Language Immersion and Service in the Dominican Republic

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Depositphotos_25894685_s-2015.jpg

Language Immersion and Service in the Dominican Republic

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Grade: 11th                                                                                                     

Travel Dates: June 19 through June 26

* All tour dates are tentative until flights are booked in spring 2017

Your Service Project Themes
Local non-profits help tour planners to better understand the needs of each community and then focus projects on those issues. Themes include Dominican culture, environmental conservation, and education.

 Itinerary: 


DAY 1: ARRIVE IN SANTO DOMINGO
Meet your Field Director at the airport. After you arrive at your accommodations, settle in and meet your group for the country orientation and safety overview.

DAY 2: SANTO DOMINGO
Take a guided tour of the Colonial Zone, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then, take a scenic ride through the central mountain range to your service project location.

·         Learn about your first service project during orientation.

·         Take a tour of the local community you’ll be serving.

 
DAY 3: SERVICE PROJECT — CENTRAL MOUNTAIN REGION
As communities evolve so do their needs. We’ll work closely with area non-profits and community members to better understand local challenges. Since projects are determined closer to your actual tour date, here’s a glimpse at what a typical day might look like. 

·         In the morning, begin your environmentally focused service project in a nearby village.

·         Spend the afternoon immersed in cultural activities.

·         In the evening, reflect, discuss events as a group, and draw connections between the day’s work and relevant global issues.

 
DAY 4: SANTIAGO
On your way to the north coast, stop in Santiago and spend the day immersed in local culture as you explore the 15th-century city known for its cathedrals, architecture and museums. Today, you'll: 

·         Take a ceramics workshop with a local artisan.

·         Learn about Dominican history at the Centro de Leon museum.

·         Visit a nearby farm and explore all that's involved with a local harvest.

 
DAYS 5-6: SERVICE PROJECT — NORTHERN COAST
Focus your efforts on an education-themed service project in a northern coast community. You will also take part in an ecological hike. 

DAY 7: NATIONAL MARINE PARK AND MANGROVE TOUR

·         Take a guided tour of a national marine park where tropical plants and pristine beaches abound. Enjoy a naturalist tour of the lagoon.

·         Explore the mangroves by boat with your expert local tour guide.

 
DAY 8: DEPART FOR HOME

 

On this trip, students familiarized themselves with island life in the Dominican Republic through hands-on service projects and authentic interactions with locals. Every day students built confidence in their Spanish through morning language lessons and in conversations with people from the area. As students worked together with locals on a series of small community-based service projects, they were immersed in the culture, expanding their fluency, and experiencing life as the Dominicans do. And, students returned home with a better understanding of what meaningful service means in an interconnected world.

Itinerary:

DAY 1: ARRIVE IN SANTIAGO Meet your Program Director at the airport. After you arrive at your accommodations, settle in and meet your group for an orientation and safety overview.

DAYS 2-6: SERVICE COMMUNITY As communities evolve, so do their needs. We’ll work closely with area non-profits and community members to better understand local challenges, while mixing in language lessons to foster authentic interactions with people in the community. Here’s a glimpse at what a typical day might look like.  Each morning, you’ll take part in a language lesson led by your local Program Director.  Spend afternoons putting your language skills to use during your service project with locals. Past projects have included planting community gardens and building pathways.  Take part in cultural activities like cooking classes and learning how Dominican farms operate to further your interaction with locals.  Evenings are a chance to reflect, discuss events as a group, draw connections between the day’s work and relevant global issues and to continue practicing your Spanish.

DAY 7: Explore a mangrove forest by boat or spend the day enjoying the Caribbean coastline at the beach.  Participate in reflection activities after dinner.

DAY 8: DEPART FOR HOME

Learn more about the Dominican Republic

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