Volunteer Groups

Whether you are from a church, school, or college, or even just a group of friends, Project Esperanza would love to host you! Group trips are a great way to tackle a big project in a short amount of time. We only ask that your designated group leader(s) plan with us before your trip so that we can find activities and projects that will be the best use of your group's skills and time. 

What will we do? 

We are fairly flexible about the projects volunteers work on, depending on current need and the interests/skills of the volunteers. Some activities from past group trips include:

  • Helping us conduct a street census of youth working on the streets in Puerto Plata
  • Eco-construction projects such as building clay ovens or eco-compost toilets
  • Providing vocational workshops such as carpentry, plumbing, mechanics, etc. 
  • Planning suplemental educational activities for our schools (art, music, physical fitness, environmental or science activities). 
  • Organizing medical clinics and first aid-trainings in our communities.
  • Doing reclycling activities and education about pollution
  • Teaching new crafts to our local artisans

What does it cost?

Trip costs per person are $350 for one week or $680 for two weeks. This covers airport pick up and drop off (if you arrive/leave on Saturdays in Puerto Plata), 3 meals a day, housing, program transportation, volunteer orientation and program/translation support, and some program materials. (Donated materials are also appreciated.) 

Where will voluteers 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. 

Volunteers typically stay in our volunteer house. 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. 
This is a rustic setting and volunteers should be aware that we do not have air conditioning or wifi. We do have fans and there is internet at our art shop, about 2 minutes down the road. Power goes out twice a week for a few hours during the day when volunteers are generally doing activities, and water goes out ocassionally. The bathroom is shared and rooms are shared when there is more than three people. There is reliable public transportation to go into Puerto Plata (about 25 minute drive away) where most American products can be easily found. 
We encourage volunteers to stretch their comfort zones because we have found that many have a more impactful experience through this immersion. Ourvolunteer house is also very close to one of our schools and past volunteers have enjoyed the opportunity to spend more time with the children and the community. However, if the house does not sound feasible for you, we can arrange alternative accommodations. 

When do we pay fees and what if our group changes?

The volunteer deposit of $100 per person is due as soon as possible, but at least two months in advance of the arrival date. The rest of the volunteer fees are due 4 weeks prior to arrival date. 

If group members cancel or plans change more than 2 weeks before the arrival date, we can offer a partial refund on the volunteer fees besides the $100 deposit. Within 2 weeks of the arrival date or after arrival, we cannot offer a refund on their fees. 

How can we find out more? 

If you are interested in planning a group trip, please send an e-mail to Volunteer@EsperanzaMeansHope.org. All group participants will be asked to fill out a few forms as well as a $100 non-refundable deposit. The rest of the funds will be due one month before your group's arrival date.