Fundacion Aldeas de Paz

Animal Rescue and Farm Maintenance

Santa Barbara de Samaná, Dominican Republic show on map
founded in 2001
Fundacion Aldeas de Paz
Coordinator | Manfred
Coordinator | Manfred
Perfect for animal lovers and aspiring veterinarians, this project offers the opportunity to work on a small farm, caring for animals such as dogs, horses and cows. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:

ANIMAL CARE & FARM MAINTENANCE – Help rescue neglected animals, provide care and assist maintaining the farm!

Volunteer Placement & Internship Opportunity

In the Dominican Republic there are plenty of animals in need of care and a home. Many dogs are homeless and sick, you often find neglected and malnourished horses and cats are often treated badly – just to give some examples. It is rare that anyone cares about these animals or gives them the affection and nurture that they need.

For many years, a farm close to the city Samaná has already been helping animals in need by providing a home, food and arranging medical treatments. Dogs, horses, mules, cows and many other animals live on the ranch in the middle of the beautiful nature that surrounds Samaná. There is always a lot to do and support is much needed to be able to continue providing care to the animals and finding new homes, especially for the almost 50 dogs living on the farm. You can become a part of this project by taking care of the animals, training them and maintaining the property. By raising awareness and educating children about how animals can increase our well-being if we take care of them you can also contribute to improving the situation in the long run.

The farm & volunteer work

The farm is situated about 20 minutes away from the town of Samaná, so volunteers will either be taken there by the owner of the farm, or will use public transport to go. The  majority of your work will take place on this farm, with a lot of hands-on experience of training and caring for animals. There is always a lot to do on the farm and support is much needed to be able to continue providing care to the animals and finding new homes. You will also have the chance to support local veterinarians and learn about medical treatments that the animals need. 

Another important aspect of this project is to help out with the maintenance of the farm, which could involve fixing fences and maintaining the animals'  living areas. `outside of the farm, you can expect to work with the community, raising awareness and educating young children about how animals can improve our wellbeing if we take care of them you can also contribute to improving the situation in the long run.

Who we are looking for

Overall there are no previous experiences required to participate in the program, but of course you have to be an animal lover. A typical Animal Care & Farm Maintenance volunteer and intern has already worked in animal shelters, is a student in a veterinary school or a dog walker, etc. However, a person that does not necessarily have any experience or training, but just really loves animals and wants to help care for them is welcome as well. He or she needs to be enthusiastic, proactive, ready for a challenge and willing to do maintenance work. It is important to keep in mind that the farm work does not only consist of petting dogs but also includes physical work like cleaning kennels and stables and being outside a lot. Nevertheless, the animal’s love and affection that you will be met with are worth all of the effort! Friendliness, commitment and patience are among significant qualities.

In this program, we also encourage you  to come with a friend and volunteer together because sharing the work at the farm will be even more fun.

Basic Spanish skills are needed, but an advanced level of Spanish experience will open up more opportunities. In order to enable deeper integration into the community, we provide up to six free Spanish classes on a weekly basis, full support, and 24/7 backup.

Volunteer placement or internship

This program can be booked as a volunteer placement or as an internship. Please inform us of your school or university’s internship requirements in advance so that we can work out your personalized work plan together. Also inform us about your personal expectations and your goals and we will see how we can help you to achieve them.

Special Offer

Spanish language classes - volunteers or interns receive free language lessons every week. The classes focus on developing communication skills so that students are able to put their knowledge to practical use as soon as they step outside the classroom. Our teaching method enables students to develop four basic skills: listening comprehension, speaking, reading and writing. The idea is to learn Spanish in a natural and spontaneous way, just as students have learned their mother tongue. Our students speak Spanish right from the very first day, using it in typical real-life situations: the basic syllabus is supplemented by special exercises, such as role-play, situational dialogues and work projects. Outside the classroom, the learning process continues as you immerse in the Spanish language and the Dominican culture.

Typical day

A typical day will be spent at the farm, from 9am-6pm with a 2 hour lunch break, gaining experience caring for the animals and learning from local veterinarians. There will also be maintenance work to do some of the time. 

When you are not working at the farm, a typical day will involve working with local schools and preparing and carrying out activities to raise awareness of the importance of caring for the animals. On a day-to-day basis activities can include but are not limited to:

  • Caring for dogs and training them
  • Caring for horses and mules and training them
  • Maintaining meadow, stables and kennels
  • Maintaining the farm by helping with painting, building fences, planting grass and fixing doors, amongst other tasks
  • Supporting veterinarians during medical treatments or operations to neuter or spay animals
  • Developing and executing awareness raising and educational activities for children or the general public in order to improve the situation of neglected animals in the long run

Details on Arrival

Volunteers are welcome to join throughout the year, except for two weeks at Christmas. Please make sure that you arrive on a weekday so that we can arrange everything for you arrival. 

