Summer and Spring Break Volunteer Programs in the Dominican Republic

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About

Come join us in the Dominican republic to dive deep into environmental sustainability issues and develop leadership skills to address humanity's greatest environmental challenges.

GLA offers multiple Service Learning Adventures in the Dominican Republic, from environmental conservation, to sports, and medicine & public health programs.

• Building a Sustainable World: Tackle environmental challenges through sustainable service.
• Global Health Initiative: Apply your interest in health and humanitarianism and help bring medical care to rural communities.
• Caribbean Service Adventure: Volunteer your time and energy to an island-in-need while living on the coast.
• Sports Service Adventure: Combine your passion for sports and service while working to improve living conditions in Dominican communities.
• Spring Break Service Adventure: Kick your spring break up a notch with a service project.
• International Development Initiative: Examine the management structure and impact of NGOs.

Questions & Answers

No! I signed up alone and had never met any of the people that were going to be in the same group as me. If you want you can sign up to go with someone you know but personally I think it makes the trip more fun to go alone because then you get to meet new people.
During my trip, they ensured safety by having mentors and group leaders supervise students. They also had students travel in groups for things like the bathroom. We were almost always under the supervision of the staff and when we weren't, we were in groups. Safety pertaining to the program was not an issue when I went abroad this summer. I hope this helped!
Hi Yvonne, GLA has listed $1,799 for 1 week or $4,699 for 3 weeks

Reviews

99%
based on 32 reviews
  • Growth 9.8
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.2
  • Housing 9.6
  • Safety 9.9
  • Program Selection 9
  • Pre-departure Help 10
  • In-program Support 10
  • Impact on Student 9
  • Value 10
Showing 1 - 15 of 32
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Zoe
10/10

Best Experience of My Life

I have been on 3 trips with GLA and every single one has made a incredibly lasting impact on my life. Last summer, I went on the Building a Sustainable World Program to the Dominican Republic. I cannot rave enough about the 3 weeks I spent there. The staff, home base, activities, lectures, and service projects were all amazing. We worked on several different projects during my session including building a bottle room onto a local school, constructing an addition onto the Haitian-Dominican Center to become a pharmacy, and repairing water tanks in a rural community. This particular GLA program involved a lot of physical activity and teamwork. We all learned how to mix a mean batch of cement! In addition to the service, which we did in the morning most days, we also had tons of fun activities planned in the community and occasionally some free time at the base, which we sometimes used to walk to the nearby beach. Some of the activities included exploring caves with Taino drawings, visiting the bustling market on the Haitian border, going swimming, hiking up a mountain to a waterfall, and doing a scavenger hunt in a nearby city. We also usually had some sort of lecture, documentary, or discussion every night, which were actually really interesting and changed the way I look at a lot of things like the effectiveness of different types of charity. Most 3 week GLA trips also have a getaway for about three days and on this one we went helped repair water tanks in a rural mountain community, where the altitude was so high that we were actually living in the clouds.

Some of my favorite parts of the trip were the spontaneous things that can't be planned in an itinerary. My roommates and I bonded so well that every night we talked for hours until a mentor begged us to go to sleep. One morning we realized that we didn't have any fruit so on the way to service we stopped on the side of the road and bought a huge watermelon that we sliced up and shared. I truly value all of the relationships I made with everyone on my trip and I will never forget the incredible experience that we shared.

The only note I would make is to make sure that your child is emotionally and socially mature enough to go on this trip. This is not a summer camp or just a place to send your kid off to for the summer; it's about learning to make a difference and it's very important to have the social skills and maturity to do so.

How can this program be improved?
None!
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Sarah Grace
10/10

Global Leadership Adventure... LIFECHANGING.

