Dominican Republic

Program Itinerary

21 & 12 Day High School Service Programs

Dominican Republic 1

Below is the planned itinerary for the 2019 VISIONS Dominican Republic 1 program. The actual schedule may be a little different because work, community activities and excursions can vary depending on changes in the weather, unexpected invitations from new local friends and other opportunities.

 

June 29: Arrive at the airport in Santo Domingo, where VISIONS leaders meet the participants. All teens make a quick call home before heading out as a group. (Additional calls home happen about once a week during the rest of the trip.) We spend the day settling into our homebase in the easy-going, fun neighborhood of Elio Franco and learning what’s in store during the program. We also get to know each other during our first of many Circle meetings, which become a regular opportunity to touch base and plan together during the program.

 

June 30: Visit Jardín Botánico, a lovely little oasis in Santo Domingo, where we do more program orientation. Today’s scavenger hunt helps us know our neighborhood better. In the evening, we come together for a big party and welcome dinner with community friends and project partners, usually followed by some merengue and dance lessons for everyone who’s ready to jump into Dominican culture.

 

July 1: Today you visit worksites and learn more about VISIONS projects in the Dominican Republic, including school construction using cinder block and mortar, helping out at a popular day camp for local kids, designing and painting a mural at the community center, or helping make needed improvements to people’s homes. Then we visit Los Tres Ojos, three stunning lakes in a limestone cave.

 

July 2–5: We begin our regular project schedule this week, working mornings, having lunch at the worksite, and wrapping up by 2 pm. We also begin our homebase days, when a rotating crew helps with grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning up our living space. A couple afternoons, we go to the beaches like Boca Chica, with its charming beach town, and quiet Juan Dolio. We tour a few batey communities that were originally built around the sugarcane industry and are now some of the country’s poorest places, with minimal running water, electricity, schools and sanitary facilities. We talk with people who live here and learn more about their lives. We also engage in “Olympics,” lighthearted competition with neighbor kids, dance lessons and other fun cultural exchanges and invite local friends for dinner.

 

July 6 – 8: This weekend we have a whole assortment of fun planned including attending a baseball game at the Oakland A’s incredible facility outside of Santo Domingo. We also visit the Zona Colonial to check out an ancient fort and the first cathedral in “the New World.” And we take advantage of every opportunity to spend time with friends in our neighborhood, playing dominoes and vitilla (street baseball) or just hanging out practicing Spanish, while they work on their English. These are some of the best moments in the Dominican Republic.

 

July 8 – 12: We make good progress on our projects this week. Afternoon and evening activities include: movie night in town, practicing merengue and salsa at a local discoteca, and touring the Faro Colon, a huge lighthouse built to commemorate Columbus that has become a social and political disaster. We also visit an orphanage for girl’s in La Victoria, where one charismatic woman has been improving these girls’ lives for 20 years.

 

July 13–14: On Friday, we pack up early at our worksites to head to the Dominican Alps, the tallest mountain range in the Caribbean. During our two-night trip, we stay in a hotel in the idyllic mountain town of Jarabacoa.  We rest and relax (sometimes by the hotel pool), play volleyball and explore another part of this diverse country, including a hike to and swim in a waterfall.

 

July 15 – 17: We return refreshed to our work this week, our final week! Afternoon and evening activities include more outings to the beach, free time for games with local friends and more language practice (sometimes over a nice cold scoop of ice cream). We visit the Mercado Modelo, a huge 3-story artisan market with wares from craftspeople in both the Dominican Republic and neighboring Haiti. We take a trip to San Pedro, famous for producing many professional baseball players, where we tour a working sugar cane factory. We also spend an evening wandering on the Malecon, the walkway along the beachfront in heart of the city, and enjoy pizza.

 

July 18: We give our living space a Big Clean and pack up, before heading to Boca Chica beach one last time.  Then we host a festive going away dinner party for our new friends.

 

July 19: Everyone departs Santo Domingo, and leaders see each participant off on their flights.

Below is the planned itinerary for the 2019 VISIONS Dominican Republic 1 program. The actual schedule may be a little different because work, community activities and excursions can vary depending on changes in the weather, unexpected invitations from new local friends and other opportunities.

