Shorter Programs Still Capture the VISIONS Experience

Many students and parents are so busy with school and life that summer plans can easily fall by the wayside. And some think that staying home for the summer is a great idea… until school is out, boredom sets in, and they wish a summer adventure was planned.

The first round of VISIONS programs—most of them one month in duration— head out into the field at the end of June (there are still some spaces available). For those looking for plans later on, we also offer a number late summer sessions, which are two-week programs that launch at the end of July. For these programs, applications are still welcomed and accepted into the first couple weeks of July.

Although they are shorter, these sessions still capture the essence of the unique VISIONS experience. Rooted in service work, groups live at a home base together in the heart of the communities we serve. They are immersed in a new culture, and are also able to explore and experience adventures further out on the weekends.

Here’s a rundown of VISIONS late summer sessions:

Dominican Republic II, July 31 – August 11

VISIONS has worked with our partners in the Dominican Republic since 1991, and the combination of urban living along with visits to mountains, beaches, and rural communities makes this one of our most diverse locations. Here, your home base is in a neighborhood of Santo Domingo, and in this culturally rich and lively city, we have taken on some of our most robust projects, including the construction of schools, houses, and clinics, while also running a wildly popular day camp for local kids.

Guadeloupe II, July 29 – August 8

Based on the Island of Marie-Galante, service projects include building local infrastructure, some environmental work, and working with local kids. You will experience the welcoming island life through conversations and activities that include learning Zouk and Gwoka, the traditional dancing and drumming, dinner stays with local families, workshops with artisans, and visits to lively festivals and marketplaces. It’s a great opportunity to hone in your French skills, offering a perfect balance of island culture and French language immersion.

Mississippi II, July 19 – July 30

We have worked with our partners in the vibrant coastal community of Turkey Creek since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005, and we are one of the few volunteer groups still returning year after year. Here, our teens work towards environmental and community regeneration through construction projects focused on home rebuilding and environmental projects that help protect the important Pascagoula watershed. We are invited to their traditional and day-to-day activities, including lively barbecues, fish fries, live music, and outdoor games with neighborhood kids. We also make time after work and on weekends to explore the bayou and beaches, along with a day in New Orleans.

Montana Blackfeet II, July 31 – August 14, (FULL FOR BOYS)

We have worked with the Montana Blackfeet reservation since 1991, located along the Rocky Mountain Front bordering Glacier National Park. Indian tribes have the highest percentage of Americans living below poverty, and most reservations, like this one, lack adequate housing and social resources. While service is at the core of the experience, it’s in equal measure with cultural immersion and community-building with our friends on the reservation. We are invited to activities that very few non-tribal members partake in, and we make time after work and on weekends to explore Montana’s incredible landscape.

Nicaragua II, July 26 – August 9

This program is based in Jinotega, a charming, off-the-beaten-path central highland town that sits in a mountainous valley renowned for coffee production. Over the years, VISIONS teens have constructed numerous potable water systems in the area, bringing clean drinking water to communities that never imagined such a luxury. This year we will also be working towards completing a multi-year project, constructing a large community and medical center, and we also run a small day camp for local kids. You have the opportunity to hone in your Spanish skills through day to day activities and conversations.

Peru II, (FULL)

We have worked with our Peruvian partners since 1999, based in the small, culturally rich town of Urubamba in the Sacred Valley of the Inca at the base of the Andes Mountains. Here, we have helped build classrooms and school facilities and worked on irrigation projects in neighboring rural communities. While service projects are a core part of the experience, it’s in equal measure with cultural immersion and community-building with our friends in Urubamba. We partake in day-to-day life, practicing Spanish language skills, and we’re invited to traditional ceremonies. And then there are the adventures, as we also make time after work and on weekends to explore the scenic landscape and iconic Incan ruins.

VISIONS in The New York Times