This previous July, I took a two week service trip to the Dominican Republic with Global Leadership Adventures, and participated in their Global Health Initiative program. The experience was absolutely life changing. The home base we stayed at for our two weeks in Barahona, Dominican Republic was beautiful. The living conditions were above average, and I was so comfortable the duration of the stay. The mentors and directors are some of the nicest, most genuine people I have ever met. They are willing and able to help with any problems you may have, whether it be related to the program or not. The educational part of the program was amazing. I have an entire notebook filled with interesting facts I learned about the Dominican culture, memories I made, notes, and graphs. We even had the opportunity to have an organized debate on universal healthcare. Every night, we would finish up our day of service and adventures with a lecture, followed by mentor groups, where we would just sit and talk, unwind, and become closer as a Global Leadership Adventures family. For anyone interested in going on a Global Leadership Adventures trip, I would 100% recommend this company. I've never had a more rewarding experience. A+ for GLA!

How can this program be improved?
I honestly could not think of a single way I could have changed this program. Everything was just unbelievable. I would go back in a heartbeat.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Emma
10/10

Global Health Initiative

This program is perfect for any high schoolers who have a passion for travel and medicine. I highly recommend taking this trip if you are interested in medicine because Global Leadership Adventures allows you to work with nurses and doctors, as well as take vitals and provide pharmaceutical assistance to the patients. The program gives you an immersive experience that teaches students what medicine is like outside of the United States. The program will also allow you to realize whether or not medicine and public health are the right career paths for you. Outside of service, the lectures taught by GLA staff are phenomenal. You will learn about the economic, political and social cultures of the country, including the state of the country's public health system. As for home base life, the hotel that I stayed in was gorgeous and the food was delicious. GLA staff did a marvelous job of insuring that students feel safe and included in the group at all times. 11/10!

How can this program be improved?
I just wish I could have stayed longer!
Yes, I recommend this program
AJ
10/10

Absolutely Perfect

This program has taught me so much! I have been on two trips with GLA and they have had such a huge impact on me and my veiw of the world. It is such a transformative experience and it is so much fun!! I cannot think of a better way to spend my summer than with fellow teenagers having an adventure in a new country and volunteering. Thank you so much for the great experince GLA!! I wouldn't change I thing and I am so happy with the friends I made and the things I did abroad.
-AJ

How can this program be improved?
Not at all.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Lola
10/10

Global Health Initiative in Dominican Republic

This trip left me totally inspired and motivated. I have a new love for Dominican and the people there, it is just gorgeous. We spent a lot of time in the communities setting up pop-up clinics, and helping with the construction of labs and clinics. It sparked my interest in nursing and I was able to learn a lot from shadowing the doctors there and taking notes.
What I liked was that it was away from all the tourism, you got to see more of the raw, real Dominican. I have a friend that went on vacation to Dominican, and our trips turned out to be very different. I was happy I got to see the real thing, and learn about the struggles the communities face. It is also interesting to actually be there and not fully relying on different forms of media to tell you what its like. You get to actually be there!
I do wish that I had practised more spanish before the trip. Although I was able to still communicate through motions and pointing, it would be totally different if I could actually speak that language. It was an overall amazing experience.

How can this program be improved?
More clinic days would be nice.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Dana
10/10

Dominican Republic 10-Day Beachside Service Adventure 2016

My name is Grace Lee and I was fortunate enough to have gone on the 10-Day Beachside Service Adventure in the Dominican Republic with Global Leadership Adventures, this past summer. I was a 15 year old and had just finished my freshman year of high school when I embarked on an experience that would change my life forever. Before, the DR I had never traveled internationally alone and had no idea what to expect. To calm many of your nerves, regardless of what your parents tell you about traveling internationally, it is something you figure out on your own. Luckily, when you sign up for your Global Leadership Adventures' program they provide you with a list of all the other kids in your program with their address, phone number, email, and most importantly their flights information. This allows you and your family to coordinate flights with the other kids on your trip, which is very helpful if you are uneasy about traveling solo. Global Leadership Adventures also sends you a shirt, an information booklet about your program, and a sticker before your trip. You wear the shirts on the day of travel, so you can find other kids from your program in the airport and your mentors once you arrive in the country. Also Global Leadership Adventures is very helpful and will provide clear answers to any questions or clarification one may have. Global Leadership Adventures is an amazing organization and I highly recommend it to any teen interested in volunteering abroad.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Dana
9/10

