Summer 2014 Volunteer Trip Info is now posted below. We are also currently accepting registrations for Fall 2013 and Winter 2014 trips. Check out pictures from one of our Summer 2013 volunteers. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org to ask permission for use of these pictures.
Join us this summer to see and participate in our work first hand!
This trip involves a combination of education and recreational activities with community members, as well as hands on eco-construction projects. We will do various activities in our grassroots schools, such as an English immersion camp in the mornings, and we will also be working with community members in the community of Muñoz to build eco-construction projects such as human compost toilets, solar ovens, solar lights, and more. We may lead people in creating container gardens as well!
Volunteers have the option of staying between one and six of these six weeks, although we recommend for someone's first trip they stay between two and four weeks. For a bit of advice as to how long one should stay, one week is typically not long enough to experience everything it is important to experience and if it is one's first time in a developing country and such a volunteer experience, it can be trying to stay longer than four weeks.
Volunteers working as a camp counselor each week must be present from the Saturday before the week begins until the Saturday after the camp week ends. One can arrive before the Saturday before or leave after the Saturday after as long as space allows, but should make arrangements to be here no less than that solid week. This ensures proper orientation and organization among counselors. The volunteer weeks are as follows:
Week 1: Sat., June 21st to Sat., June 28th
Week 2: Sat., June 28th to Sat., July 5th
Week 3: Sat., July 5th to Sat., July 12th
Week 4: Sat., July 12th to Sat., July 19th
Week 5: Sat., July 19th to Sat., July 26th
Week 6: Sat., July 26th to Sat., Aug. 2nd
The past two summers, there has been a lot of interest in a 7th and 8th week, so depending on the interest we receive early on, the following two weeks may be added:
Week 7: Sat., Aug. 2nd to Sat., Aug. 9th
Week 8: Sat., Aug. 9th to Sat., Aug. 16th
Experienced volunteers hoping to come outside of these structured times and do more independent projects should check out this page.
Trip fees forboth trips are the same. Fees cover transportation to and from the airport (as long as you arrive and leave on the dates listed above and fly into the Puerto Plata airport), program transportation which includes one local recreational activity a week, stay, meals, drinking and tap water (tap water is not constant and needs to be purchased by trucks at times), administration expenses such as the purchase of phone cards needed to coordinate activities and transportation, interpretation costs as an interpretor accompanies the group most afternoons, and a limited fund for supplies and miscellaneous expenses. Lastly, depending on how things go, a small portion of trip fees is built in as a donation to the organization, which helps run the ongoing activities where we are required to rent and maintain facilities, as well as pay teachers and staff.
The trip fees are as follows:
1 week - $350
2 weeks - $680
3 weeks - $990
4 weeks - $1,280
5 weeks - $1,550
6 weeks - $1,800
**Should we open a 7th and 8th week, the cost for 7 weeks is $2,050 and 8 weeks is $2,300.
In comparison to other similar volunteer trips, we have kept our trip fees quite low. We do this to ensure that more volunteers can participate and also to show that we are not running a volunteer business, but do invite volunteers to come see and participate in the work with. We do hope that in return, volunteers do not forget what they have seen, and appreciate the low trip fees by supporting the organization in some way, should they find the work they were a part of worthy.
All trip fees are due one month before the volunteer plans to arrive. Use one of these methods to send in your trip fees and please contact us to secure your spot before sending in funds. We have a 10 counselor per week limit unless members of a group plan to sleep in alternative locations of the building to be able to fit more counselors. In order to hold your spot, please send in a $100 deposit as soon as you are committed to coming. This deposit is non-refundable but is taken out of your total trip fees. Remaining funds are due one month before your arrival date.
Where will voluteers stay? Volunteers stay in a house close to a batey community where most of the students live. It is a secure and friendly place with great staff. Meals are cooked for volunteers at the building.
Volunteers of both programs should be prepared to stay in bunks with a shared bathroom. Volunteers should also be prepared to live fairly conservatively with both water and electricity.
How can I learn more/sign up? E-mail Volunteer@EsperanzaMeansHope.org.