Summer and Spring Break Volunteer Programs in the Dominican Republic

Video and Photos

Waking up In the Rainforest with Dominican Coffee
Waking up In the Rainforest with Dominican Coffee
The most reward work ever.
The most reward work ever.
My GLA 2017 Group!
My GLA 2017 Group!
Beautiful Barahona!
Beautiful Barahona!
The beach next to our hotel
The beach next to our hotel
Dominican
Dominican
Dominican
Dominican
Dominican
Dominican

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
• 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

Reviews

99%
based on 33 reviews
  • Growth 9.8
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.3
  • Housing 9.6
  • Safety 9.9
  • Program Selection 9
  • Pre-departure Help 10
  • In-program Support 10
  • Impact on Student 9
  • Value 10
Showing 31 - 33 of 33
Default avatar
Michael
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Unique, Fun, Life Changing

I have had the opportunity and privilege of going to the Dominican Republic with Global Leadership Adventures in the summers of 2012 and 2013. I am also a current 2013 ambassador for the program (I advocate for the program). Like many other alumni can attest to, it was a very unique, fun, and life changing experience. If you (potential participant) or your child (for parents) are interested in this program, I cannot speak highly enough about the staff and experience. The staff consists of the program director, mentors, and a few alumni conducting research or projects in the Dominican Republic. Though the program puts teens in some environments that, honestly, can be quite uncomfortable given that the Dominican Republic is a developing country, at no point during both of my trips did I feel unsafe or in any sort of danger. I based my college essay off of a visit to the Haitian refugee camp and I admit that I was uncomfortable at first but I like many others from both groups I went with think that it was the highlight of the trip.

Global Leadership Adventures balances service and fun very well. While service is an emphasis on all Global Leadership Adventure programs, it is well understood that teenagers like to have some downtime. On the Dominican Republic trips the programs take the groups to tourist beaches including a day of snorkeling. The home base is just a stones throw away from the beach as well. The program also takes groups to an eco-park where there are sports, swimming, and a zipline that participants go over before dropping into a lagoon.

The home base is located in Las Cañas, a small town outside Puerto Plata. The participants stay in rooms that accommodate about 7 people and have showers, sinks, and bug nets over the bed. There is always purified drinking water and the food is cooked by a Dominican family that has been working with the Dominican Republic program for a few years so the food is always safe to eat. There is also a pool in each part of the home base (two pools).

Global Leadership Adventures has a high emphasis on safety and makes sure participants are supervised or otherwise with at least one other participant at all times. Again I cannot speak highly enough about the Dominican Republic program and Global Leadership Adventures. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or go to "experiencegla.com." There is also a lot of information on the Global Leadership Adventures Facebook page as well as specific GLA country pages.

What would you improve about this program?
The home base should not be mistaken for a hotel. Participants will have encounters with spiders around the room but I found that it was a pretty funny experience.
Default avatar
Deepti97
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Fantastic!

I attended GLA’s 21-day Building a Sustainable World trip to the Dominican Republic this past summer. I can state without reservation that those 21 days singlehandedly altered my perspective both on global issues—poverty, international relations, and our population’s relationship with the environment—and on what I want to do with my life.

From my experience, what I imagine sets GLA apart is the experience, knowledge, and passion of the staff (two program directors and several counselors), who are inspiring, to say the least. I felt absolutely comfortable throughout my stay. Maintenance and food are handled by a couple of families who live in the surrounding, relatively impoverished community of Las Canas and have worked with GLA for a while. The food was simple, delicious, and healthy; our home base was rustic but clean, cozy, and safe.

Our service centered on three main sites: Ascension, a Haitian refugee village, home to extreme poverty and political difficulty (the refugees in the village are stateless and cannot leave their community whatsoever), where we helped on the foundation for a bottle school; Las Canas, where different groups worked on assorted projects, like rerouting a river, paving a gravel trail, and digging for an aquaponics project; and La Boca, where we helped on the construction of a bottle school. The service was concrete and fulfilling; I think we were genuinely useful during the hours that we worked.

Educational activities included trips to historic Santo Domingo, an eco-institute in the mountain town of Jarabacoa, and the shocking market and Haitian border at Dajabon, which I don’t think I’ll ever forget. These experiences, combined with the service, the documentaries on the environment and other world issues that we watched, and our lecture-discussions, truly changed me, for the better. :) We also got to enjoy snorkeling, ziplining, the Dominican Republic’s spectacular beaches, and plenty of fun!

The other kids on the trip were amazing. It’s hard not to become close over 21 days! It was awesome to meet kids from all over the country, as well as England. Reading reviews on other websites for similar trips before I went on my own, I wondered if our trip would be filled with “snobby” kids who didn’t care or didn’t want to work, as some reviews described; thankfully, it wasn’t at all.

Some notes: It isn’t necessary to speak any Spanish for the trip, though it’s definitely a good idea to brush up on some words before you go. It also isn’t required that you know much about environmental problems or sustainability before you go—I didn’t, but I learned so much on the trip; I’m now inspired to learn more on my own. That said, you do need an open mind and a strong willingness to work hard. Another recommendation: it’s a great idea to keep a journal during your trip, because you’ll see and experience so much.

I can’t stress how strongly I recommend GLA—my experience this past summer was fantastic!

What would you improve about this program?
I loved my trip, but if I had to change something: I would have loved to spend even more time at the service sites, and I would have loved to have spent more time touring Santo Domingo.
Default avatar
Molli
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life changing experience

I highly recommend this trip to anyone who loves kids, adventure, and the beach! Puerto Plata is a beautiful place to spend your volunteer experience at. I went on the beachside service adventure for 10 days. I accomplished so much in 10 days!

The highlights of my trip was spending my time building a bottle school for the children of this village, jumping off a waterfall, meeting wonderful people, and hiking for 3 hours straight! Everything was so worthwhile and amazing.

The food you will eat on the trip really allows you get the feeling for the culture! It basically is rice, beans, chicken, and fruit everyday! It's so delicious!

You will meet people from all over the country and learn so many things on your journey. You will learn anything from how to mix cement in the scorching heat with a shovel to how to negotiate a price on something from the local stores.

This place is seriously worthwhile and if anybody has any questions about the trip, please email me at mollimcgrath@gmail.com