Alternative Spring Break

Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic - Island of Knowledge

Students enrolled in Spanish 1030 will be given priority for this experience. 

Outreach360 is currently working in the far northwest region of the Dominican Republic in the small rural fishing town of Monte Cristi. The town of Monte Cristi is a magical place, best known as a slow-paced beach town. Unlike the bustling tourist destinations in the large coastal resorts in the Dominican Republic, Monte Cristi finds itself well off the beaten path. It’s this distance that adds to its authenticity and charm, revealing beautiful scenery, friendly people, and a lively community of true Dominican culture. Under the direction of Outreach360, you will focus on education for children as a sustainable solution to rural poverty. You play a role in creating opportunities for disadvantaged children to transform their lives by teaching English, facilitating learning activities, and creating lesson plans through the Outreach360 Learning Centers and local schools.

UN Sustainable Development Goal 4 - Quality Education
UN Sustainable Development Goal 10 - Reduced Inequalities

 

 

 

 

Community Partners

Outreach360 

Dates of Travel

Saturday, February 16, 2019 – Saturday, February 23, 2019 

Participant Numbers

  • 13 Student Participants
  • 1 Student Team Leader
  • 2 Team Leaders

*Note: this experience can accommodate up to 20 participants (including team leaders), assuming airline seats are available; however, this may mean additional participants pay an increased fee (based on new flight prices).

Highlights

You'll be participating in a complete week of service, teaching English to Dominican school children. You will teaching in teams, and receive strong support from Outreach360 staff.  In addition, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the following cultural activities:

  • Immerse yourself in Dominican history and culture while living with a community in Monte Cristi and learning about school systems in the Dominican.
  • Visit the Dajabon market at the Haiti border. It's a rich cultural experience that contrasts an impoverished country like Haiti with a wealthier country like the Dominican Republic. The market has been featured on PBS, the New York Time, Discovery Channel, etc. 
  • Hiking and swimming at El Morro National Park - just 3 miles from our volunteer center. Swimming is also available at the Monte Cristi pier, just a short walk from our volunteer center. You can also hike a (small!) mountain.
  • Visiting the birthplace of Osvaldo Virgil, the first Dominican major league baseball player. 
  • Visiting the Maximo Gomez museum, where the Cuban declaration of independence (the Manifesto de Monte Cristi) was signed by Maximo Gomez and Jose Marti in 1895.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the Alternative Spring Break 2018 program, students participating in this experience will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to explore ideas, issues, and global systems from viewpoints other than their own, through reflective practice, group discussions and program activities
  • Work under conditions of ambiguity or uncertainty by engaging with community partners, community members and working as a team
  • Demonstrate an understanding of intercultural competence, sensitivity and humility by completing pre-departure workshops, activities in OWL and the ASB Reflective Practice Workbook, and engaging in the 1-2 week community-based experience
  • Describe the composition of the diverse population of the Dominican Republic (including Monte Cristi), and the inequalities among various groups
  • Compare and contrast the education system of the Dominican Republic and their own educational experiences to date, in order to identify differences and similarities between the two systems

Ideal Participant

Your team will be exposed to a true Dominican experience. The ideal participant loves working with children, and is optimistic and curious. Expect to explore the local area, and venture outside your comfort zone, while negotiating local markets and common forms of Dominican Republic transportation. If you can commit to going with the flow, and enjoying the simple pleasures in life, this experience will be a good fit. Participants with an interest in teaching, and who have a basic level of Spanish will flourish.

Cost

Total cost (subject to change) – $2,600 CAD

Costs include:

  • Flight
  • Registration and programs fees with Outreach360
  • Contribution to the project and comprehensive on-site support
  • Insurance (health, flight cancellation, baggage)
  • Transportation to/from airport
  • Transportation in the Dominican Republic
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Administrative Fee (t-shirt, team leader contribution, journal)

Note: ASB participants will be responsible for any luggage costs assigned by individual airlines, airport tax, souvenirs, or additional food/snacks during the trip.

Preliminary Itinerary

Day 1 (Travel): Fly to Puerto Plata and travel to Monte Cristi on the north coast of the island. It is here you will call home for the next eight days. 

Day 2 (Orientation): During the morning,  you will participate in a general orientation to learn about Dominican culture, Outreach360 volunteer principles and service philosophies, and tour the community.  In the afternoon, you will learn about the Dominican education system, learn basic teaching techniques, review your teaching objectives for the week, and prepare your first lesson plans! 

Days 3-6 (Service): You'll be team-teaching English to Dominican students in the local schools and/or the Outreach360 Learning Center. English is a highly sought after skill in the Dominican Republic, but English teachers are few. You'll be filling a real need with your skills and talent. In addition, you will be learning more about Dominican culture and history, including participating in Dominican merengue and bachata dance lessons!

Day 7 (Culture and Recreation): You'll visit the famous market on the Dominican/Haiti border, the museum where the Cuban declaration of independence was signed, enjoy an authentic Dominican lunch at an old-style restaurant, and hike and swim at the El Morro National Park. The evening will include a closing with Outreach360 to powerfully complete your week!

Day 8 - Travel: Return to Puerto Plata for the flight home!

PLEASE NOTE: Itinerary is draft, and subject to change at any point in time.

Accommodations

Participants will sleep in bunk beds in a dorm-like setting on Outreach360’s property. Sheets/towels are provided; however, students may bring their own and may choose to donate them at the end of the experience. Mosquito netting is also provided.

Meals

Meals are prepared in-house by Outreach360 staff and reflect a variety of local foods (rice, beans, chicken, tortillas, plantains, etc.) as well as North American favourites (pancakes, spaghetti, etc.)

All group meals during the program are included, and participants are responsible for any personal snacks.

Need to Know

  • This experience does not involve travel through the USA.
  • You are responsible for ensuring that you have the required travel documents and travel visas necessary to participate in the experience.
  • If you require disability related accommodation or have other special considerations, we encourage you to contact us before applying. We may require further information to determine how we can best meet your accommodation needs.