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Aldeas de Paz

Endangered Marine Life & Environmental Protection

Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic

Acquire marine ecology diving qualification and assist with environmental restoration activities, endangered species protection and invasive-species control

Fast growing tourism is a serious threat for the Dominican Republic.´s flora and fauna. Therefore become part of a development program funded by the United Nations and help to protect the beautiful nature of the Samaná province! Samaná Bay is not only a significant breeding ground and nursery area for humpback whales from all over the North Atlantic; it is also the most important multi-species fishing ground in the Dominican Republic, a growing international tourist destination, and a commercial port. While tourism is an important source of economic activity and financial income, its impact on sensitive coastal-marine ecosystems is of particular concern. A major portion of environmental degradation in coastal areas is attributed to the establishment of large-scale hotel developments in areas of high biodiversity, unregulated tour activities that put at risk reproduction sites for whales and turtles, as well as mangrove deforestation and coral reef damage from diving and boat tours anchors, which in turn decreases the resilience of these coastal marine ecosystems and increases their vulnerability to tropical storms.

Depending on your Spanish skills two different placement options are available:

1. ENDANGERED MARINE SPECIES PROTECTION & CONSERVATION

- Internship only -

Suitable for Spanish language beginners!

Assist with marine-based environmental restoration activities, animal protection & monitoring activities as well as invasive-species control programs. This is a great opportunity to contribute in a meaningful to the protection of the marine environment while at the same time becoming a passionate qualified ecology diver. Your professional training starts at zero and will lead you through three complete levels of qualification (basic, advanced and specialty training)

Our program is part of an effort to tackle an invasive species that has been identified as one of the world’s greatest conservation issues. Destructive lionfish are invading coral reefs in the Americas. Since lionfish (Pterois volitans) first appeared on the eastern seaboard of the United States in the 1980s, the voracious predators have gobbled up coral-reef fish from North Carolina to Venezuela. Officials responsible for protecting reefs have struggled to find ways to control populations and fishing competitions can help to keep the problem species in check.

Thanks to this exciting internship you’ll gain valuable and life-changing experiences while at the same time develop specialty diving skills! Even if you do not have previous diving experience, you will learn everything in this 12 weeks ecology diver internship while protecting marine flora and fauna. At the end of your stay you walk away with your professional diving certification and amazing experiences in one of the worlds most beautiful marine environment! (Spanish is optional, English is necessary).

Internship activities can include but are not limited to:

 Certified diving training as part of a 12 weeks specialty diver internship (Certifications: Open Water, Advanced Diving/Rescue Diving/Ecological hunter/collector Diving)

      Day to day work at the diving station: help with maintaining and preparing diving equipment, assisting with logistics and office work, give a hand with installing a pirate museum, assisting instructors with attending diving students and clients

      Assisting actively with the protection and restoration of coral reefs and the protection of endemic fishes as well as the control of invasive species

Requirements:

Your Profile: Overall there are no previous experiences required to participate in the program. A typical Endangered Marine Species Protection and Conservation intern should be interested in protecting the nature, biology, marine-life and diving. He or she needs to be enthusiastic, proactive, willing to learn, ready for a challenge, and should not be scared of being in contact with dirt/mud and garbage. Friendliness, commitment and patience are among significant qualities.

Extra donation required: We require an extra donation of € 480,- for the internship. This donation covers costs for the Endangered Species Program and the three level of qualifications you receive during your internship! (basic, advanced and specialty training)

Language skills: conversational English skills are required, Spanish beginner, additional languages welcome

Volunteer placement or internship:  only as Internship available

Time Commitment: A minimum time commitment of 12 weeks is required (for advanced divers can be reduced to 6 weeks)

Placement Locations: Las Terrenas

2. ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION

- Internship or Volunteer Placement -

For advanced Spanish speakers only!

You can contribute in developing programs aimed at biodiversity-friendly tourism and sustainable tourism development strategies as well as tools for the application of the legal framework and incentives to adopt sustainable practices. The aim is to increase the awareness and the training of the public (individuals and community) and to address the lack of knowledge among the tourism sector, the private sector, the land-owners, and the staff of local public institutions. (Advanced Spanish skills are required) Activities that a volunteer can participate in are entirely dependent on motivation and Spanish skills. Staff will support the participant.