GLA- Dominican Republic- Being the Change through service

My 15 year old daughter Grace attended the Dominican Republic Beach Side Service Adventure in July 2016. This experience changed her for the better. Getting her outside of "the bubble" of East Grand Rapids, MI was such a blessing. In our town the kids live in comfort & privilege often taking it for granted. In the DR Grace was able to meet and make relationships with the local adults as well as children. These relationships were her favorite part of the trip. Not only was she able to communicate using her Spanish speaking skills, she was also able to connect to the humanity that binds us all. She found that these people though financially poor were rich of heart, love and zest for life. Grace learned a wealth beyond money that until that trip she had not experienced in a way that transformed her view of money and people. This experience was such a blessing to her, to our family, and now to her leadership skills and desire to serve our local community & our world. Thanks Global Leadership Adventures.

How can this program be improved?
More communication about what the kids are taught, books recommended, and ways to take service & leadership back home.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Ellie
10/10

The Best Time of My Life

At first i was scared to go on a Global Leadership Adventure trip, knowing that i didn't know anyone going and would probably be one of the youngest ones on the trip. Looking back, if I were to not go on the trip because I was too scared or nervous, I would have hated myself for it. My trip was the best thing I've done in my life and literally changed my life. The people down in the DR are the most welcoming and friendly you will find, with great support of the staff. I made life long friendships with people from ALL over the world. This trip was one for the books and it will never be forgotten! I encourage everyone do a GLA trip!

Yes, I recommend this program
Julia
10/10

Ten Day Beach Side Service in the Dominican Republic with Global Leadership Adventures

On my service trip to the Dominican Republic we built a house out of recycled bottles for a family of nine. We spent five days working very hard on the house. Even though the family could not speak English we were able to grow close to them. It was a very humbling experience working on this house. The house was the size of a small living room and had only two rooms and then a bathroom. Nine people were going to live in this house and they thought it was a mansion compared to what they were living in. One day myself and another girl in my group were able to cook with the mother in the house and her mother. Even though they did not have a lot they were the happiest people I have ever met. Luckily for me the girl in my group that cooked with me could speak fluent English, so she was able to translate for me. They told us how thankful they were and showed us so much love. I think every teenager should experience the feeling of knowing you are doing something good for another person and to feel like they can make a change.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Catherine
10/10

14 Day Global Health Initiative

The trip with Global Leadership Adventures is so worth it. When I went, we usually woke up, ate breakfast, and then went to our activity of the day (usually walking which made it more fun). We got to do service activities like building a house out of recycled plastic water bottles (!!!) or visiting a Haitian batey which was so eye opening. Even though some activities may be emotionally or physically harder than others, the people around you is what it makes it all worth while. Everyone in my group got along and we still talk. Then there's the recreational activities like zipping which is beautiful. And even though the price of the trip may be a little much, there's tons of different ways to fundraise and the trip will definitely be worth the cost. For activities we usually wore athletic shorts and a t-shirt or tank, but in the communities we wore long pants (about 3 days where you need to wear long pants). Oh and do not forgot mentors. Your mentors are the greatest people and they will teach you so much on this trip, GLA mentors are undoubtably amazing. Let me know if you have any questions and I hope you choose to go on this trip!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Julia
10/10

Global Health Initiative (Dominican Republic): Global Leadership Adventures

After a long day of building houses out of recycled soda bottles and a lecture about the possible negative effects of foreign aid, my group mates and I retreated to the patio around the pool. On the rural coast of the Dominican Republic there were few lights to mask the beauty of the night sky. As we laid on the ground outside our lovely huts we were able to see shooting stars and share our dreams and aspirations. Under a blanket of clear constellations I was able to learn so much about myself and make life long friends.

After our bonding under the stars, we retreated to our lovely mosquito netted bunks and fell asleep to the calming sound of the ocean and the quiet clicking go bugs.