June 29: Arrive at the airport in Santo Domingo, where VISIONS leaders meet the participants. All teens make a quick call home before heading out as a group. (Additional calls home happen about once a week during the rest of the trip.) We spend the day settling into our homebase in the easy-going, fun neighborhood of Elio Franco and learning what’s in store during the program. We also get to know each other during our first of many Circle meetings, which become a regular opportunity to touch base and plan together during the program.

June 30: Visit Jardín Botánico, a lovely little oasis in Santo Domingo, where we do more program orientation. Today’s scavenger hunt helps us know our neighborhood better. In the evening, we come together for a big party and welcome dinner with community friends and project partners, usually followed by some merengue and dance lessons for everyone who’s ready to jump into Dominican culture.

July 1: Today you visit worksites and learn more about VISIONS projects in the Dominican Republic, including school construction using cinder block and mortar, helping out at a popular day camp for local kids, designing and painting a mural at the community center, or helping make needed improvements to people’s homes. Then we visit Los Tres Ojos, three stunning lakes in a limestone cave.

July 2–5: We begin our regular project schedule this week, working mornings, having lunch at the worksite, and wrapping up by 2 pm. We also begin our homebase days, when a rotating crew helps with grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning up our living space. A couple afternoons, we go to the beaches like Boca Chica, with its charming beach town, and quiet Juan Dolio. We tour a few batey communities that were originally built around the sugarcane industry and are now some of the country’s poorest places, with minimal running water, electricity, schools and sanitary facilities. We talk with people who live here and learn more about their lives. We also engage in “Olympics,” lighthearted competition with neighbor kids, dance lessons and other fun cultural exchanges and invite local friends for dinner.

July 6 – 8: This weekend we have a whole assortment of fun planned including attending a baseball game at the Oakland A’s incredible facility outside of Santo Domingo. We also visit the Zona Colonial to check out an ancient fort and the first cathedral in “the New World.” And we take advantage of every opportunity to spend time with friends in our neighborhood, playing dominoes and vitilla (street baseball) or just hanging out practicing Spanish, while they work on their English. These are some of the best moments in the Dominican Republic.

July 8 – 12: We make good progress on our projects this week. Afternoon and evening activities include: movie night in town, practicing merengue and salsa at a local discoteca, and touring the Faro Colon, a huge lighthouse built to commemorate Columbus that has become a social and political disaster. We also visit an orphanage for girl’s in La Victoria, where one charismatic woman has been improving these girls’ lives for 20 years.

July 13–14: On Friday, we pack up early at our worksites to head to the Dominican Alps, the tallest mountain range in the Caribbean. During our two-night trip, we stay in a hotel in the idyllic mountain town of Jarabacoa.  We rest and relax (sometimes by the hotel pool), play volleyball and explore another part of this diverse country, including a hike to and swim in a waterfall.

July 15 – 17: We return refreshed to our work this week, our final week! Afternoon and evening activities include more outings to the beach, free time for games with local friends and more language practice (sometimes over a nice cold scoop of ice cream). We visit the Mercado Modelo, a huge 3-story artisan market with wares from craftspeople in both the Dominican Republic and neighboring Haiti. We take a trip to San Pedro, famous for producing many professional baseball players, where we tour a working sugar cane factory. We also spend an evening wandering on the Malecon, the walkway along the beachfront in heart of the city, and enjoy pizza.

July 18: We give our living space a Big Clean and pack up, before heading to Boca Chica beach one last time.  Then we host a festive going away dinner party for our new friends.

July 19: Everyone departs Santo Domingo, and leaders see each participant off on their flights.

Dominican Republic 2

Below is the planned itinerary for the 2019 VISIONS Dominican Republic 2 program. The actual schedule may be a little different because work, community activities and excursions can vary depending on changes in the weather, unexpected invitations from new local friends and other opportunities.

 

July 24: Arrive at the airport in Santo Domingo, where VISIONS leaders meet the participants. Here all teens make a quick call home. (Additional calls home happen about once a week during the rest of the trip.) We spend the day settling into our homebase in the easy-going, fun neighborhood of Elio Franco and learning what’s in store during the program. We also get to know each other during our first of many Circle meetings, which become a regular opportunity to touch base and plan together during the program.

