Aldeas de Paz: Volunteering with Youth and Community
93% Rating
(26 Reviews)

Aldeas de Paz: Volunteering with Youth and Community

Enhance the lives of disadvantaged community members!
Our aim is to empower children, youth and young adults with special needs by providing an educational platform where they can be supported in developing their potential and improving their own lives. Our language and skill training programs provide volunteers with the opportunity to make a difference to our local community members who would otherwise lack these important opportunities. At our own small school in Santa Barbara de Samaná, we are promoting the integration of special need students into the educational system. Additionally, volunteers have the unique chance to present and implement their own ideas with the support of the team whilst also making a positive difference to our community.
In Las Terrenas we are involved in youth, family and community development. We are building community support for youth development and engaging support of parents, women empowerment, sexual education and domestic violence prevention.

  • Organize and lead intercultural events and regular meetings for local community members and international volunteers, expats and travelers with cross-cultural activities fostering exchange and integration.
  • Assist in our school with recreational, developmental and therapeutic activities for children and young adults with special needs
  • Bring joy into the lives of disadvantaged children by taking care of them and playing with them and let their smiles brighten up your day!
  • Get fluent in Spanish by receiving up to six free Spanish lessons per week.
  • Make memories that will last a lifetime while traveling the Caribbean.
Dominican Republic
Weeks Min.
Age Min.
Year Round
Host Family
Price Details
Your financial contribution depends on length of stay and starts at Euro 440,- per month all in, including: • Volunteer placement in the program/s of your choice • Accommodation • Placement introduction and hand-outs, supervision, regular briefings • Free Spanish language lessons • Certificate and/or written reference upon completion • Full support and 7 days, 24 hour backup from our local staff • Santa Barbara de Samana bus terminal pick-up or Samana-El Catey airport pick-up. • Our staff will welcome you to our home-base upon arrival and ensure that all of your needs are met - from a safe and comfortable place to stay, to unparalleled access to perspectives and insight about the local culture
Other Locations
Santa Barbara de Samaná and Las Terrenas

Questions & Answers

You would have to contact the volunteer coordinator. There might be a day long project needing more volunteers, but Aldeas de Paz is usually a live in community where each person is assigned to a program. So yes, I’m sure they won’t turn you away, but better suited for longer stays.

Program Reviews

based on 26 reviews
  • Impact 9.2
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 9.2
  • Value 9.4
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 1 - 15 of 26
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I loved my time in Samana with Aldeas de Paz

To start, during my stay here I had the chance to work with the kids with special needs in school. I enrolled in that particular project because I wanted to gain experience in my feild of studies. I really enjoyed working with everyone in the school, but mostly the kids who great you
everyday you arrive in school and are all just very adorable. I had the opportunity to work with a variety of children with disabilities, which is what I was mainly here for. Also, changes and improvements are being done in the school which I think will greatly benefit the kids attending.
Finally, I was able to contribute to the school with a project involving pictograms that will greatly help these children, more so the ones that have language disabilities.

In addition, I had the chance to be in contact with Kim an amazing Canadian that has been living here for over 30 years and is taking the rights of animals here to heart. I had a chance to work hands on with the animals, mostly dogs, and actually had the opportunity to start a totally new project in association with Aldeas the Paz.

I really appreciated the encouragement and interest expressed by the coordinators and
volunteers. I am very proud of my contribution and participation, which turned out to be more
than expected. Aldeas de Paz is the only organisation that I saw that had a good variety of projects to work on, which provides a lot of flexibility. I was able to participate in a lot of different acitives and programs such as the english classes and café intercultural. For a month was able to give intermediate english classes to dominicans, as well as dancing classes in the café. The responsibles really encourage us to participate in a variety of projects and the
options are really there for us to explore.

The organisation has a really great team of coordinators that work really hard to make our experience here the best it can be, even if there job is not always easy. It was my second time in the Dominican Republic and more specifically Samana. I really wanted to come back here because the first time I really fell in love with the spirit of the people, the culture, the dancing, the music, the scenery and saw that there was a need for volunteers. I wanted to make sure for my second experience that I was to be part of the community, the people and meet different
Dominicans. I have so many good memories with the volunteers and dominican friends I made. I found it very important to have an interest for the people here and an open mind. By doing
so, I was able to know, see places and live experiences I would of never had if it were not for my dominican friends. Also, when spending time with them it was the perfect occasion to pratice and learn more spanish, which was one of my goals when coming here.