Activities for advanced Spanish speakers:

  • Developing and executing environmental awareness raising activities at schools and in the community and promote sustainable and biodiversity-friendly tourism. 
  • Assist with conservation and re-forestation activities in the Samana province
  • Support the certification of biodiversity-friendly destination and tourist services
  • Help staffing a tourist information post on the beach side road in Las Terrenas (advanced Spanish skills and additional languages are required) 
  • Monitoring sea turtle nests (limited participation from March to November) and humpback whales (limited participation from 15th of January to March)
  • Assist actively with the restoration of coral reefs, mangroves, beaches and coastal areas 

Requirements:

Your Profile: Overall there are no previous experiences required to participate in the program. A typical Environmental Conservation & Restoration volunteer and intern should be interested in protecting the nature, biology, wildlife and sustainable tourism. He or she needs to be enthusiastic, proactive, willing to learn, ready for a challenge, and should not be scared of being in contact with dirt/mud and garbage. Friendliness, commitment and patience are among significant qualities.

Language skills: Advanced Spanish skills are required

Volunteer placement or internship: Volunteer placement or internship. Please let us know your school or universities internship requirements and we will work out your personalized work plan.

Time Commitment: A minimum of 6 weeks is required

Placement Locations: Las Terrenas

Costs & Benefits  

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! The minimum contribution starts at € 110 per week including double room accommodation at our Aldeas de Paz Guesthouse. Add € 30 to the rate per week for a single room. Minimum donation for the Host Family stay is € 200 per week and includes a private bedroom and two meals (breakfast and lunch or dinner). For more information about costs and benefits check out our webpage.

Special Offer

Spanish Language immersion classes - Volunteers or Interns receive 6 free language lessons every week. 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. The learning process continues outside the classroom as you are immersed in the Spanish language and culture. 

Typical day

A typical day in the life of a volunteer can vary, depending on the season and on your interests. Working days are normally 9am -  4pm, with two hours for lunch. You will have the opportunity to work with monitoring the sea life

Details on Arrival

We are happy to welcome volunteers all year around, except for a two week period over Christmas and New Year.

Free-time activities

The town of Samana and Las Terrenas is a scenic, beautiful and peaceful port, with friendly and easy-going Dominicans, living their life with tourism, agriculture and fishing activities, all set to the beat and rhythms of Merengue, Bachata and Salsa music. 

The newly renovated Malecon (seaside promenade) in Samana of two kilometers 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 peninsula of Samana, which can be explored during a day trip or for the whole weekend.

  • Las Galeras y El Rincon: 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 of the coastline in Samana. Travel by Boat (15 minutes / US$ 2,-)
  • 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 60 minutes / 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 Kitesurf beaches in Las Terrenas and Cabarete only an hour from Samana! The whole Peninsula of Samana 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 to some of the world's best whale-watching.

Water Sports
Swimming
Diving/Snorkling
Climbing
Hiking
Sports
Riding
Yoga/Meditation

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 16 years old on the program start date. Of course, there is an exception for children that are accompanied by their parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak Spanish (basic level) and Spanish (fluently)
Required Documents
CV
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
No previous experiences required to participate in the program. A typical Environmental Conservation & Restoration volunteer /intern should be interested in protecting flora and fauna, biology, wildlife and sustainable tourism. He or she needs to be enthusiastic, proactive, willing to learn, ready for a challenge, and should not be scared of being in contact with soil /mud. Responsibility, commitment, patience and perseverance are among significant qualities.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:00 - 16:00

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

Any questions? Just ask. We at Aldeas de Paz are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator
Contact & Reservation
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Included Services

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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Aldeas de Paz.
Services by 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! 

If you are interested in the Environmental Conservation program a 6 weeks minimum placement is required (cost 1383 US$)

The fees include a double room accommodation at our Aldeas de Paz Guesthouse and bus terminal pickup. You will receive 6 free Spanish lessons every week.


Accommodation

Volunteers will be staying in the volunteer guesthouse, which is located in the centre of town and only minutes from the beach front walking promenade where you will find a multitude of restaurants, bars, banks, shops and internet cafes with wifi. 

The house is located in a scenic, laid back and peaceful town. The guesthouse is a shared living space for short and long term volunteers and is furnished throughout and complete with a fully equipped kitchen. Volunteers work and live together and often build strong bonds, develop lifelong friendships, and have immense fun along the way! Rooms are twin-share, there is 24 hour support from local staff and WiFi is available at the office.

Bedroom (Double) Bedroom (Single)
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. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either. 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.
Vaccines
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)
12 weeks (min. stay)
$1,840.00
12 weeks (max. stay)
$1,840.00
Average fees
$153.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Las Terrenas/Dominican Republic between 12 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. 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 must be made up to 30 days before to the volunteer program starts. This payment is also securely handled by PayPal or credit card.
Americas the Caribbean the Dominican Republic Las Terrenas, C/Duarte, Las Terrenas
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