Starting with the man in the mirror

Ratings
Overall
10
Impact: 10
Support: 10
Fun: 10
Value: 10
Safety: 10
Review

If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make that change. When I came here, my focus was on my internship in the NGO program, firstly to fulfill my university requirements, and secondly because I am planning on doing my masters in NGO Management. But of course, how do you manage an NGO if you are not involved in the projects 100%? That’s why I also wanted to take part in the Youth and Community Program. Also, every Wednesday night I taught English for the community here in Samaná, ranging from all ages, which helped me to meet a lot of Dominican people and improve my Spanish. In the mornings I worked on my the laptop, creating ideas for how to improve the concept of Aldeas de Paz and in the afternoon I was part of something wonderful and reminded why I was there through working with the kids of the Mamá Elba School. It was my first time working with kids with special needs, but to be honest, this was one of my best experiences I have ever had so far. I think they even taught me more than I taught them. After the first weeks I realized I want to do something that has an impact on these kids and will help them long term. That was when I decided to start a Crowdfunding Campaign to collect money so the school will be able to pay for diagnosis and therapy for each kid. What I loved was that through having total flexibility and trust from Aldeas de Paz, I had the possibility to decide most things by myself and create this project together with the whole team. I really learned a lot just creating this project and learning by doing. It worked out great, though I have to admit that I had to get used to the Dominican way of working, which sometimes was really annoying and time consuming. I guess everyone who comes here just needs to accept this “tranquilo” attitude, but it can also help to get a little bit calmer and help you to deal with things; sometimes it just does not work out the way you planned it, deal with it! But besides that I love the Dominican Republic. Of course the beaches, sun and nature blow your mind here in Samanà, but I promise these heartwarming people, the music, the dancing, the food (yaroaaa), the colmados and the culture in general will be even more a life-changing experience in an awesome way. I can’t describe how much I am impressed and in love with this country and these people and I guess you just can understand if you are here by yourself and open-minded enough to enjoy and try everything new. So people out there who want to experience a country with a big heart, good food, amazing people and you really want to be part of something beautiful, Aldeas de Paz is perfect.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed
2017
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