How can this program be improved?
This program could be improved by providing a more accurate itinerary of the trip.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Teah
10/10

Such an amazing experience

Going to the Dominican Republic with Global Leadership Adventures (GLA) was truly an amazing experience. During the Spring Break trip, you visit several communities in the area. I was pushed outside of my comfort zone. I was about to really understand the issues people are dealing. Even though I don't speak Spanish, I was able to still connect with several of the kids in the community. That was highlight of my trip. If you have a passion for traveling and experiencing other cultures, I highly recommend going on a GLA program.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Clara
9/10

21-day Sustainability Program in the DR

Going to the Dominican Republic for three weeks was completely life changing. Not only were were the experiences I had so memorable, but I was able to create great friendships to last much longer than the program. We were exposed to things completely different from everything at home, and had to adapt to an entirely new way of life for 3 weeks. Getting used to not having wifi and taking cold showers was much easier than I imagined, and easily the least of what I was thinking about. I was more preoccupied with listening to the lectures and thinking about the work we had done during the day. It made me more myself than ever and allowed me to take a break from the superficiality that is easy to get caught up in at home. Overall, going on this trip was refreshing and allowed me to come back with new perspectives and knowledge of the world.

How can this program be improved?
I think it could be improved by allowing students to have a little bit more freedom. But other than that, everything was good.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
May
10/10

A Worthwhile Experience

Over the summer, I went on the 21-day GLA Dominican Republic: Building a Sustainable World trip. It was a great experience and I had an amazing time. From meeting the locals to talking about how we impact our environment, I was able to learn a lot of new things while getting to know some pretty exceptional people. I thought that 7elements and GLA did a great job integrating an educational factor to the trip and that it was a perfect mix of service and fun.

The lodging was beautiful and it was really close to the beach, so we were able to go to go the beach after long days of building basketball courts or constructing green houses. The work hours were really fun and interesting because of all the exposure to the Dominican culture and lifestyle.

My favorite experiences were the service hours we completed because I really felt like we made a difference. Turning cement for hours can be vigorous, however, the outcome was more than worth it. We were able to help establish a water filter/tank for a local batey. A batey is a community made of both Dominicans and Haitians and they are usually very segregated because of all the political issues the countries have had with one another. It was great seeing our progress, especially after witnessing the quality of the water the community uses on a daily basis.

Other than the service, I loved all of the excursions that were offered. We were able to go cliff jumping into lagoons, hike mountains, snorkel, sightsee in Santo Domingo, go to waterfalls and beaches, tour a water filter factory, go to a Haitian market, and go on a cable car. There was always something to do or see, so you could never be bored. Every excursion helped get you out of your comfort zone and brought you closer to the people around you. Whether it was jumping from the 30 ft. cliff or struggling through the Haitian market, you knew you had people behind you.

This program made me reflect on my life, figure out what I am passionate about and discover what I want to accomplish in the future. It’s one thing to see the conditions that these people live in and it’s another thing to witness them. There are no words to describe the feeling of entering the Haitian side of the batey, where barely any of the kids were clothed and families of 5+ lived in windowless, 1-room houses, and have all of the kids run to play with you.

Overall, I had an amazing time on my trip and I think that it helped me grow as a person. It’s revitalizing to experience these moments and to learn about how we can help one another on a local and global level. I hope that I can use what the program taught me and help make our world a better place. For all of these things that I was able to learn and experience, I would absolutely recommend this trip to other kids who want to broaden their horizons and who genuinely love to help others.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Jt
10/10

Three Years Later

I took this trip after my Freshman year in college. Now I am a graduating senior and I look back to think about how much this trip has truly changed my life. You learn so much from the families you come in contact with and it has shaped where I see my career going in the future. I would go back in a heart beat!

Yes, I recommend this program

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With a history and heritage in global education, Global Leadership Adventures packs our itineraries with leadership development, volunteering and the delight of taking learning off the beaten path. Our unique program design produces what many...