Youth Care & Community- Enhance the lives of community members

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About

Our aim is to empower children, youth, young adults and woman by providing a educational platform where they can be supported in developing their potential and improving their own lives. At our "Mama Elba" school in Samana we are promoting the integration of special need students into the educational system. 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. Assist with activities like computer literacy classes and teaching language classes in English, German or any other language. In Las Terrenas volunteers assist with public school teaching and tutoring, but also swimming classes, sailing classes or first aid workshops can be offered to local youth. We are involved in youth, family and community development. We promote leadership and life skills, healthy lifestyle and constructive use of free time. We promote gender equality and women empowerment.

Highlights
  • 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.

Impact

We are involved in youth, family and community development as well. We promote leadership and life skills, healthy lifestyle and constructive use of freetime through skill training like language classes, computer literacy, first aid workshops and swimming classes. Volunteers join our staff on family home visits and assist with empowerment and educational workshops as well as community building activities in direct contact with community members from low income neighbourhoods in Samana. We are building community support for youth development and engaging support of parents/caregivers. Intermediate Spanish is required.

Related Programs

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.

Reviews

9.47 Rating
based on 32 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 93.75%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 3.13%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 3.13%
  • Impact 9.3
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 9.5
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 8 of 32
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Patricia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Casa de los niños

I really liked my stay in Las Terrenas at ADP. During my time I made so many experiences, which mostly were really interesting and good. I met a lot of nice people, got in touch with new customs and culture, enjoyed the beautiful landscape and learned a lot.

I enjoyed working at Casa de los Niños for one month. The school is so different to the ones we know from Europe, which made my experience even more interesting. The classrooms are mostly outside, the do not have a proper curriculum for English and books/exercise sheets are only limited available.

From day one on we had a lot of responsibility because we had a lot of different clases and the job to teach English. Sometimes it was hard, because we had to prepare the clases and organise everything on our own, but I learned a lot. I developed many new skills and improved my spanish. The downside of the school was, that many children were really loud and unorganised, so it was hard to teach them sometimes. But in the end everyone tried to improve their english, which made us happy. Beside from school I got in touch with many other volunteers and enjoyed my time in Las Terrenas. We went to many nice beaches, ate the tipical food, listen to dominican music and studied Spanish!

All in all I really enjoyed my stay at ADP and I would recommend it to other people.
Thank you for your help! I wish the fundation and all the volunteers only the best for their future!

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Sophie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A year full of valuable experiences

During my time at Aldeas de Paz I worked in the school, participated in medical missions and gave German classes. All the experience together and the whole year was a highlight for me and I liked about the organisation that it was never static, there were always new people coming and the group was always changing.
The Dominican Republic is a very special country with a strong culture. It is very different to Germany or to Europe and it gives you definitely another point of view on many things.
Finally I can say that I would totally recommend this placement! Even though working in the school mostly is really hard and takes a lot of energy and patience, the kids give you so much love back. For me, it was the best decision to work at the school!

Default avatar
Leticia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I enjoyed my stay and learned a lot

During my volunteer service in the foundation I worked in the Montessori school “Casa de los Niños”. I mainly worked with a group of pupils at the age of 7 to 12 with dyslexia, which later changed to one-on-one work with a student. I created exercises based on my research on the internet and on materials given to me by the director, Susy. Furthermore, I helped the teachers, for example by keeping the children quiet, copying things and helping the students with the tasks. The other teachers and everyone who worked at the school were welcoming and lovely, and were always happy to help if I didn’t understand something, it was a great working environment!
In the afternoon I did workshops, sometimes with Linda, other teachers or alone. Over the year I did a Portuguese-, decoration-, Art-, Geography- and German workshop. I created my own exercises for the workshops. Because of the workshops (and also because of my main task) I had a lot of freedom to create something and choose my focus. It was a really great experience and I learned a lot.
At the end I assisted Zena and Vito by doing small tasks, I also gave swim lessons alongside three other volunteers.
I had many highlights over the year;
Mostly, it was a highlight when the students understood something and would do the task on their own. For example: at the beginning of the year, the one student was very slow in reading and would change the letters “a” and “o”, so it wouldn’t make sense what he was reading, but throughout the year he read with more attention and began to read faster. Also, in math there was a progress to be seen. In addition to this, I also saw the progress of our swim students, this made me really proud of them.
Another highlight was meeting many different people, mostly short term volunteers from all over the world. Also the coordinators came from different countries and they were friendly and welcoming. I am really glad and thankful that I had these Coordinators (Zena and Vito).
Over the year I learned a lot, not only did I gain new experiences, I was also able to learn from the people and their culture.
I was also given the opportunity to learn about the gender equality project and assisted during workshops, which were really good and I got to know/ learn about new and useful things about the culture of the Dominican Republic.

I think it would be more sustainable for the community/people if the organization would focus more on helping the community with certain projects, the Mama Elba school is a good example but also the gender equality project (in a way the other program are also helping the community). For that it would be better if the volunteer would stay longer than a month and could speak a bit of the language. I think if you are only staying a week or a month you are just getting to know the city you are living in, the culture, the people and the language and then you have to leave! To do more and better help you must stay longer to get accustomed to your surroundings, in this sense I think even one year is not enough to make a large impact!
Even though there are these things I criticized, I enjoyed my stay and learned a lot.
Thank you

Default avatar
Linda
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This year with Aldeas de paz

I worked in the Casa de los ninos school for one year. Mainly, I assisted Kari , the English teacher of the 5 to 9 year old children. Besides playing games, explaining little grammatic tasks, such as the “s” in the 3rd form Singular or how to form the plural of different words, and be there for questions, one of my main tasks was to create new games and learn material. For me, it was very lovely to see the children play with my games and having fun. Also the working climate was very pleasant and I had a good relation to all the other teachers, who are all very nice and good colleagues. I had the feeling of being able to choose my own focus of what I wanted to do while I was in school, which is another positive aspect about my year in this institution. That way, we could choose what our workshops in the afternoon would look like and which topics we would like to concentrate on.

