Fundacion Aldeas de Paz
94% Rating
(30 Reviews)

Fundacion Aldeas de Paz

Aldeas de Paz operates various programs in the local community of Santa Barbara de Samana in the Dominican Republic whereby the focus is on young people in "at risk" situation or with special needs. ADP empowers young people by assisting them to develop their own potentials and provides volunteers with the information and resources to create transformative experiences in themselves and in the programs where they choose to focus their energy.

The following programs leave both the volunteers and beneficiaries with tools to drive change in their future and help some of them to become future community leaders: Youth, Care, Community & Nature Conservation, NGO Management & Administration, Medicine & Healthcare in a local hospital and MultiMedia Journalism where we defend children rights and raise public awareness about urgent issues.

We offer free Spanish classes.

Most Recent Program Reviews

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Bruce
Male
24 years old
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Other

An eye-opening experience

10/10

Going to a new country as a volunteer is an eye-opening experience, both personally and culturally. Furthermore, it allowed me to reinforce my desire to apply my skills and knowledge to help others. The accommodation and guidance from Julia and Manfred made the trip really comfortable. I have learned a lot from Manfred, he has great ambitions for the organisation. Aldeas de Paz is having a real positive impact in the local community and it is rewarding to know that you have contributed somehow. I met so many amazing people and had so many intense experiences along the way, working with the children from Mama Elba school remains the most wonderful experience of all. I have truly enjoyed my time with Aldeas de Paz and would definitely recommend the NGO to anyone. Thanks again for everything and I will be back again some day!

Bruce

Default avatar
Nicole
Female
25 years old
Dominican Republic
Other

Six weeks in Samaná

10/10

During my six weeks in Samana I worked at the school “Mama Elba“ and in the hospital as an english teacher for the doctors and nurses.

I remember my first day at school. I was really nervous because of my missing spanish skills. But when the first kids walked through the door, asked me about my name and were just happy to meet someone new, I started to feel comfortable and really enjoyed class. I got used to the course of a schoolday and started to tackle with teaching methods and the montessori concept the school is working with. My aim was to learn more about how to teach children with special needs and what could be interesting for them. With the help of a kindergarden teacher from my hometown, I compiled a list with different ideas and activities, especially for the two kids with a mental disability. She also explained the concept of basal stimulation, the concept the ideas based on, to me and I began to investigate the topic. I got more and more interested in this subject.
For the beginning I decided to start with something small. I bought pegs and used a jump rope we already had at school. The exercise was to fix the pegs on the jump rope and I thought this could be interesting for maybe 15 minutes - but I was wrong! It was not something small and it was not something interesting for 15 minutes. The girl I worked with did it for an hour and it war great to see her progress! At the beginning she didn't know how to do it but after a while she managed! She was so proud and had a lot of fun, she even found other things to put the pegs on and worked really concentrated. During the following weeks I introduced some of the other ideas at school and it was amazing to see how the children changed and improved!

The other part of my work was teaching in the hospital. This was easier than school because I already had experiences with teaching english. It also helped that their english was on a good level so that communication wasn't a problem. This and their enthusiasm for learning made it pretty easy to enjoy the lessons. We talked about different topics and I learned more about their hobbies, their work in the hospital and life in the Dominican Republic in general what was very interesting for me. As a counter we prepared a lesson about Germany, typical food, favourite sports and the culture. Teaching in the hospital was not only teaching english, it also was an intercultural exchange!

A big part of my life in Samana was spending time with my host family. From the first day on I felt really welcome and like a real family member. I joined them to family parties, trips or to visit friends and was always welcome to go to church with them.
Because of their help I improved my spanish very fast and was able to communicate with them. They were patient teachers and always proud when I learned something new or understood what they said. I also learned more about their culture and typical food what was very interesting for me because I love cooking. On the one hand they showed me how to prepare a typical dominican meal or my favourite foods and on the other I made some cakes and explained them how to do it.
During my stay my host brother and sisters had university vacation so that they stayed at home for three weeks and I got to knew them and we did a lot of family activities. I really enjoyed this. Because of my family I really felt home in Samana and I am going to miss them a lot!

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Patrick
Male
26 years old
Dominican Republic
Other

