A few weeks from when I wrote this, I stepped on to a small budget airliner and made my way across the Caribbean to the Dominican Republic. Before this experience I had never left the United States, and I was unsure what my time in Samana would be like. Needless to say, it was an absolute blast.
I volunteered in a small dental clinic in Las Pascualas, a small, sleepy city on the outskirts of Samana. Volunteering in the clinic opened my eyes to some of the difficulties associated with public health care in a developing country, and it allowed me to look at public service through a different perspective. The dentist I was under was very nice, and incredibly accomidating; an absolute joy to volunteer under.
This trip also allowed me to meet people from around the globe, and develop friendships with people who I would have never come across in daily life. The other volunteers really helped make this trip worthwhile, and I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with each one of them.
Overall, Aldeas de Paz is a great organization to be apart of. The volunteers work hard to help the people of Samana, and the program director, Manfred, is very enabling. He will go out of his way to make sure you are getting the most out of your experience. I stayed in Samana for 28 days, and the time has honestly gone by very quickly. I have learned more than I had hoped to on this adventure, and I definitely recommend it to others.