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Your Adventure, Day by Day

Day 1 Welcome to the Dominican Republic!
  • Santiago de los Caballeros One of the oldest settlements in Spain's New World empire, Santiago de los Caballeros is the country's second-largest city, spilling over its original border, the Río Yaque del Norte. The city feeds off the large-scale tobacco and sugarcane plantations that make up much of the topography of the surrounding valley floor. Santiago is a good place to familiarize yourself with the ordinary Dominican's way of life; the barrios maze of haphazardly constructed homes contrasts with the mansions in the neighborhood of Cerros de Gurabo. But all strata of society cheer for the hometown baseball team; Águilas Cibaeñas.
  • Welcome Dinner in a Local Restaurant
Day 2 Santiago
  • Service-Learning Orientation Ahead of our homestay and service-learning project, we will participate in an orientation session, which will include a program overview and safety briefing.
  • Service-Learning Project (may include the following projects)
  • Plan and conduct fun lessons and activities for at-risk children at a day care or community center.
  • Assist the food bank program that provides food to low income families.
  • Build and distribute bunk beds for families that do not have a place for their children to sleep.
  • Build or repair homes for families living in sub-standard conditions.
  • Conduct English-language classes for children.
  • Bus Tour of Santiago City Our tour will include the The Monumento a los Héroes de la Restauración; Fort San Luis; Duarte Park; the Centro Leon museum which has an impressive collection of paintings that trace the evolution of Dominican art in the 20th century; and the The Cathedral of St. James the Apostle, which was briefly used as a fortress in the so-called "war of restoration".
Day 3 Santiago
  • Group Service-Learning Project
  • Dance Lesson! Dance and music are an integral part of everyday life in the Dominican Republic. Merengue, which was adapted from European dances, with Afro-Caribbean flavors and lively rhythms, is the most popular form of Dominican dance.
  • Exchange Program Enjoy an exchange program with our new friends from the Dominican Republic. We will have a pool-party with snacks and drinks.
Day 4 Santiago - Dajabón
  • Group Service-Learning Project
  • Excursion to Dajabón
  • Dajabón Dajabón is located on the border with Haiti. It is a market town with a population of about 40,000, north of the Cordillera Central mountain range. The city was initially founded around 1771 but was soon after abandoned during the War of Independence. It was settled again shortly after the Restoration War in 1865. The bridge across the river connects Dajabón to its larger Haitian sister city of Ouanaminthe. On Mondays and Fridays, Haitians are permitted to temporarily cross the bridge to sell their goods.
  • Haiti-Dominican Republic Relations Discussion The two countries coexist on the island of Hispaniola although tension began during colonial times and have developed into nearly constant conflict between the two governments. The political division of the island is due largely to the European struggle for control of the New World during the 17th century, when France and Spain began fighting for control of the island and resolved their dispute in 1697 by splitting the island. Shortly following Independence in the 19th century, a group of Dominican military officers favored uniting with Haiti under the presidency of Haitian Jean- Pierre Boyer. However, Boyer had agreed to pay compensation to France for the loss of territory, and effectively forced the Dominicans to foot the bill. This measure ultimately led to the Dominican War of Independence in 1843.
Day 5 Santiago
  • Group Service-Learning Project
  • Participate in a Cooking Lesson This evening we will take part in a cooking lesson, and learn to create some traditional food from the Dominican Republic.
Day 6 Santiago
  • Group Service-Learning Project This morning, take part in our group service-learning project.
  • Farewell Dinner Tonight, we will enjoy a special farewell dinner as a group to bring closure to your experience.
Day 7 Santiago - Puerto Plata
  • Day Trip to Puerto Plata
  • Puerto Plata Squeezed between a towering mountain and the ocean is this working port town, Puerto Plata is the oldest city on the north coast. A cable car will take us to the top of the enormous flat-topped Pico Isabel de Torres which offers spectacular views of the city and coastline, and also features botanical gardens and a large statue of Christ the Redeemer. Spend time in Central Park, a traditional social gathering place surrounded by the City Hall, the Palace of Justice and other government office buildings. We will also visit the Fortaleza San Felipe, which serves as a museum showcasing the important role it has played in the history of the Republic.
Day 8 Depart the Dominican Republic
  • Return to the United States