Join us this summer to see and participate in our work first hand!
Volunteers will run educational activities for three hours each morning in a camp like fashion. The activities can vary and volunteers should come with ideas as to what they would like to teach. We encourage a science focus, but some may choose to teach English, team building, or other specific skills as well that will benefit the youth of this marginalized community. In the afternoons, volunteers will complete hands-on projects to benefit the overall health and environmental sustainability of the community. Projects that have been done so far include the construction of a compost toilet and the creation of a school garden. We hope to implement similar projects, if not the same project, throughout the community, this summer. Other potential projects include contruction of rocket stoves, food composts, a recycling prgram and trash pick up, the construction of water filters, etc., experimentation with alternative energy sources, etc. For this option, volunteers stay very close to the marginalized community and have less access to shops and conveniences of the city, but they will discover the ways that locals entertain themselves and enjoy life in their community.
On the weekends, volunteers will visit other Project Esperanza sites and have time for the beach, 27 waterfalls, and other recreational activities.
Camp and all activities will begin Monday, June 24th and end Friday, August 2nd. Therefore, our volunteer program will began Saturday, June 22nd and end Saturday, August 3rd. 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. One week is often 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 counselor each week must be present from the Saturday before the week begins until the Saturday after the week. 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. Therefore, the volunteer weeks are as follows:
Week 1: Saturday, June 22nd to Saturday, June 29th
Week 2: Saturday, June 29th to Saturday, July 6th
Week 3: Saturday, July 6th to Saturday, July 13th
Week 4: Saturday July 13th to Saturday, July 20th
Week 5: Saturday July 20th to Saturday, July 27th
Week 6: Saturday July 27th to Saturday, August 3rd
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 - $250
2 weeks - $480
3 weeks - $690
4 weeks - $880
5 weeks - $1,050
6 weeks - $1,200
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 the same building where our fair trade art shop is located, which is next to a batey community where most of the students live. There is a fenced in yard area and secure iron door. Meals will be cooked for volunteers at the building.
Volunteers of both programs should be prepared to stay in bunks with a shared bathroom that does not have hot water. 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.