VOLUNTEERING IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
There are four very important things in Dominican culture: family, music, religion and food. The towns of Samaná and Las Terrenas are scenic, quiet and peaceful places, with nice and welcoming people.
We can say that it is one of the most authentic countries in Latin America for international volunteering.
There are many realities and challenges that are not often seen in countries like the Dominican Republic. Therefore, the programs not only give you the opportunity to get involved, but also allow you to broaden your perspective when working with children, youth and the community.
One of the main objectives of the socio-educational inclusion volunteering programme is to enhance the competences and skills of children and young people with special needs.
Every day with the support of volunteers and local staff we are building and creating support for the most vulnerable communities, with the aim of providing information to families on the importance of being involved in the education, therapy and social inclusion of their children.
REQUIREMENTS FOR VOLUNTEERING IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
To participate in an international volunteer program with Adventure Volunteer, it’s necessary that all interested volunteers meet some minimum requirements, such as:
- Age: You must be of legal age.
- Training or experience: It’s not necessary to be an expert or have all the experience of the world. What we are looking for are volunteers who are eager to help and to dedicate a bit of their time to activities that help in the development of vulnerable children, youth, women and communities.
- Time: We require your participation to be at least 2 weeks, since the schools and animal centres that we work with require our support in a continuous manner.
- As a volunteer, you are expected to be empathetic, communicative, responsible, and capable of adapting and working in a team.
WHERE WILL I BE DURING MY VOLUNTEER WORK?
During your volunteer work you will live in Samaná, the projects are conveniently located, and you only need a few minutes to get to the facilities where the projects are developed.
You will be very close to the promenade, where there are many restaurants, bars and shops.
WHEN CAN YOU COLLABORATE ON VOLUNTEER PROJECTS IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC?
Volunteer programs in the Dominican Republic are open all year round. Some programs, such as teaching programs, may suffer some variation in the starting dates, according to the school calendar. All volunteers are requested to collaborate in the projects from Monday to Friday between 4 and 5 hours a day.
- The work in the different volunteer programs starts from 8:00 to 17:00 hours. Please note that the schedule may vary depending on the project in which you participate.
Generally, volunteers use the weekend to get to know the country or go on some excursions.
ARRIVAL AT YOUR DESTINATION
Upon arrival in the Dominican Republic you will be welcomed by the responsible coordinator or driver of the organization. They speak Spanish and English fluently and are very helpful, patient and friendly. They will be waiting for you with a sign with your name on the way out and will take you to the place where you will be staying.
You will have an orientation and induction day during which we will tell you the basic rules of the volunteer or family house and the place where it is located. In addition to the explanation of the program to be developed.
You will have a room that you will share with other volunteers of the same gender. In the apartments for volunteers the WIFI connection is available. You have access to all the common areas.
Depending on where you stay, the breakfast schedule varies. You will be informed on the day of the orientation.
It is important that you arrive in the Dominican Republic before 15:45, because the last bus to Samana leaves at 17:00. In case you arrive after that time, you must stay overnight in Santo Domingo and the next day our taxi driver will pick you up at the place where you are staying that night.
Only the yellow fever vaccine is obligatory (in theory it is only for people who have passed through countries at risk). You should also check with the embassy of each country weeks before flying, as they require you to show your vaccination card.
VISA TO ENTER DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
As of April 2018, the entry tax to the Dominican Republic is $10, (previously known as a tourist card).
This fee is charged at the airport on the day of your departure:
- 30 days to 89 days -42.52
- 03 to 09 months – 68 P
- 09 months to 12 months – 85
You can pay either in cash or with a card, although it is better to have the cash, in case there is any electronic error when passing the card through the dataphone.
When leaving the country, your airline may charge you an exit tax of 20$, or 20 euros or 1100 RD$.
Normally the airlines also include this tax in the price of the plane ticket, but in some cases you have to pay this tax physically at the airport. We recommend that you check with your airline when you buy your tickets.
SECURITY IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
The organization does everything possible to ensure that our volunteers remain safe during their stay in the Dominican Republic. However, we recommend you:
- Be cautious
- Check things out
- Ask a question
- Learn about your neighborhood
- Know where the riskiest places are
- Use common sense and be aware
Other tips to keep in mind:
- Make copies of your passport, insurance and emergency contact.
- Don’t put money/phone on the table, be careful.
- Keep a low profile. Don’t display what you own in public (especially expensive electronics).
- Don’t hand out money. If the needy ask you for money, don’t give it to them, ask them what they need (e.g. milk), go to the supermarket and give it to them.
- If you go out at night, call a taxi, walk on well-lit streets with other people around you.
- We strongly recommend that volunteers do not drink alcohol (in the projects). As all our volunteers are +18 adults, we expect you to consume responsibly, in a safe environment and with people you know. When you drink in the city, please exercise responsibility and good judgment, as you are not only representing your own country, but also the reputation of the Adventure Volunteer association, including all other volunteers and staff. Please make sure you are not intoxicated or hung over while working, and especially when in contact with children.
- Drug use is prohibited and severely punished in the Dominican Republic. Therefore, it is also strongly forbidden in the projects and accommodations of the organization.
HOST FAMILY ACCOMMODATION
The experience of living in a Dominican house is very positive, in a close and safe place.
They are located near the projects and some beaches in the Dominican Republic. The rooms are single or double. It also has common areas that you can use.
- This type of accommodation does not include meals, but you do have access to internet (Wifi).
As soon as you arrive in the country, the coordinator will take you to the homestay. Depending on the time you arrive in the country, you will be given an induction and orientation about the place and the program.
For more information about the costs, you can consult in each program.
The contribution in the volunteer projects in the Dominican Republic for a period of 14 days is 385€ and with the tax deduction you will only pay 182.75€
You will be able to deduct approximately 45% of the total economic contribution to the program by means of the tax certificate that we will give you.
WHAT IS INCLUDED?
- Airport pick-up
- Accommodation in volunteer apartments
- Orientation and induction day
- 24/7 support from the Adventure Volunteer team
- Programme monitoring and evaluation meeting
- CR and accident insurance
- Volunteer certificate at the end
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED?
- Flight to Dominican Republic
- Visa, if necessary
- Health Insurance (mandatory)
- Internal transport
- Return to the airport on the last day
- Special drinks or meals
- Travelling in or out of the country
We remind you that the value of the donation can be deducted from your full income tax liability, up to a limit of 10% of the taxable base.
- Donations up to 150 :(donation equal to or less than 150), the deduction will be 80%
- Donations over 150 euros: (donation over 150 ?), will be 35% and 40% if made for more than 3 years in a row of the same value or more to the same association.
NOTE: There is a deduction from the IRPF for donations made to non-profit organisations under Law 49/2002, of 23 December. established in Articles 68.3, 69.1 IRPF Law and 69.2 Regulations. Royal Decree-Law 17/2020 of 5 May. (refunds are made in the year following payment). As a donation, the 150 euros initially contributed are not refundable.