About the Organization Aldeas de Paz, I like that from the very beginning the coordinators were there for us, and we could express any concerns given. Our housing is very enjoyable and I like the fact that our volunteers come from different countries and work, live and enjoy our freetime together. On the other hand I think it would be good if it was a rule to have a certain level of Spanish knowledge. I know that I also came here with a very basic level, but I was very focused on learning the language, and when I reflect that year now, I come to the conclusion that a basic level of Spanish plus the will to learn more should be a precondition to come here, especially when volunteers stay only for a short time. That would lead our work to be serving more for the community then for the personal enjoyment.

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Sharon
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The most special year of my life - el año más especial de mi vida

In my volunteering I worked a year at the Mama Elba school in Samana, Dominican Republic. It was very nice sometimes difficult and hard but with time you learn a lot about children, work with them and you find the solutions so that everything goes well. What I liked most about working at school was the love of children. They are very sweet with all the volunteers and they are always happy to see us and play with us. That for me is the most valuable of that work.

The organization Aldeas de Paz takes care of all the volunteers and their needs. The coordinators are always available if there is a problem, at any time you can talk to them. They help us the best they can in everything and that is very important to feel safe in a country away from family and friends.
The special thing about the Dominican Republic for me is tranquility. Everything is done without stress and life is like a vacation. People are very happy, open, affectionate and you feel welcome wherever you go. Everywhere there is strong music, not everyone likes it but I love it. Dominican food I like a lot, especially natural juices and fruits that in Germany there is not. Seeing the sea and the beach every day for me is a paradise. The malecon and bridges are my favorite places here in Samana.
I recommend volunteering with the Aldeas de Paz organization because they take good care of the volunteers. Also all the volunteers have a nice relationship and are very close. They are like a family, so I recommend it to all those who want to live an unforgettable time and a unique experience in this tropical paradise called Dominican Republic.

En mi voluntariado yo trabaje un año en la escuela Mama Elba en Samana Republica Dominicana.
Fúe muy lindo a veces difizil y duro pero con el tiempo se aprende mucho sobre los niños, el trabajo con ellos y uno encuentra las soluciones para que todo salga bien.
Lo que más me gusto de el trabajo en la escuela fúe el amor de los niños. Ellos son muy dulces con todos los voluntarios y siempre se alegran mucho de vernos y de jugar con nosotros. Eso para mi es lo más valioso de ese trabajo.
La organización Aldeas de Paz se ocupa de todos los voluntarios y sus necesidades. Los coordinadores siempre están disponibles si hay algún problema, a cualquier hora uno puede hablar con ellos. Nos ayudan lo mejor que pueden en todo y eso es muy importante para sentirse seguro en un país lejos de la familia y los amigos.
Lo especial de la Republica Dominicana para mi es la tranquilidad. Todo se hace sin estrés y la vida es como una vacación. La gente es muy alegre, abierta, cariñosa y uno se siente bienvenido donde va. En todos lados hay musica fuerte, no a todos les gusta pero a mi me encanta. La comida Dominicana me gusta mucho, sobretodo los jugos naturales y las frutas que en alemania no hay. Ver el mar y la playa todos los días para mi es un paraiso. El malecon y los puentes son mis lugares favoritos aquí en Samana.
Yo recomiendo hacer un voluntariado con la organización Aldeas de Paz porque ellos se ocupan muy bien de los voluntarios. También todos los voluntarios tienen una linda relación y son muy unidos. Son como una familia, por eso yo lo recomiendo a todos los que quieren vivir un tiempo inolvidable y una experiencia única en este paraiso tropical llamado Republica Dominicana.

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Alina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I would recommend this volunteer service to everybody who wants to experience an adventure

During my stay in Samaná, I did work in the Mamá Elba school, which is a school for children with special needs. I really liked my work there and for me it was interesting to see how every child acts differently in the same situation. Furthermore, they get to know you with the time and became less shy. The most amazing thing was to see the developments the children made when they suddenly started to count or know new colours. Even though I only stayed for a short time, the children grew close to my heart very quickly and I looked forward to seeing them every day and playing with them.

I like the aim of the organization Aldeas de Paz, but sometimes the communication didn‘t work properly and it was a little bit chaotic. But the coordinators are very helpful and there for you at any time and help you with every problem you have.

I quickly fell in love with Samaná. It is a nice little city close to the beach. I love the culture of the Dominican Republic – they are always happy, listening to music and ready to dance. The whole mentality is very easygoing without any stress.

I would recommend this volunteer service to everybody who wants to experience an adventure, is willing to help people and wants to get to know himself better. In my time here, I learned more about myself and noticed that you don‘t need much to live. Already one little thing can make a big change in your life.

All in all, I really loved my work here and would do it again at any time.

Default avatar
Melina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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Kaitlin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.