leaders carry a full first-aid kit and are all certified Wilderness First Responders (WFR).
Where will we sleep?
During this adventure we sleep in a variety of hotels and retreat centers.
What is the transportation like once we are in the Dominican Republic?
We will be traveling in a 30-passenger private coach throughout this adventure. These private buses are equipped with seat-belts and air conditioning.
What is the food like?
We will have the opportunity to sample traditional local cuisine such as beans, rice, chicken and tropical fruit.
Vegetarians and medical dietary requirements (i.e. allergies) are catered for. It does help if we are informed of this prior to departure date.
How much spending money should I bring?
We suggest you bring about $75 per week on your trip. This is for souvenirs, laundry, and other incidentals. ARCC pays for all meals, lodging, transportation and activities. There is some time to shop for souvenirs in Santo Domingo and elsewhere during the trip.
We recommend you bring all of your money in cash. An ATM card is a good resource for additional money as needed. In the Dominican Republic, the official currency is the Dominican Peso, but US dollars are widely accepted. We suggest that you carry about $25 of your money in small denominations (1’s and 5’s). Visa and MasterCard are also widely accepted. Traveler’s cheques, although safer than cash, are often difficult to exchange in the areas in which we will travel. ATM’s are found in Santo Domingo, but are limited outside the city. At the time of writing, 1 US Dollar = 38 Pesos.
As with any international trip, we strongly recommend talking to your bank about its international withdrawal policies to avoid any surprise fees or card cancellations.
Do I need a passport?
Yes, all students traveling to the Dominican Republic need to have a valid passport. Please make sure the passport expiration date is at least six months after your trip start date. Be sure to make a photocopy of your passport and keep it in a separate place. If you lose your passport and you have a photocopy, it is much easier to replace.
Do I need a visa?
Yes. US and Canadian citizens will need a visa to enter the Dominican Republic and these can be bought for $10 once landing in country. The Dominican Republic also charges a $20 departure tax. Please bring both a $10 and $20 dollar bills to pay for both visa and departure tax.
What is the time difference between the Dominican Republic and the USA?
During the summer, the DR is on Caribbean Eastern Time. Therefore, on your trip the time in the Dominican Republic will be the same time as New York (Eastern Time) and 3 hours later than San Francisco (Pacific Time.)
Do I really need to bring a backpack, or can I bring a rolling suitcase on this program?
Although you will not be doing traditional backpacking on this trip, it is important that you bring a backpack or duffel as your main piece of luggage. During the trip the group will be navigating through airports, getting on and off buses, going up and down stairways and escalators and taking short walks. The group will be able to move much more efficiently if everyone is able to carry their luggage.
Do I need to speak Spanish to join this program?
No. English is widely spoken in the Dominican Republic and your leaders and local guides will be bilingual.