Time Commitment

A minimum time commitment of 2 weeks is required. However, the aim is that you will also be able to work autonomously when the owner has to handle organizational matters. For that, a stay of at least 8 weeks would be needed learn the ropes and get used to the work.

Free-time activities

The town of Samaná is a scenic, beautiful and peaceful port, with friendly, easy-going Dominicans, living their life with tourism, agriculture and fishing activities, all set to the beat and rhythms or Merengue, Bachata and Salsa music. The newly renovated Malecon (seaside promenade) or two kilometres length is perfect for strolling by day and night. It is the perfect place to while away the evening in a relaxing atmosphere in one of the many surrounding restaurants and bars. Hundreds of fantastic beaches surround the peninsular of Samaná, which can be explored during a day trip or for the whole weekend.

  • Las Galeras y El Rincón: A small fisherman's town with beautiful beaches surrounded by nature. Travel by bus (45 minutes / US$2,-)
  • El Limón: Famous waterfall and swimming. Travel by bus (20 minutes / US$ 1.50,-)
  • Cayo Levantado: Small island with beautiful beaches just off the coastline of Samaná. Travel by boat (15 minutes / US$@,-)
  • Parque National de los Haiteses: Park made of mangroves, caves with ancient paintings and beautiful bays with pristine beaches. Magnificent limestone caves to explore. Travel by boat (1 hour / US$10,-)
  • Playa El Valle: A small fisherman's settlement with a beautiful beach surrounded by pristine nature. Travel by Moto Concho (MotoTaxi) (20 minutes / US$ 3,-)
There are famous kite surf beaches in Las Terrenas and Cabarete. The whole Peninsula of Samaná is a wild and precious natural gem! People are extremely friendly and the nature is gorgeous! 

From mid-January to late March the bay is home to some of the world's best whale-watching.

Water Sports

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 16 years old on the program start date.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 09:00 - 16:00

Included Services

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Fundacion Aldeas de Paz cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Fundacion Aldeas de Paz.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Fundacion Aldeas de Paz (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by Fundacion Aldeas de Paz

Aldeas de Paz works hard to keep the required financial contribution to an absolute minimum and to offer financial transparency by practicing an open book policy. The calculation of your financial contribution or donation is set up so that the longer you stay the less you give per week. We do this to encourage longer stays, recognizing that longer stays lead to more significant volunteer work and more energy contributed in the form of donated time in place of money! 

What is included

  •       Volunteer or Internship placement 
  •       Accommodation of your choice
  •       Welcome Service at the airport and transport to your placement location
  •       Free Wi-Fi and use of washing machine at all our facilities 
  •       Placement introduction, training, supervision, briefings and meetings 
  •       Free academical Spanish lessons on a regular base 
  •       Certificate and/or written reference or student credit 
  •       Full support and 24/7 backup from local staff
  •       Information about adventure packages    
Airport Pickup at Las Americas International Airport

Personal welcome service and pick-up at the airport, transfer to the bus, bus fare and free transfer to your placement location in Las Terrenas or Samana. In the airport our Driver will wait for you even if your flight is delayed. After you arrive at the placement location, our Staff welcome you and bring you to your accommodation.    


The minimum contribution starts at €125 per week and includes Welcome Service at the airport and transport to your placement location, double room at one of our fully equipped guesthouse apartments with WiFi and washing machine, free Spanish language classes and a special program donation. If you wish a single room upgrade add €35 per week and an all in Host Family homestay upgrade is €125 per week, including a private bedroom and two meals per day. For an independent Bungalow within an gated residence add €65 per week (only available in Las Terrenas)    

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. Food, snacks or beverages are at extra costs.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Las Americas International Airport (SDQ) in Santo Domingo. We assist you to find cheap flights to Dominican Republic.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Dominican Republic provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Dominican Republic you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Dominican Republic.
Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
$ 1,120
3 weeks
$ 1,305
4 weeks
$ 1,445
5 weeks
$ 1,565
6 weeks
$ 1,665
7 weeks
$ 1,755
8 weeks
$ 1,840
9 weeks
$ 1,920
10 weeks
$ 1,990
11 weeks
$ 2,050
12 weeks
$ 2,085
14 weeks
$ 2,420
16 weeks
$ 2,745
18 weeks
$ 3,075
20 weeks
$ 3,400
24 weeks
$ 4,055
28 weeks
$ 4,710
32 weeks
$ 5,365
36 weeks
$ 6,020
40 weeks
$ 6,675
50 weeks (max. stay)
$ 8,315
Average fees
$ 363 /week

You can volunteer at the project site in Santa Barbara de Samaná/Dominican Republic between 2 weeks and 50 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Fundacion Aldeas de Paz will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Dominican Republic.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Fundacion Aldeas de Paz during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Americas The Caribbean The Dominican Republic  Santa Barbara de Samaná, C/circunvalacion, Santa Barbara de Samana

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The project site is open in: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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