Dominican Republic Program
This wonderful project aims to teach English to local youth in order to equip them with the necessary skills to succeed in the community’s and the country’s tourism industry. With English as the overarching common language between tourists to the Dominican Republic, children are set up for a better future if they are able to speak English well and have the skills to prepare for and be successful in a career. To teach English, the project focuses on non-traditional types of teaching, including song, dance, art, and sports - mainly tennis. At the heart of the project there is a belief in the power of active learning, so tennis has been chosen due to its associated benefits of cognitive stimulation, anxiety reduction, and an overall whole body workout. Despite the sport of choice, the project welcomes all sorts of activities and encourages students to try many different things, socializing with and learning from those around them.
Goals of this Project:
- Give free extracurricular English lessons to local children ages 3-13 through a variety of methods
- Prepare older students for interviews, job opportunities, and regular interaction with English speaking tourists
- Provide a welcoming, safe, and clean environment that encourages consistency, responsibility, and fun!
How You Can Help
Volunteers are extremely important to the development and progress of the projects students. Working in the tourism industry will expose students to people from many different areas of the world, with differing cultures and accents, so they benefit from a steady stream of volunteers from differing backgrounds. Native or near-native English speakers interacting on a daily basis with students will best prepare them for the real life situations they will deal with in the future, therefore improving our program efficiency.
In order to provide a means of English immersion for students, volunteers will partake in any or all of the following sorts of tasks:
- Assisting the teacher in English class through co-teaching or helping students
- Assisting the tennis coach in tennis class through co-teaching or helping students
- Planning and giving lessons to a class of their own
- Tutoring individual or small groups of students to practice oral skills and conversation
- Helping organize and advertise campus events and/or fundraisers
Love Volunteers welcomes all volunteers who are at least 18 years old, unless travelling and volunteering with a chaperone such as a parent or sibling. It is required that all volunteers to this project are native or near-native English speakers. A basic understanding of Spanish is preferred, though spoken skills aren’t necessary. This project is most suitable for volunteers with experience in or who are pursuing a career in early childhood education & development, secondary education, or physical education. However, we welcome those simply interested in these fields as well. All volunteers should be flexible and able to work well on a team, have a positive and friendly attitude, show drive and initiative, and express a genuine interest in wanting to help these kids. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
- Police check
This project takes place on our local partners project campus in the neighbourhood of La Cienaga de Cabarete on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic. Cabarete is a small town filled with water sports such as kitesurfing, windsurfing, surfing, SUP, and more. These sports attract not only the locals, but tourists and expats from all over, all teaching and learning from one another.
Our local partner is one of a handful of non-profits in the area, so there are many international volunteers in the community. It’s the perfect atmosphere for a language and culture lover with a knack for the sand, sun, and salt!
Start Dates & Duration
This project is available year round, besides a few weeks of the year where the program is closed for holidays. Programs start every 2nd and 4th MONDAY of each month. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 2 weeks to 12 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged directly with the local team, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions.
Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended and must be booked at least 4 weeks prior to intended start date.
For current available start dates please check the calendar on the right.
Arrival & Orientation
Upon your arrival in Puerto Plata, you will be picked up at the airport by a private taxi, shared with fellow volunteers if timing requires. The taxi will bring you immediately to your accommodation, where you will have the day to settle in and have your orientation meeting with the local coordinator. The coordinator will advise you on local customs, necessary language phrases, public transportation, spots in the community, and clear up any remaining questions.
On Tuesday morning, you will arrive to the project site where the local project manager will give you a tour of the premises, introduce you to the team, inform you on some of the daily expectations and operations, and get you started in your role.
- Arrival Day: MONDAY
- Departure Day: SUNDAY
- Arrival/Departure Airport: Gregorio Luperón International Airport, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic (Code: POP)
Accommodation & Meals
Volunteers on this project are primarily housed in Volunteer Apartments, located in the heart of the town and close to the project staff and support team. These apartments are ‘self-catered’ - perfect for those volunteers who prefer to cook for themselves and without the restriction that come with staying in someone else's home. All standard amenities are provided, including 24/7 electricity, kitchen facilities, running water, and modern bathrooms. Wifi is also provided though it can be spotty or slow at times.
Daily workday lunches are provided to volunteers and are delivered to the project site at the start of lunch hour. Volunteers are not obliged to stay on campus during lunch hour, and may choose to take their meal down to the beach or back to their apartment. Typical Dominican cuisine is rice with beans and a meat. Stewed chicken is a popular lunch meat, though fried fish, fried chicken, or stewed pork are also enjoyed. Also, fruit trees are in abundance in the country and volunteers might be lucky enough to grab a chinola off a tree while heading to the project site! In addition to the chinola, local fruits include bananas, mangoes, pineapples, coconuts, and cashew apples.
*In addition to the program fees listed above a Registration Fee is payable to secure your place. The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering with Love Volunteers for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime LV Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner.
Some things are not included in the program fees listed above, such as flights, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, additional foods and snacks, spending money, local transport, in-country trips and excursions, return airport transfer (unless mentioned above).
Please note that prices are subject to change without notice. Please ensure you have read the Love Volunteers Terms and Conditions & Refund Policy.