As part of this program, you will confront the effects of climate change on river health and meet local leaders who are making great progress on sustainability in the Caribbean. Downtime is just as fun, with an eclectic home base and the opportunity to play sports and games with local kids.
Our group will volunteer on various sustainability projects throughout the country including planting cacao trees, visiting a cacao nursery, and constructing buildings from recycled materials; we will also assist in the development of agriculture and reforestation systems. We’ll even visit Haitian resettlement villages and brighten the lives of those who have lost everything and now live in the Dominican Republic.
Viewed through the unique lens of the seven elements of human security, staff will guide you as we will explore topics in environmental sustainability, the most critical issue of the 21st century. Through the service work and seminars, you will learn for yourself how to envision and change your life to become more sustainable. These seminars are carefully designed to allow you to make connections between the work at the community service project and issues facing the rest of the world. You will also learn about the vibrant Dominican culture through music, dance, and food.
We’ll explore the tropical countryside through long hikes out to remote villages and swims in freshwater lagoons. We’ll snorkel through crystal blue waters and coral reefs, and sunbathe on pristine white sand beaches. In addition, we will explore a unique border village and witness the effects of climate change on a nearby river. The Dominican Republic is an ideal place for those looking for fun and adventure in the sun while making a difference.
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This past summer, I spent three wonderful weeks participating in the Building a Sustainable World program in the sunny Dominican Republic. This program shaped my life positively in so many ways. I came into this program with high expectations since I had already gone on another GLA program in Peru two summers back, and I can say with certainty, every single expectation was met and greatly exceeded. Each day spent in the Dominican Republic was utilized to its maximum potential, by either doing service, adventuring, or learning about the political/environment of the Dominican Republic. Service wise, this trip was eye opening. My group did a variety of hands on service projects in multiple communities, with the overarching theme of sustainability guiding us the entire time. We cemented floors, fixed the roof of a water tank, helped add to two bottle clinics, and planted trees. The best part of these projects was working with the communities and community leaders, and learning how to interact and create the best long term solutions for people as possible. After a long day of working hard, it was wonderful to come home to a warm ocean, and to go swimming for an hour or so. In the nighttime, we had 2 hour classes that focused on leadership and human security. These were probably the most informative classes I have ever taken, and they helped me to get a more educative global view. When we weren’t spending our days working, our program was adventuring! We jumped off waterfalls, ziplined into lagoons, and went snorkeling along the reefs. We also took a three day trip to Santo Domingo, learning about the city’s culture, and examining the beauty and history of the DR. After this trip, I realized my true passion in life was helping in foreign countries. After being exposed to all these wonderful opportunities and experiences, I decided to major in International Relations in college, with a focus on Latin America. I still stay in touch with my mentors from my trip, and with all my fellow groupmates as well. My Dominican trip left me with life long friends, I become more informed about politics and the environment, and most importantly of all, I gained with a new perspective on life. Because I loved this trip so much, I plan on going back as a returnee next summer. I would recommend this trip to everyone, for it is genuinely life changing and the best experience I’ve had in my lifetime.