Our volunteering project partners in the Sosua area are active in community development and animal rescue.
Sosua is located on the north coast of the Dominican Republic, only 10 min driving from the International Airport of Puerto Plata. The small coastal town, home to 12,000 inhabitants, is known for its rich diversity in nature sites, beaches, and watersports.
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 a new, multinational culture
- 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 consists of minimum 3 weeks: 1 week of Spanish class plus 2 weeks of volunteer work, depending on your Spanish language level and the volunteer program you choose. Extensions are possible and can be booked in addition. Starting dates are every second Monday all year round.
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.
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 require a minimum of 3 weeks of work and a minimum A2 Spanish level.
PROGRAM LOCATION IIC Sosua
Project partner: PROJECT Esperanza (Sosua/ Puerto Plata area)
Our program partner is a community development project in the Puerto Plata area. The project is mainly, but not only, working with Haitian immigrants in the area since 2006.
Volunteering experiences there include: workshops (e.g. English or art) with the children, infrastructure (painting, building, murals…), garden work, office work (e.g. helping to organize visiting school groups), working in the organization’s office, website/social media support, photography/ videography, and more.
Volunteering with Project Esperanza 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.
Project partner: Dogs & Cats, Dominican Republic (Sosua/ Cabarete area)
Our program partner is a Dominican NGO taking care of stray dogs and cats in the Sosua/Cabarete area. The organization runs a cost-free sterilization program, provides vaccines/ parasite treatments, offers an adoption program, has a community outreach education program in local schools and communities, and facilitates a foster program. Their intention is to provide good homes for as many dogs and cats as possible, and also provide local families who take care of an animal with knowledge and funding where needed.
Volunteering experiences there include: working with the animals, accompanying local families in the outreach program, organizational support (answering questions about adoption, maintaining the website, helping with social media, organizing fundraising events), and more. Vets and vet students are welcome to work in the spay & neuter program.
Volunteering with Dogs & Cats, Dominican Republic requires a minimum of 2 weeks of volunteer work plus 1 week of Spanish class upfront; total Spanish beginners are welcome, too.
Dates – Costs – Lodging
Starting dates: every second Monday – please contact us
Minimum age: 18 years
Program cost: starting at USD 560.- for a 3-week program
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 Sosua, you can stay in the students residence directly on campus. Lodging includes breakfast or is in self-catering. Other accommodation options are available through us as well — see here the various options we offer. During the volunteer phase, at some projects lunch is available, too (surcharge USD 10.-/meal).
Our volunteer partners are located 15 to 45 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.