We did so many great trips and activies that really made my time here that much memorable. I can say that I fully experienced Samana and the DR and would do it again without a doubt.

Yes, I recommend
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A special place that I hope to return to

My experience in Samana has been a great one! I feel like I’ve had
some highs and lows making it a great learning experience in a short
amount time. First off, it doesn’t get any more beautiful than the
view. The first few days were overwhelming meeting all the other
volunteers and kids at school, while not yet knowing where to find
anything in town. Being in an apartment definitely comes with it’s
pros and cons as well. I didn’t like that the majority of other
people were in the shared apartments and particularly at night
couldn’t safely get to hang out with them. This has gotten better
making in advance plans to have a travel buddy. I love how welcoming
everyone is and no one is shut off or out of any group or activity.
Once I knew people had been here for months, I feared it would be hard
to make connections quickly when so many friendships have already been
established. I was happy to find that is not the case at all and
everyone is always included.
Having basically no prior Spanish knowledge, I feel like this has made
a unique experience. It has been difficult communicating with
Dominicans, especially at school. However, it also has been cool to
overcome that barrier. I’ve had to quickly learn some key phrases and
feel like I can successfully order food. Kids have been patient and
we have tried to teach each other Spanish/English words. No matter
where you are kids are the same and have a great spirit about them.
They have been fun to play and learn with. With the scheduling
changes and addition of Jessica, it is a cool time to see the
transition and growth in ADP. I’m excited to see the progress even
once I leave! I am looking forward to comforts of home (water not
turning off, air conditioning, not loud to sleep), but the atmosphere
and people make this a special place that I hope to return to.

Yes, I recommend
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When I get time, I will come back for sure

My name is Fabienne and I worked as a volunteer in the Mama Elba School for one month. I really enjoyed the work with the children and I was able to gain a lot of useful experience for my future.

When I arrived here I couldn’t speak Spanish. First, I was a bit worried about that. But over time I learned the important things in Spanish because of the free Spanish lessons and the work with the children.

During the time here in Samana, I was living in a guesthouse apartment with two other volunteers. I was really happy with this kind of living, because I like to have people around me.

Furthermore, the organisation of my stay here was well planned. This included also the pick-up service, which worked very well.

All in all, I enjoyed the time here in Samana with the organisation Aldeas de Paz. When I get time, I will come back for sure.

Yes, I recommend
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Trip of my life!

First off, I officially decided to take the leap and register for the NGO Management Program about 1 month before I was due to leave. The registration process and introductory things were super easy and helpful. The director of Aldeas de Paz was patient and excellent with getting back to me quickly with answers to my many questions.
Once in country, I met with the local team and all the volunteer and I have to say, they are an incredible group of people who truly want to make a difference and help make my experience there a great one. I really enjoy the time I spend in Las Terrenas and one day I'd love to return to help out again.
The town of Las Terrenas is absolutely amazing. It's beauty and charm will grab you, and hold a little piece of your heart. There is much to do and see in and around the town. So many shops, markets, restaurants, and beaches to see. Honestly, I could just sit on the beach and look at the waves all day.
One piece of advice I would give would be to just jump in. Ask what the need is, meet it. You're only there for a short time, so make the best of it. Jump in with the culture. The food. The town. The way of life. The pace. The language. Try everything. Go in the shops. Take a trip. Jump in with both feet. You won't regret it.

Yes, I recommend
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An eye-opening experience

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!


Yes, I recommend
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Six weeks in Samaná

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!

Yes, I recommend
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The most exciting, enjoyable and rewarding experience...

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.

Yes, I recommend
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My time at Aldeas De Paz has been amazing...

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.

Yes, I recommend
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A short placement filled with many experiences

i, my name is Xavier and I just completed my 3 week volunteering placement in Samaná. My placement, although short, was filled with many experiences; working in various programmes, spending time with other volunteers and exploring the town of Samaná and the various attractions around. As part of my placement I assisted a local computation class, helped out at the Mama Elba school and taught English to medical staff of the local hospital. These programmes although all aimed at a different audience allowed me to interact with(teach and learn from) all these members of the Samaná society.
Next to these programmes I used my free time to explore the town and the peninsula. It amazed me to see how much there was to do in and around Samaná. I had the most interesting conversation with locals, played dominoes with them, spent hours just taking in the views and went on various adventures with other volunteers on the weekends.
Samaná is a beautiful province, the people are friendly and helpful, all it really takes to have an awesome experience is to embrace the culture and little things with open arms.
I must thank Aldeas de Paz for giving me the opportunity to be part of what they are doing there in Samaná and creating a very positive and open environment.

