Individual Volunteer Trips
If you wish to come independently on a short term trip, we can make arrangements for you. The time of year you come will determine the activities you participate in. Many volunteers choose to come during the summer when we have our Change Our Stars English Immersion Camp for our students. We also have a lot of volunteer groups during academic breaks (December-January and March-April). However, volunteers are always welcome, and we are happy to plan activities that meet your interests. Potential activities include:
- Supplemetal educational activities in schools. Art education, music education, physical education, science projects, and environmental education are what we most encourage.
- English or French education after school or during breaks.
- Recycling projects.
- Gardening projects.
- Street census.
- Vocational training: Carpentry, mechanics, plumbing, electricity, etc.
- Artist training: Jewelry making, painting, craft making, etc.
- Soccer drills and other athletic training.
- Extra-curricular school and community activities such as BINGO and movie nights.
- Eco-construction projects.
Where will I stay?
Volunteers stay in a house close to a batey community where most of the students live. Our volunteer house has space for up to 14 group members. It is a secure and friendly place with great staff. Traditional Dominican and Haitian meals are cooked for volunteers at the building.
This is a home for a middle class Dominican family in a semi rural area. We view this as an opportunity forvolunteers to become immersed in the culture and have a better sense of what life is really like here.
What does it cost and when do I pay?
The costs is $350 for one week and $680 for two weeks. This include stay in our volunteer house, three meals a day, program transportation, support including some interpretation, and some materials. This does not cover transportation for recreational activities outside the volunteer work or airport trips to airports other than Puerto Plata. Here are rates for these extra trips. Depending on the project, materials may need to be fundraised for or donated separately. If you wish to come for less than one week, the cost is $50 per day.
If you are staying and eating somewhere other than our volunteer house, the cost is $15 per day. If you are staying somewhere else but would like to eat meals with us, the cost is $25 per day. People staying elsewhere will cover their own transportation and may be asked to provide some materials and potential other costs as well, depending on the project.
The non-refundable deposit is due 2 months in advance of arrival date. The rest of your volunteer fees are due at least 4 weeks in advance of your arrival date.
Partial refunds for extenuating circumstances are possible if requested at least 2 weeks prior to your arrival date (the $100 deposit is not refundable). We cannot offer refunds on volunteer fees within 2 weeks of arrival or after your arrival date.
How can I find out more?
To find out more and discuss your trip with us, please e-mail Volunteer@EsperanzaMeansHope.org for questions and to request the sign up forms. We look forward to having you here!