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Aldeas de Paz

Medical Observation & Experience Internship

Gain invaluable hands-on experience, working side-by-side with medical staff at the local hospital.

About the Program

The Aldeas de Paz Foundation headquarters is in Santa Barbara de Samana, which is located on the North-East of the Dominican Republic, at the heart of the peninsula of Samana. This provinicial capital with 15000 inhabitants is a very peaceful and safe town.

Samana is constituted by a community with a strong sense of social responsibility. The people themselves consider the town very safe, there is no more crime here than in an any average small European town. The Dominican Republics countryside as a whole is very peaceful, and certainly one of the safest regions in the caribbean.

Objectives

This opportunity will give you an insight into the setting up and running of a hospital on a daily basis. As the hospital is still modernizing there are many challenges faced and there are realities not often seen in developed countries. Therefore this project not only provides you with responsibility for patients, it allows you to broaden your perspective by working in a hospital in a developing country where you will be faced with the stark realities of the disparities between medical practice in the developed and developing world.

Furthermore, you can gain experience in a range of different departments within the hospital, such as: Maternity, Emergency, Pediatric, Integral Attention & Prevention for HIV, Tuberculosis, Diabetic and Uterine Cancer as well as the administration and management.

Your time at Aldeas de Paz

This program can be booked as volunteer placement or as internship. Please let us know your school or universities internship requirements and we work out your personalised work plan.
We are constantly adapting our activities to children's needs and volunteer numbers and capacities. If you wish to specialize in a particular activity we will do our best to accommodate your personal preferences. However, you can be asked to be involved in a combination of activities which can also require working directly in contact with our beneficiaries, underprivileged children and young people. 

Create your own project!

In addition to established community activities and programs you have the chance to set up  your own project with the financial and organizational support of our charity. Travel Logistics

The Foundation will do everything to make sure our volunteers remain safe during their stay in the Dominican Republic. On your way to Santa Barbara de Samana you will most likely fly into Las Americas airport near Santo Domingo, where we have established a great cooperation with a very reliable pickup service for our incoming volunteers! Marcos, the pickup driver will help you personally and thoroughly during your transit from the airport Las Americas to the bus terminal which is only 10 minutes away, therefore granting you peace of mind and tranquillity during your travel. 

Marcos will assist you with purchasing your bus ticket and bring you to the bus terminal where you will catch the direct luxury bus to Santa Barbara de Samana, the last stop on the route. Travel-time on the bus is two hours only.

Travel advices 

  • Do not become involved with drugs of any kind. Penalties are severe and convictions for drug offences can lead to imprisonment. 
  • You should always pack your own luggage, and you should never carry any items through customs for anybody else. 
  • Book your trips in advance through pick-up and travel agencies to avoid surprises and problems during your transit to Santa Barbara de Samana 
  • It is not advisable to overtly criticize the Catholic Church, as this can cause great offence in a country where the religion is greatly respected and revered. 
  • Do not walk around alone at night in big cities, and if you do then please let someone know of your whereabouts. 
  • You will encounter many security checkpoints while travelling in the Dominican Republic, have your passport and ID papers (as well as copies) on you at all times for the duration of the travel.

We are exclusively financed by volunteer donations! 

We work hard to keep the required financial contribution to an absolute minimum and offer financial transparency by practicing an open book policy. 

We are a registered tax exempted charity and all monetary contributions are referred to as donation since what you pay is generally 100% tax-deductible for you. Speak with your tax adviser to learn how the cost of international airfare can be tax-deductible as well. Please also read our Terms & Conditions. Check out how your donation is spent, and read our Financial Reports.

The longer you stay, the less you pay! 

The calculation of your financial contribution or donation is set up so that the longer you stay, the less you give per week. We clearly illustrate the decrease in the per week contribution below in the table! 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!

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Families
Groups

Typical day

Activities can include but are not limited to

    Your level of involvement will largely depend upon your professional and Spanish language skills, as well as your motivation and willingness to get involved. You will be creating your own work schedule with the departmental director and relaying this back to us. In order to gain the most out of your experience, or if you have a specific healthcare goal, please contact us in a timely fashion to discuss your options in greater detail.