Yes, I recommend
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A lot to tell about my experiences in Samaná...

I don't know how to start my experience report in Samana, because there is a lot to tell. I may start with my arrival seven weeks ago. It was my first journey alone for such a long time, far away from family, friends and my home. On the way to Samana, i had some worries about the time here, but the flew away when my likeable mom came to fetch me on the busstation. We went home and they all welcomed me with balloons and flowers. Then I met the other volunteers and we made friends immediately. After my first week I was beat-up, because of the heat and the work. My task at work was to teach the children in a special school. The most of them have difficult to concentrate or are disabled in a mentally or physically way. The kids demanded so much from you during the class, but after seven weeks I assert that some of the kids made an effort. This is so lovely that you can see that you reached somethig, that you were able to change something during the short time. And not only that kids were grateful to attend the class but also their parents, we especially the volunteers got a good feedback, which also made me proud. My second workplace was in the hospital, where I teach the doctors English. Sometimes it was hard, because they were not on the same level, but anyway it worked! All of the doctors are strained to learn something and I noticed an effort, too! On the weekend was time to relax and to travel, which was maybe the best part here. My highlight here was Jarabacoa, it's a town in the mountain(actually at the height of 2000 ft.), we stayed in a such a beautiful hostel, went paragliding and horse riding! 

Yes, I recommend
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A life-changing experience

Volunteering for Aldeas de Paz was a life-changing experience that has impacted me in ways beyond what I expected.  Originally, I had signed up for the “Teaching & Tutoring Activities” program.  I expected to be teaching only one class, but after arriving at Aldeas de Paz, there were numerous opportunities to make a difference in addition to this program.  Three days after arriving in Samaná, I found myself teaching English to doctors, Computer classes to adults from the area, and basic classes to children at the local school.  Aldeas de Paz provided me with each of these incredible opportunities.  Through teaching these classes, I formed close bonds with the students while making a difference in their lives through the power of education.  Samaná is undoubtedly an impoverished community.  But make no mistake, the people there want to learn.  If you involve yourself in a different program of the plethora offered by Aldeas de Paz, the same applies.  Samaná is a community in need but a community that longs to improve.  Whether you help in tourism, NGO management, teaching, or medical work,  your efforts will go a long way in bettering the lives of Samaná’s citizens.  In addition to the tremendous philanthropic benefits of volunteering, my review would be incomplete without highlighting some amazing personal aspects of my stay.  First of all, Manfred, Julia, and Yunior, the three administrators, are some of the most passionate human beings I have ever met.  They do everything in their power to welcome you, make sure that you are enjoying your stay, and help you with any projects you aim to pursue.  Second, the other volunteers with Aldeas de Paz are wonderful people.  We regularly ate dinner, traveled to pristine beaches, and walked around the town together.  I am currently 17 years old, and although I was a bit nervous at first to be staying alone in Samaná, these volunteers helped me adjust to living alone.  For other prospective high school volunteers, there is no age barrier to volunteering with Aldeas de Paz at a young age.  Other volunteers as well as locals from the community will make you feel at home from the first day.  Another great benefit of Aldeas de Paz is that the volunteers hail from other countries.  This means that not only are you interacting with the entirely new, fascinating culture of the unique Dominican people, but you are also living with and learning from people representing a multitude of other cultures.  I met people from all corners of the earth, including Martinique, Aruba, Germany, Spain, Canada, and more.  You form a community with the other volunteers that is like no other- it makes you feel at home despite being thousands of miles from your home.  Finally, volunteering with Aldeas de Paz is personally rewarding because working in a town like Samaná truly gives you more perspective about happiness.  Seeing the smiling faces of the citizens of Samaná and the gratitude they express for your help despite the poverty that engulfs them infects you with a happiness that you will carry with you forever.  If you enjoy helping those in need, Aldeas de Paz is for you. Given the potential you have to make a change, the amazing community of Samaná, and the immense personal benefits of volunteering for this organization, signing up to work for Aldeas de Paz will be one of the most rewarding decisions of your life.

Yes, I recommend
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We definitely recommend doing a medical elective with Aldeas de Paz!

