Volunteering in Santo Domingo

In Santo Domingo, our volunteering project partner is active in community development.

With a population of more than 3 million inhabitants Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, is a vibrant and lively Caribbean metropolis. Likewise, the city traces 500 years of history. In 1990, its Old Town “Zona Colonial” was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Believing in People and Commitment

More than 16% of the Dominicans live on less than USD 2.- per day, with a significant gap in income equality. Corruption, wasteful government spending, and unreliable electric service all reduce investment returns, push inflation, low-quality education, high unemployment and further nourish social conflicts, e.g. between Dominicans and Haitians. But the Dominican Republic is also one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America due to its most important economic drive force: tourism. However, very few benefit from it. As a result, communities and local initiatives are working hard to find sustainable solutions for the most pressing problems.

The IIC program “Spanish & Volunteer Work” offers a hands-on immersion experience: It combines Spanish classes with volunteer work in the Dominican Republic and therefore, provides the possibility to learn Spanish while supporting local community projects.

This program is right for you if:

  • You want to make a difference
  • You like to do something meaningful
  • You like to immerse yourself into the life & culture of a big city
  • You want to learn more about cultural diversity in the Dominican Republic
  • You want to practice your Spanish from class with the people on the street

 

THE PROGRAM

In general, the IIC program “Spanish & Volunteering” consists of minimum 3 weeks: 1 week of Spanish class plus 2 weeks of volunteer work, depends on your starting Spanish language level and the volunteer program you choose.

In Santo Domingo, the minimum length of the program is 4 weeks, as we work with a social project there. Extensions are possible and can be booked in addition. Starting dates are every second Monday all year round.

Spanish

During the first week, students will study Spanish at IIC. Classes are offered on different language levels, also for Spanish beginners. The group course (max. 7 students) consists of 20 45-min lessons per week and runs from Monday to Friday, usually from 9:00AM until 12:30PM.

Volunteer Work

During the following weeks students will be placed with our volunteer partners. Our partner organizations will take direct care of the volunteers and cater the experience to their abilities, talents, and interests.

Volunteers should expect to work an average of 15 hours per week. They can choose from three different projects: a children’s home, a community project, or an animal rescue organization. Volunteering in our social projects requires a minimum of 3 weeks of work and a minimum A2 Spanish level.

 

PROGRAM LOCATION IIC Santo Domingo

Project partner in Santo Domingo: Hogar Escuela Doña Chucha

Our program partner is a Center for Girls between the ages 6 and 17 from difficult family backgrounds or in difficult personal situations. They are offered classes and other activities, as well as a place to stay. At present, Doña Chucha takes care of about 100 girls and teenagers.

Volunteering experiences there include: Organizing and leading work-shops with the children (English classes, learning games, music, dance, theater, painting, environmental education etc.); supporting the Center’s office/ library team (support with statistics, organization, website/ answering inquiries), and more.

Volunteering with Hogar Escuela Doña Chucha requires a minimum of 3 weeks of volunteer work and a minimum A2 Spanish level. Total Spanish beginners should expect to take a 4-week Spanish course to reach the required language level before starting at the project. Students who have already the required minimum language level will have minimum one week of Spanish class at IIC.

 

Dates – Costs – Lodging

Starting dates: every second Monday; first date: 9 Jan. 2018
Minimum age: 18 years
Program cost: starting at USD 560.- for 4-week program in Santo Domingo

You can also join the “Spanish & Volunteer”-program with your friends and sign up as a group.

We are glad to arrange lodging for you at both locations during the whole program. In Santo Domingo, you can stay at the school’s students residence or with a host family. Lodging includes half-board or is in self-catering. Other accommodation options are available as well — see lodging or download our IIC Spanish Course Program 2018 for further details.

Our volunteer partner is located about 15 min by public transportation from IIC school.

Airport round-trip through IIC can be arranged upfront (see price list). All other transport costs for travelling between the NGOs and the accommodation is at own expense to be paid on site. We will explain you how it works.