The other side of paradise

10/10

If you think of the Dominican Republic you will think of sun, hot weather, the caribbean and clear blue water. But this island has more to offer than you see as a regular tourist. To get to know the life in the Dominican Republic (DR) and fulfill a clerkship for my university I decided to live and work on the island for roughly a month. In the following I want to describe the experiences I gained.
My journey started with the simple idea of going abroad to get to know the daily life in a country very different to my home, Germany. Moreover I wanted to gain experience in my future carrier as a doctor. Therefore I searched the internet and found through studentsgoabroad.com the Aldeas de Paz foundation in Samana, DR. They offered exactly what I was looking for, a voluntary placement in a hospital in Samana with an accommodation among other volunteers in town. Finding the organisation was the hardest part, after that everything went smoothly; filling in applications, booking the flight and packing the suitcases. The Aldeas de Paz foundation gave very detailed information what to bring, especially as a volunteer in a hospital, such as uniform, gloves, etc. and always answered all questions I had concerning my journey. After getting all the necessary vaccinations, I started to freshen up my spanish skills again, which are very helpful for communicating with the patients.
The day of departure came faster than expected and I flew to the Dominican Republic. After a short stay at the capital I was already in Samana, got picked up by Manfred, the headcoordinator of the foundation and introduced to the other volunteers I will be living with. Just two days later, after I settled in and bought all necessities, I was already introduced to Dr. Flor, which is the head doctress of the hospital. She gave me a tour of the hospital and showed me where I will work in the next weeks. All in all a very smooth and fast start in my new volunteer work.
Working in the DR was a great experience. After getting used to different costums, for example that everybody talks at the same time in a very loud voice, I was able to get to know the doctors very well and became friends with them. The illnesses you see in the DR are different and in most cases more severe than in our western countries, such as infectiouse diseases. Overall working in the DR is very different than working in any western hospital. Even though technology is very advanced in the hospital, doctors rely more on basic observation and palpations skills, which teaches you all the basics, doctors in the western civilization may have forgotten. If you want to take the most out of the hospital experience, it helps if you know some spanish, but moreover you should speak up and say what you want. If you have any concernes ask Dr. Flor or Manfred, both of them are very eager helping you and making the most out of your stay. All in all working in such a hospital is a great experience that broadens your personal as well as medical perspectives on medicine and illnesses enormeously.
But the life in the DR is not just work. Weekends are always free to explore the huge variety the island has to offer. Just to mention some peaks: beaches even more picturouse than any textbook can show, mountains with gorgeouse, breathtaking viewpoints and stunning hikes. As well as great waterfalls and canyons which are hikable, or other adventurouse exercices such as scuba diving, paragliding, etc. Everything is possible in the DR and just a couple hours away from where we lived. To make it even better I was able to explore all of that with the other volunteers, new friends I got to know, who make those places even more remarkable than they are.
The huge blend of cultures within the volunteering group, as well as the culture of the inhabitants of the DR, makes you broaden your view extremly. I was able to get to know the locals well enough, thus advancing in spanish, and become friends with them as well as having friends now all over the world, through our volunteering group.
In summary I want to thank the Aldeas de Paz foundation with all the volunteers and espacielly Manfred and Dr. Flor without whom this project would not be possible. For me it was not just a great experience but I also left parts of me there which makes me sure to say that I will come back again to visit. Thanks Dominican Republic!

Default avatar
Scott
Male
27 years old
Dominican Republic
Other

The most exciting, enjoyable and rewarding experience...

10/10

I joined Aldeas de Paz for 6 weeks and have had the most exciting, enjoyable and rewarding experience. I came to volunteer but also to add my own ideas and experience to the organisation and Aldeas de Paz allowed me to do that. The organisation accepts open minds allows everybody to contribute to improve the charity. I was able to use my guitar in the school and we planned our own english classes to teach at the local hospital. This environment I found to be very relaxing and stress free which allowed me to be more creative. The area where we volunteered also had a very 'tranquilo' (chilled) vibe and we all organised regular weekend trips away to explore beaches, waterfalls and snorkel which were amazing experiences.
Aldeas De Paz offers so many programs but I spent most of my time at the school which was such a wonderful experience. A lot of the children have special educational needs and at first I thought it would be hard to develop their skills in the 6 weeks I was here. But the differences in the children and the changes in their confidence were amazing. I felt so rewarded with these changes and it just shows that any amount of time you can spend here is valuable for them.

Default avatar
Olivia
Female
25 years old
Dominican Republic
Other

My time at Aldeas De Paz has been amazing...

10/10

My time at Aldeas De Paz has been amazing. I have spent 6 weeks here and got to experience a range of projects. I worked in the youth, care and community project and being able to see the change in the children in such a short space of time was really rewarding. Also seeing how much they enjoy school and really want to learn puts a lot of things into perspective. They all arrive everyday with smiles on their faces, sometimes mischievous, but they will always make you laugh. I also helped out teaching English at the hospital which is something I didn't expect to be doing but really enjoyed. It challenged me to do something different and be creative planning different classes each week. The doctors all really appreciated this, especially when it involves games and competitions. On top of this I volunteered in the NGO management program which was really insightful in seeing how a grass roots organisation is run. I was able to shadow Julia in her daily tasks and it showed me that everyday is different and unexpected.
To make the most of your time here you have to be open minded and absorb and live in the Dominican culture which is a very relaxed and slow paced way of life, perfect for me. If I could change anything about my experience here I would have wanted to know more Spanish before I arrived so I had more of a base to build on and was able to connect more with the locals. However it has not hindered my time here, it has made me want to work harder to learn Spanish and continue learning when I get home.
Outside of volunteering I met a lot of amazing people from all over the world that I will never forget and hopefully will stay in contact with. We had some incredible weekend trips to see more of the Dominican Republic, one of the highlights was swimming with turtles in Sosua. So thank you to everyone and to Manfred, Julia and Junior for making the time here so special. Aldeas de paz is doing amazing work in Samara and I believe it is only the beginning.

Program Listings

Dominican Republic

Fundacion Aldeas de Paz
Enhance the lives of disadvantaged community members! Our aim is to empower children, youth and young adults with special nee...

Dominican Republic

Fundacion Aldeas de Paz
Gain invaluable hands-on experience, working side by side with medical staff and fellow volunteers at a hospital or a neighbo...

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Fundacion Aldeas de Paz
Our observation and hands-on dentistry experience is a programme which is aimed at current professionals and aspiring dentist...

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Practice and further develop your Social Media skills while experiencing a foreign culture! The purpose of this Social Multim...

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Fundacion Aldeas de Paz
This versatile experience and observation program gives insight into all aspects of running the Aldeas de Paz Foundation. Thi...

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