As 4th year medical students, we had an incredible experience during our one month rotation at the public hospital in Samana! Manfred was incredibly helpful in working with us on preparation for our experience: assisting with our medical school’s required paperwork, processing of payment, and providing guidance on our arrival into the country. Our experience at the hospital was incredibly memorable and impactful. All of the staff were warm and welcoming and were very eager to have us observe and participate in their clinical activities to the extent that was appropriate given our respective proficiencies in Spanish. From our experiences participating in a wide variety of clinics (including pediatrics, adult medicine, mental health, OB/GYN, HIV/AIDS, surgery), we learned a lot about the public health issues that affect the community, how different contexts/cultures deal with similar diseases that we have in the US, the challenges that the hospital faces in terms of human and financial resources, and were also able to see a wide variety of diseases that are common here. Of course, there were plenty of opportunities to practice our Spanish while in the hospital. We also had ample opportunity to get to know more about Aldeas de Paz and their wonderful mission, learn more about the local community as a whole, and also explore the beautiful Dominican Republic in our free time! We definitely recommend doing a medical elective with Aldeas de Paz! -Joe and Courtney, University of Rochester School of Medicine, Class of 2016

Yes, I recommend
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Being busy with my volunteer position helped me feel at home fast

Before coming to the Dominican Republic I was very nervous. I was worried how life would be here and what kind of conditions I would find. I was scared for my safety and thought there would be danger everywhere. What I found was the opposite of every preconceived notion I had in my mind.
Manfred made everything really easy for me when I arrived. I knew Marcos would pick me up at the airport, and I would not have to worry about the language barrier because he speaks English and he would buy my bus ticket. Arriving is Samana was so easy for me. This helped put me at ease even before I arrived in the country.
Initially, when I booked my placement, I booked a private apartment. I am so glad that I did not end up staying there. I ended up living in the cooperative living apartment and I loved it. Being with two girls from two different countries was so much fun and made living here an amazing time! I never felt any culture shock. I quickly became comfortable with my living situation and the culture because of this. Having other people to do everything with makes adjusting much easier. We also did things on our own and that was ok too. There was mutual respect between everyone.
Another important aspect is diving right into the culture. Immediately I went to the beach, ate the food, explored the town, this made me feel more comfortable with my environment. Another easy way to adjust is practicing Spanish, even if you are not fluent. While we do have Spanish classes, the best way to practice Spanish is talking with people. Soon people began to recognize me around town and would speak to me. Everyone was quite friendly and patient. They are interested in you just as you are interested in them!
Being busy with my volunteer position helped me feel at home fast as well. Being NGO management I was included in many activities with Manfred. I was able to visit a prison with a doctor hoping to start a clinic, go to a cooperative producing coconut oil, attend meetings with different local residents, and have a better understanding of the running of an NGO. By having these different experiences, I kept busy and was able to see a more intimate look into a culture I knew very little about.
Overall, I was impressed with the amount of programs the organization offers. I think it is wonderful that you can become involved in any area you choose, either to apply your skills or gain more. I hope Manfred continues to expand the programs. I think this is a great opportunity for an individual, a group or friends, or even a family to come experience the culture, a beautiful country, and do some hands on work that will benefit a community that deserves it! No matter what age, or from what country you come, you will have an amazing experience here.

Yes, I recommend
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The Multi Media work I did here was very enjoyable...

My name is Kevin Murton and I have just finished my 7 weeks in Samana, Dominican Republic, volunteering for Aldeas de Paz helping with the Multi Media output.

As everyone would be, I was a little nervous about how the experience would turn out for various reasons, particularly in relation to my age and lack of intermediate Spanish ability.

I quickly realised I didn't have to worry on either account.

Although I was encouraged to speak Spanish whenever I could, particularly in the Spanish lessons, I felt comfortable at all times that my English would get me by, and that was the common language we generally used in any meetings I was involved in.

In relation to my age, genuinely I felt no difference in my relationships with the volunteers as the younger ones did with each other. Having a young open mind and respect for each other was plenty for everyone to generally get along.

I offered my unique set of skills, capabilities and energies and others did the same. I suppose you kind of adopt a role within a temporary family setting, which obviously changes as people come and go.

So when I initally arrived, I had an amazing welcome from Manfred and the rest of the volunteers. I made sure I had no expectations as to the place I was coming to and made myself aware of the fact that cultural differences would be inevitable. A mindful, moment-to-moment approach, without too much judgement, helped me through those intial few days.

Bit-by-bit I felt more and more comfortable with any security concerns I may have had. A healthy awareness of what was going on around me, like I do in London, and common sense decisions became part of my everyday living. It feels very safe here.

Getting used to the heat, changes in diet and the variety of nature that you see (from experience a clean room and a spray every month of insect repellant deters anything that may want to come inside), can all be viewed positively, and some may not be concerned with these changes at all, but if you are, taking the intiative to find the best way you want to deal with these issues quickly is a good idea.

