VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS 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 in Dominican Republic.
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 volunteer program in the Dominican Republic is to enhance the competences and skills of children and young people with special needs, as well as provide a basic education to children without any disability.
SOCIAL EMPOWERMENT (STALLED DUE TO COVID-19)
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 volunteering in Dominican Republic with Adventure Volunteer, it’s necessary that all interested volunteers meet some minimum requirements, such as:
- Age: 18 years or older
- 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 IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC?
During your volunteer program in Dominican Republic 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 I 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 8am to 5pm. 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 3:45pm, because the last bus to Samana leaves at 5pm. 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.
There are no mandatory restrictions to enter the Dominican Republic. Some airlines though request the following information:
- Medical certificate with negative COVID-19 result issued no later than 5 days prior to arrival
- Mandatory form filled out
- Checked baggage
- Hand sanitizer gel
VISA TO ENTER DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
As of April 2018, the entry tax to the Dominican Republic is $10, (previously known as a tourist card).
This fee is charged at the airport on the day of your departure:
- 30 days to 89 days – €42.52
- 3 to 9 months – €68
- 9 months to 12 months – €85
You can pay either in cash or with a card, although it is better to have the cash, in case there is any electronic error when passing the card through the dataphone.
When leaving the country, your airline may charge you an exit tax of 20$, 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 questions
- 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.
This type of accommodation does not provide you with meals, but you do have access to internet (Wifi), washing machine, and the kitchen for your use. As soon as you arrive in the country, the local coordinator will take you to the guesthouse accommodation. Depending on the time you arrive in the country, you will be given an induction and orientation of the place and the program.
For more information about the costs (€385 – 2 weeks), you can check each program.
The contribution in the volunteer projects in the Dominican Republic for a period of 14 days is 415€.
From this amount you will be able to deduct about 45% in your next income tax return.
WHAT IS INCLUDED?
- Airport welcome
- Accommodation in volunteer apartments
- Orientation and induction day
- 24/7 support from the Adventure Volunteer team
- Program monitoring and evaluation meeting
- CR and accident insurance
- Volunteer certificate at the end
- Guidance, advice and management in choosing your program
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED?
- Flight to Dominican Republic
- Visa, if necessary
- Health Insurance (mandatory)
- Internal transportation and excursions
- 1st night at the hostel
- Special drinks or meals
- Traveling in or out of the country