 

July 25: Visit Jardín Botánico, a lovely little oasis in Santo Domingo, where we do more program orientation. Today, you also visit worksites and learn more about VISIONS projects in the Dominican Republic including school construction using cinder block and mortar, helping out at a popular day camp for local kids, designing and painting a mural at the community center, or helping make needed improvements to people’s homes. We end the day with an afternoon trip to a beautiful nearby beach. In the evening, we come together for a big party and welcome dinner with community friends and project partners, usually followed by some merengue and dance lessons for everyone who’s ready to jump into Dominican culture.

 

July 26: Get to know the community with an “Olympics,” which is really just a lighthearted competition with neighbor kids, as well as a scavenger hunt.

 

July 27 – July 31: This week we dig into our service projects during the cooler mornings, have lunch at our worksites, and wrap up by 2 pm. Every day, a home base crew of a few teens stays back to help with grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning our living space. Afternoons and evenings are filled with activities such as visiting Los Tres Ojos (gorgeous lakes in limestone caves), a girl’s orphanage and a few batey communities, which are among the country’s poorest neighborhoods. We also walk along the beachfront in the heart of the city and stop for pizza, take dance lessons and try them out at a local discoteca and basically jump at any and every opportunity to spend time with local peers and practice our Spanish.

 

August 1: Attend a baseball game at the Oakland A’s incredible facility outside of Santo Domingo.

 

August 2: A visit to the Zona Colonial gives us a chance to check out an ancient fort and the first cathedral in “the New World.” We also visit the Mercado Modelo, a huge 3-story artisan market with wares from craftspeople in both the Dominican Republic and neighboring Haiti.

 

August 3: We give our living space a Big Clean and pack up, before heading to Boca Chica beach one last time. Then we host a festive going away dinner party for our new friends.

 

August 4: Teens depart Santo Domingo, and leaders see each participant off on their flights.

Below is the planned itinerary for the 2019 VISIONS Dominican Republic 2 program. The actual schedule may be a little different because work, community activities and excursions can vary depending on changes in the weather, unexpected invitations from new local friends and other opportunities.

July 24: Arrive at the airport in Santo Domingo, where VISIONS leaders meet the participants. Here all teens make a quick call home. (Additional calls home happen about once a week during the rest of the trip.) We spend the day settling into our homebase in the easy-going, fun neighborhood of Elio Franco and learning what’s in store during the program. We also get to know each other during our first of many Circle meetings, which become a regular opportunity to touch base and plan together during the program.

July 25: Visit Jardín Botánico, a lovely little oasis in Santo Domingo, where we do more program orientation. Today, you also visit worksites and learn more about VISIONS projects in the Dominican Republic including school construction using cinder block and mortar, helping out at a popular day camp for local kids, designing and painting a mural at the community center, or helping make needed improvements to people’s homes. We end the day with an afternoon trip to a beautiful nearby beach. In the evening, we come together for a big party and welcome dinner with community friends and project partners, usually followed by some merengue and dance lessons for everyone who’s ready to jump into Dominican culture.

July 26: Get to know the community with an “Olympics,” which is really just a lighthearted competition with neighbor kids, as well as a scavenger hunt.

July 27 – July 31: This week we dig into our service projects during the cooler mornings, have lunch at our worksites, and wrap up by 2 pm. Every day, a home base crew of a few teens stays back to help with grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning our living space. Afternoons and evenings are filled with activities such as visiting Los Tres Ojos (gorgeous lakes in limestone caves), a girl’s orphanage and a few batey communities, which are among the country’s poorest neighborhoods. We also walk along the beachfront in the heart of the city and stop for pizza, take dance lessons and try them out at a local discoteca and basically jump at any and every opportunity to spend time with local peers and practice our Spanish.

August 1: Attend a baseball game at the Oakland A’s incredible facility outside of Santo Domingo.

August 2: A visit to the Zona Colonial gives us a chance to check out an ancient fort and the first cathedral in “the New World.” We also visit the Mercado Modelo, a huge 3-story artisan market with wares from craftspeople in both the Dominican Republic and neighboring Haiti.

August 3: We give our living space a Big Clean and pack up, before heading to Boca Chica beach one last time. Then we host a festive going away dinner party for our new friends.

August 4: Teens depart Santo Domingo, and leaders see each participant off on their flights.

Celebrating 30 Years