Eating the Plata del Dia or buying vegetables at the local market or the colmardos near to the apartments can make food here quite cheap, but be aware of buying too much at the 'gringo' supermecado. Food can be very expensive here and a lot of it doesn't have the price on it.

It may take a while for the local gift shops to realise that you aren't a tourist, so you will be an amigo/a to all of them. It's a good way to practice your Spanish if nothing else.

The Multi Media work I did here was very enjoyable and working at the school, the hospital, at the Ayuntamiento, interviewing the Mayor. It feels very rewarding having produced film that can only show Aldeas de Paz in a positive light and perhaps create opportunities for future grants.

There is some amazingly beautiful scenery here on the Samana peninsula to explore. Whale watching during February and March, El Salto de Limon (waterfall), the amazingly beautiful Playa de Cayo Levantado and Los Haitises are some, but every so often you catch the beauty shown by the people; typically on the beach, with Bachata music playing as couples dance, as others play table games and still others lay back in the sun with a Carribbean kissed cocktail ready to sip, wrapped in not much more than the hot breeze drifting off the gentility of the ocean.

I have experienced a few of these kinds of cultural immersion trips now and felt genuinely emotional about leaving a group of people, whose heart tells them they want help a society, which at the moment is not able to give the same chances as most of us have back in our own countries.

Manfred is a great man and I have a lot of respect for him. He makes a lot of effort to help make your experience a useful and happy one. I came here to have an adventure, learn more Spanish and help a very worthwhile charity. I leave feeling like a better person, with what I have accomplished. Thanks Manfred, I have had an amazing experience, which will stay in my memories for a very long time to come. I hope our paths meet again in the not too distant future...... byeee I'm off to Costa Rica.

Yes, I recommend
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Turned out to be exactly what I was pursuing, I was right at the center of the organization

Hi, I’m Tim from Germany. In order to gain practical experience in the field of Management I started considering different options globally and decided to go for NGO-Management with Aldeas de Paz in the Dominican Republic. Within my studies at university I was already able to gain useful theoretical experience which I wanted to put into active use.

And let me just say this, it turned out to be exactly what I was pursuing, I was right at the center of the organization and could experience the restructuring of the organization first hand. As most of you probably already read, the organization had to move from Venezuela to the Dominican Republic in early 2015, and building up all the structures proves to be a long progress. Many things are already done and set up, specifically the school and housing structure, but other parts need further improvement.

Working within the Administration means working with human resources, financials, school and program administration and generally everything regarding the organization. Right from the very beginning there was a need to structure every single day, but I soon got into it and after a few days of work I looked forward to every new day and the new challenges.

Apart from the work, there was also more than enough time to plan trips around the peninsula of Samana for the weekends and other fun activities in or near the City of Santa Barbara de Samana, which could be done after work during the week. It is surely amazing, how many different things you can explore right where you live, right where you feel like you know every corner after living there for a week. This is something, that I can recommend everyone to do, no matter where you are, there is not always a need to travel far away.

But back to the work experience: as I’ve said, I was part of the NGO-Management program, so I’ve surely had another point of view on the programs. But from organizing and overviewing the different programs and the volunteers working in it, I can already tell that there is so much to do and every single person can have such an impact within the community. It is amazing to see, how a person new to a country, a culture or maybe even the language can be integrated, the general spirit of this peninsula and the country overall is to welcome everyone and work together – always tranquilo, but steadily – on developing and executing the ideas for the different programs. Plus, they are always open for new programs, but be prepared for a nice bit of discussion, that is something that most people are very good at! But then again, this just boosts your language skills furthermore, learning by doing just is the best way to learn!

In general I can recommend everyone that’s interested to go volunteering and for sure, Aldeas de Paz was exactly the right choice to learn about the management of a small grass-root NGO trying to find its path in new territory. If you are specifically looking for a small NGO, that focusses on bringing one particular community forward, this is the place to go to. If you are looking to experience volunteering first hand, but want to be in a safe environment to learn how it works, this is the place to go. And if you have the chance, stay longer than the one month that I was only able to stay there, because I’ve just been getting started when I had to leave. If you are willing to dive into a different culture with all the misunderstandings and different work ethics, you will find a place, where every bit of work that you do is highly appreciated, as every single step is a step forward!

Now go and see it yourself and join us in our mission to make this world a little better day by day!

Yes, I recommend

About 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...