• Dominican Republic
    • Santiago

Program Details

Guesthouse Hostel


Starting Price
Price Details
Cost includes flights, room and board, three meals per day, insurance and local transport
Sep 08, 2016
Jul 04, 2016
5 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Volunteering for Partners for Rural Health in the Dominican Republic offers a unique opportunity to help provide much needed medical care to thousands of patients in rural villages in the Dominican Republic while also gaining valuable professional experience and education through engaging with patients directly in a real clinical setting.

Twice a year, in January and in June, PRHDR travels to 22 villages in very remote, isolated areas. We have been working with the same communities for over 20 years, meaning that we offer continuity of care and know our patients well. In each community, we offer medical clinics focused on those who are most needy and providing care to those who would otherwise go without.

Our volunteers are doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, dentists, interpreters, Peace Corps, pharmacists, physical therapists, clinic greeters and intake staff. However, you do not need a medical background or even a knowledge of Spanish (though it is helpful!) to volunteer.

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 7 reviews
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  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
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  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 5
  • Value 4.85
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 7 of 7 reviews
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Yes, I recommend this program

Summer 2016

Awesome experience! PRHDR is doing such great work in so many remote mountainous villages in the DR. Just being a small part of this exceptional team was as humbling as it was rewarding. At the conclusion of 8 straight days of clinics I felt so energized that I could have done even more days of clinics! Hopefully I will be able to assist PRHDR in the DR again, God willing.
There is such a need for health and wellness care for these warm, hospitable, genuine, and grateful villagers that I hope PRHDR will be afforded the opportunity to expand their services.

74 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Experience

As a volunteer with PRHDR for over 10 years, it has been my pleasure and desire to give back to the good people of the world. At 60 years of age, still working in my practice of Physical Therapy, I was drawn to all I had heard about the idea of student involvement and clinical practice. Each year brings me closer to understanding the role of health care needs throughout the world. I find the people of the DR to be receptive and eager to be well, not unlike myself! I have made many new friends over the years and enjoy the camaraderie and laughter on each trip.

Clinic days are hectic, busy, with much to do. As few Physical Therapists have been involved, I have taken a role of initiating education and treatment of the chronic and acute conditions I encounter. Education is usually very basic, but life changing for people who have never been exposed to education around their medical or physical condition. I admire the villagers for their fortitude, sense of humor and hard work to get through their day-to-day tasks primarily of housekeeping and farming. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to be offered a peeled orange as a thank you for a home visit, or a cup of Dominican coffee…the best!

Fusimana is a lovely place to lay my weary head at night, sharing my room and experiences with others of like mind. Listening to frogs and birds in the morning is an added bonus. Each mission is unique, based on the students, leaders, and volunteers. Each mission has its own set of rewards that keep drawing me back for more. I feel safe when there, knowing the facility of Fusimana is well care for, organized and no worries about the food!! A Dominican kitchen staff prepares delicious meals.

82 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

As worth it to the volunteer as to the patient.

Give PRHDR two weeks and marvel at how much good you can do in that time.

I joined the Winter 2016 trip as a volunteer interpreter. It was my first time to the DR and my first time interpreting. At first, I wondered how to do my part. But right away, I had all kinds of ways to do a part; unpacking the pharmacy, organizing the eyeglasses, loading the trucks, putting up the tent, carrying the water, etc. By the time I sat down with a patient and nursing student on the first day of clinics, we had built a bond from all the shared experiences. The student and I were eager to be there, excited to take a history, check vitals, give instructions; and we banished the trepidation and dove in.

That day set the tone for the trip and each day was even better than the one before. The people that we served showed us such gratitude for seeing them and for what we gave, even when it was just a toothbrush, aspirin, or vitamins.

Being around these people, surrounded by a dramatic landscape, and hosted by a warm community; all in the company of like minded folks, packed this trip with meaning. Those twelve days were some of the most fulfilling in memory.

What would you improve about this program?
Digitizing records to ease identifying patients and taking a history.
62 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

A Life-changing Experience

Going to the Dominican Republic was the scariest decision I've ever made in my life. It also turned out to be absolutely the most rewarding thing I've ever done.

I went in Winter of 2016 as a student RN. I was so impressed with the team that I had the pleasure to work with, the kindness of the staff who worked where we stayed and the amazing volunteers (drivers, nurses, nurse practitioners, doctors and interpreters) who made the trip possible.

When we began to see patients in the clinics, it was apparent that I had made the right decision and exactly why I was there. The men, women and children who we serviced were loving, kind, grateful people who showed me what appreciation really looked like.

The company that I traveled with made this experience amazing and I will absolutely be making this trip again as an RN. PRHDR introduced me to an amazing life of service to others and I look forward to my next adventure with them!

68 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible People, Incredible Experience

I've had the absolute pleasure of attending two trips with PRHDR as an interpreter and the experience changed my life. The whole set-up of the program is a moving experience for an interpreter. On one side, I am an advocate for patients, listening to them tell their stories and ensuring their concerns are heard and understood. When I expressed interest in a home visit, I was able to spend a day with the home visit team. With this group, I had the opportunity to see the real impact of the medical teams. The gratitude the patients express highlights the importance of the medications and care PRHDR brings to the region.

On the other side, as an interpreter, I got to witness students grow into nurses as they practice their assessment skills daily at clinic. This is moving in a completely different way. It's an honor to witness the compassion that each student exudes as they put years of nursing school classes into practice while trying to communicate across a cultural and language barrier. A real pleasure to watch!

Before going on my first trip with PRHDR, the trip leaders were extremely accommodating! I was concerned about my level of Spanish before my first trip, but all of my emails were answered promptly and patiently. In the DR as well, the organizers were approachable and would happily address any question I had. For good measure, I would also like to note that never in my life have I eaten so many delicious avocados! Plus, each day it seems like clinic is in a more beautiful location than the day before...the scenery is breath-taking!

I highly recommend this program!

71 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing

I've been involved with this program since summer 2011 and been going every year. One of my best friends and co-workers had told me about his experiences in the DR for the past year and I wanted to check it our for myself.
The people. Wow, the people are so accepting and so appreciative of what we do. It's amazing how they think so much of what we do for them and give them, even if we can only provide them with some Tylenol and vitamins. I have received so much more back than what they realize.
It is so beautiful to see the relationships that are formed and continue to grow each time I go volunteer. It is also gratifying to know that because of this program and its ability to sustain its involvement with the community, that the quality of life they have has improved.
One of my favorite parts of this trip is to see the growth of the young teenagers becoming medical doctors, and to hear about their experiences in medical school and then to see them give back to their communities.
This program and the Dominican Republic will always have a piece of my heart....and I can only feel whole again when I come back each time.

What would you improve about this program?
Possibly computerized medical records?
73 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Seeing the World from New Prospective

I had studied abroad, been on many trips overseas, and gone on summer study abroad trips - but none of them compared to this trip. I saw the world from a whole new prospective. We were on a mission trip to provide healthcare to under privileged communities. Although I did not speak the language I have never been more touched by people or felt appreciated for the little things I did for them than I did when I was there. These villages were so thankful for what we did. They brought us fruits, offered for us to come to their homes for a meal, anything they had to offer to show us how thankful they were. Many of these families had very little. But their hearts were huge and so grateful. Not only did we touch their hearts, but as a student (Athletic Training) I learned so much. Leaving was so hard. I wanted to stay and help everyone that I could. This was a trip I would never forget and I cannot wait to volunteer as a clinician and help these amazing people again.

68 people found this review helpful.

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