• Dominican Republic
2 - 4 weeks
Need-based funding
Health & Safety

Program Details

Program Type
Direct Enrollment
Age Min.
Age Max


Starting Price
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Meals Transportation
What's Not Included
Oct 26, 2023
Jul 16, 2022
36 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Join us for an island adventure you will never forget. This program offers the unique opportunity to learn more about healthcare challenges in underserved rural communities while lending a hand at a pop-up clinic and assisting on infrastructure projects that promote sanitation and improved living conditions for local residents. While you're here, explore the expansive beaches, lush forests and crystal clear waters of the Caribbean through snorkeling, hiking and boating excursions.

Program Theme: Public Health & Medicine
Service Hours: 30

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Experience Dominican culture, from tasty dishes to the rhythms of the Caribbean
  • Spend a day swimming in cenotes and exploring lagoon caves
  • Snorkel, boat, and enjoy the island's famous beaches
  • Live in harmony with wildlife in a sustainable ecolodge
  • Shadow and learn from doctors and public health experts

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 36 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Growth 5
  • Support 4.95
  • Fun 4.85
  • Housing 4.85
  • Safety 5
  • Program Selection 5
  • Pre-departure Help 5
  • In-program Support 5
  • Impact on Student 5
  • Value 5
Showing 1 - 8 of 36 reviews
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Yes, I recommend this program

Safe and LEGIT teen abroad Volunteer program! Therapeutic too!

GLA was actually one of the first organizations we looked into. Honestly, we ended up reading other GLA reviews on other sites, which left us feeling a bit concerned. After MUCH research and cross comparisons, we chose GLA Dominican Rep Global Health. It turns out all of the negative reviews were left by people who did not fully read the registration process/had a child who could not adapt to change or third world accommodations/foods/weather/environment which were FULLY described on their website BEFORE and during the application process . Many other volunteer programs left kids unattended and with free time for MOST of the day and all weekend. Completely unacceptable for a teen. GLA makes sure teens are accompanied by mentors and directors at EVERY volunteer project and tours. On top of that, the kids were treated to delicious local meals 3 times a day(almost ALL served on sustainable non-disposable dishwear/cutlery!! even during off-site projects!!). Morning yoga and group discussions which turned out to be incredibly therapeutic. Their website and application process is incredibly organized and communication with staff was superb. If you are hesitant or nervous about finding a legit organization/service project to send your child to - search no further. My daughter came home with a great appreciation for life and the importance of giving to others. GLA changed her life for sure. She even came to find the spiders harmless and absolutely LOVED the beautiful little green lizards that paid her netted bed a visit daily :)

  • Highly Organized
  • Impactful service projects
  • Students are treated extremely well
  • None, unless you hate bugs, nature or change - then DR GLA is definitely not for you!
101 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Fantastic genuine service trip

Dominican Republic Caribbean Service Adventure: An absolutely fantastic and genuine experience! This is real community service, working alongside locals and learning about the country. The education component and communal labor made it truly hands-on learning. It is NOT a glorified teen tour but the real deal, with fun activities and sights woven in very well. The group atmosphere was cohesive and warm, so many close and lasting friendships made. Absolute gold standard for true and meaningful community service and a super fun time.

132 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program


My daughter went to the Dominican Republic for 10 days and absolutely loved it! She worked hard to help communities, had an eye opening experience, but also had fun and met many new friends. I definitley would recommend such a program. This type of experience broadens a students horizons and exposes them to environments and/or situations they might not noramlly experience. So happy I was able to send her on this trrip!

139 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Global Health Initiative - Dominican Republic

Hi! My name is Lillian and I am a GLA alumni. My trip through Global Leadership Adventures was one of the most incredible experiences I have had in my entire life. I went to the Dominican Republic for two weeks on a trip focusing on health. I went into the trip with little expectation, but fearful to travel to an unfamiliar country without my family and surrounded by new faces. The trip was everything and more that I hoped it would be and I am so thankful that I was given the opportunity to embark on this adventure. I had life-changing experiences working with the locals, learning about other cultures, and getting to understand the reality of life in a third world country. Not only was the work we did so valuable and unforgettable, but I made friends that I know I will have for a lifetime. Overall, the trip was the best two weeks of my life, where I learned so much and had so much fun!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
One day, we went to the most beautiful lagoon and got to zip-line over it. But there is a twist, you had to let go of the zip-line and plunge 30 feet down into the water. It is one of the best memories from my trip and I would do it all over again if i could! It definitely tested by fear of heights and spontaneous attitude, but I am so proud of myself for doing it and having an awesome time cheering on everyone else who was just as afraid as I was!
140 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
141 people found this review helpful.
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Sarah Grace
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

What would you improve about this program?
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.
147 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

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!

What would you improve about this program?
I just wish I could have stayed longer!
153 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
Not at all.
144 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

Teens ages 14-19 are eligible to participate.

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!