Amigos de las Americas - Dominican Republic: Barahona

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About

Enjoy the vibrant summer culture of the Dominican Republic while creating and supporting a sports league! Soak up the sun in the Dominican Republic as you work with local youth to put leadership in motion and start a sports league in your community. After building your team, travel together to tournaments and workshops to compete against other teams in the region. Meanwhile, spend your time in community immersing yourself in the lively culture of the Dominican Republic, earning 155 service hours, enjoying arroz con habichuelas (a local dish made with rice and beans), and learning to play dominoes with your new friends.

Highlights
  • Develop a sports league alongside local community members
  • Live like a local with a host family
  • Explore the region
  • Lead daily activities for local youth
  • Improve your Spanish through authentic cultural immersion

New virtual gap year program

AMIGOS & Tufts University just launched a new virtual gap year experience for fall 2020: the Civic Action Gap Semester! Explore social change across the Americas, make an impact through a civic volunteership, engage with your community, and earn college credit.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.33 Rating
based on 12 reviews
  • Impact 9.3
  • Support 8.5
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 8.8
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 8 of 12
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Caroline
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Amigos Experience

My Amigos experience was one that I will never forget. I like to describe this program as an immersion program because the focus is on creating lasting connections and friendships with people in a different country and immersing yourself into a new culture. I remember stepping off the bus into the community of Juancho, my home for the month, and wondering what I had gotten myself into. However, a few second later, my host mom came and gave me a big hug and told me how excited she was for the summer. This small gesture made such an impact on me and from then on I jumped head-first into one of the best experiences of my life. I spent my month running camps for little kids, playing volleyball with the local teenagers, working on the community project, and bonding with my host family. I grew to be a stronger leader and found myself becoming much more confident in myself. Through this program, I met some of the most creative, innovative, and hard-working people, both in the communities and in the Amigos program. Amigos is completely unique to anything I had every done before and I am so glad I did it!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
If you have the opportunity to participate in an Amigos program, make sure you take full advantage. When you first get to the country, you are most likely going to be very nervous, like I was. But I learned that the best way to get over your nerves is to jump straight it. Regardless of your Spanish skills, introduce yourself to new people, take charge, and don't wait for others to direct you. Lastly, don't let your fear of what could happen stop you from going outside of your comfort zone and having an amazing time. This can be a life-changing, eye-opening experience if you take a leap of faith and don't second-guess yourself.
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Adriana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Summer in the Dominican Republic

My summer in the Dominican Republic was one of the most fruitful, inspiring, and rewarding experiences I have had in my life thus far. Amigos de las Americas is an incredible program that allows teenagers to have foreign experiences in the most important years of their life. This program was so crucial and important to my growth as a teenager into adulthood. I was able to learn about another culture by fully immersing myself in my community through food, customs, music, and sports. I made some of my best friends on this program, in both the Dominican Republic and spread out across the U.S. I will never forget the day my partner and I decided to hold a meeting during midday, right around the time it started to rain, and quickly learned that none of the community members would show up with the rain still pouring. I ate so much delicious food, learned how to dance bachata and merengue, and got my fair share of "outs" in baseball. This program was the best summer I have ever spent in my life.

Rosalinda
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing

My time there was the most amazing/hardest experience I have ever encountered. I was probably homesick for the first day but than got very involved in my community and recovered fast. My community is called Ingenito and is located in the mountains of San Juan dela Maguana. I have never felt so safe and at peace than when I touched foot on this land. I recommend this program to any one and everyone because I believe everyone can benefit from it in some way or another. It helped me grow and become way more independent.

What would you improve about this program?
If there is something I could change from it personally would be the cost of it. I would love for everyone to do this program but I know from personal experience how expensive and difficult it might be to a lot of people. I believe more financial aide should be given out and more financial support from the program would be awesome.
Default avatar
M
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great program and affordable cost

Amigos is a great experience for high school and college students alike. I participated in the program this past summer and had an amazing experience. You are placed in a community, generally rural (although the DR is the most urban country in the program, I believe) with one or two other partners. You live with a host family, lead activities with children, and collaborate with your community on a project.

The best part about Amigos is that you're on your own. Yes, you have a host family, and yes you have a partner or two and a supervisor, but you are the one who makes sure you finish what you need to. You're in control of your own experiences, and while there is a great staff and support system, it all comes down to how much you want to get out of it.

On top of that, Amigos is affordable, especially in a chapter where you fundraise together. I was given a scholarship through my chapter due to my family's low income, bringing the price down to about as much as the flight would cost.

The Dominican Republic is a great place to go with Amigos. The people are friendly, they're willing to help, and the music is non-stop. While the dialect is difficult to understand, you get it eventually. The climate is hot and humid, but the rain cools it down.

What would you improve about this program?
My only negative experience was a lack of communication between my partners and me and our organization.
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Esli2012
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amigos is Interesting

I loved the experience but I'm not sure if I would do it again anytime soon. I remember crying the first 2 weeks because I wanted to go home since I was not comfortable in a house with a latrine. It takes some getting used to. Eventually I had to move to another host family which was a better fit host family for me. By the end of my trip I was crying because I didn't want to leave. The first month or two that I came back to the U.S., I was longing to be in the Dominican Republic and found any way possible of communication with my friends from over there. The phone bill even reached the $500 mark due to long distance calls.... Now I look back at it and absolutely loved that it happened but am not sure if I am willing to go through all of that emotional stress a second time. It was definitely a character building experience for me, and the challenge helped me to grow.

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Spruce
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My life-changing experience

I volunteered with AMIGOS in 2000 in a small community between Neiba and Barahona. I lived with two other high school volunteers from the USA in a small, rural community. We stayed with host families and volunteered with the school and helped to get a project started that would create a communal park space for children to play. The program was 8 weeks long and very hot and dusty! The best thing was that the people were so nice and loving, like our own families. Even though the power went off frequently, the bachata, merengue, and salsa music never stopped flowing! Since then, I've been inspired to volunteer with the Peace Corps and eventually become a Spanish teacher. I still volunteer with AMIGOS, but as a trainer for volunteers preparing to go abroad, and as a board member with my local chapter. This organization has only gotten better over the years since I was a volunteer. I definitely recommend this program to anybody with the desire to get to know the people and community in which they'll live, and to volunteer their time for the projects.

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cabracrazy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

AMIGOS in the Dominican Republic

I volunteered with AMIGOS in the DR in '07. I stayed with a host family in a town called Hato Nuevo. My partners and I ran a day camp with the local kids to teach them dental hygene, water purification, played sports etc and we also raised money and supplies to paint and fix up the local school. Our day camp kids also helped us paint a mural at the school. I fell in love with the country and the people and the culture. My host family took great care of us and we felt safe walking around the town. We rarely had electricity and sometimes didn't get our bellies full, but it was such an AMAZING expierence!!! I wouldn't have changed a thing. Our supervisor checked in every week and addressed our concerns and evaluated our progress towards our goals. He always made us feel so comfortable. I did get a nasty chest cold and had to stay a few nights at the supervisors headquarters on a cot, but they got me some medicine and I was fixed up in no time. I feel like our program really made a difference to the people in the town and I cherish the time I spent there. I dream of going back one day. I highly recommend AMIGOS de las Americas.

Default avatar
Callie
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My amigos rating

I became homesick the first ten minutes of being in community but after that I was fine. The community members were extremely open and had fun asking all kinds of questions. The Spanish speaking part was one of the most difficult challenges I had because native speakers talk so much fast than your average Spanish teachers do. I picked up quick. Through out my experience as an Amigo volunteer I grew up alot and I became so much more confident. AMIGOS really changed the way I view life.