Summer and Spring Break Volunteer Programs in the Dominican Republic

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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
• International Development Initiative

Program Highlight!

The ancient Inca Empire is yours to discover while making a difference in the lives of rural families on our Peru: Service in the Sacred Valley™ program.

Questions & Answers

Teens ages 13-18 are eligible to apply.

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


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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!
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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?
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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.
Read my full story
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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!
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.
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Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
More clinic days would be nice.
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Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
More communication about what the kids are taught, books recommended, and ways to take service & leadership back home.