    • Observe, shadow, and assist doctors and nurses with their work
    • Participate in patient care: comfort patients and assist in examining patients
    • Observe, shadow and assist medics and paramedics at their work
    • Provide ambulance support when needed
    • Assist, teach and encourage prevention, hygiene and check-ups
    • Assist developing educational materials and engagement strategies for various prevention programs using Multi-Media means
    • Assist with Hospital administration tasks and help improve procedures and workflow
    • Assist with improving hospital resources management and hospital waste management and administration
    • Assist with domiciliary health services, assistance, hygiene and information
    • Observe, shadow and develop skills in the field while assisting in delivering treatment, diagnosis, and health education to locals
    • Spend time with specialists when available and if participants’ skills allow
    • Some volunteers may also choose to teach English to the doctors
    • Current projects, which volunteers may wish to join, include: a zika information and prevention program and the education of mothers-to-be on the importance of considering breast feeding as part of an ongoing UNICEF project.
    If you wish to specialize in a particular activity we will do our best to accommodate your personal preferences. However, you can be asked to be involved in a combination of activities which can also require working directly in contact with our beneficiaries, children and young people from Santa Barbara de Samaná neighbourhoods.

    Program Requirements

    In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s). Of course, there is an exception for children that are accompanied by their parents.
    Language Skills
    You need to speak Spanish (basic level) and English (basic level)
    Health Declaration
    required
    Criminal Background Check
    required
    Education Requirements
    Medicine, Healthcare at Universities level
    Nationality Restrictions
    No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
    Other Skills
    The key requirements are initiative, enthusiasm, and readiness to work in unfamiliar circumstances. Basic conversational Spanish skills are required and the more advanced your level of experience and Spanish language skills, the larger the number of opportunities available.
    Time Commitment
    Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 09:00 - 15:00

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

    Contact Project Manager

    Free-time activities

    Samana is the name of both the peninsula and its biggest town, as well as the bay to the south located in the northeastern part of the Dominican Republic. It is a dramatically beautiful peninsula, like an island unto itself, of coconut trees stretching into the sea.

    The town of Samana 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) 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
    Museum/Opera
    Sports
    Riding
    Yoga/Meditation
    Contact & Reservation
    $189
    /week
    $189
    /week
    4 - 50
    weeks
    4 - 50
    weeks
    18+
    age
    18+
    age
    Airport Pickup
    Housing
    Food
    Internet
    Jan
    Feb
    Mar
    Apr
    May
    Jun
    Jul
    Aug
    Sep
    Oct
    Nov
    Dec

    Included Services

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    Quality Checked Projects
    High ethical standards & transparent social impact
    Flex Option
    Change your reservation at no extra costs
    Refund Guarantee
    We refund your fees if Aldeas de Paz cancels your trip
    Resolution Support
    We cover your back no matter what happens
    Services by Aldeas de Paz

    Volunteers who participate in the medicine and healthcare programm have to pay an extra donation of 33 USD a week. This money goes directly to the hospital administration to support needy patients with medicines and medical materials.

    When you stay in our volunteers guesthouse the fee above is applied. If you would like to stay in host family's house, 75 USD per week will be added.
    The program fee include;

    • Volunteer or Intern placement in the program/s of your choice
    • Host Family - Home Stay: single room with two meals per day included
    • Free Spanish lessons
    • Certificate and/or written reference or student credit
    • Full support and 24/7 back-up from local staff
    • Santa Barbara de Samaná bus terminal pick-up and drop off

    Airport Pickup at Aeropuerto de las Américas

    From airport to bus terminal (not included in the volunteer programm fees), and from bus terminal to our guesthouse (included in the volunteer program fees), we offer a pick-up service.
    In the airport our agent will wait for you even if your flight is delayed. After you arrive at Samana, our Staffs welcome you.

    Accommodation

    Each room has one or two beds, and sheets and pillows are equipped. In our guesthouse, we have cooking instruments, refrigerator, tables and cleaning materials. Most of us cook on a rotating basis (of course, you can eat in the town). Located in the centre of the seaside town of Santa Barbara de Samaná, the Foundation's volunteer guesthouse is the most popular accommodation option for volunteers and interns. Samaná is a scenic, laid back and peaceful town, with friendly and easy-going people.

    Dorm Room Bedroom (Single) Bedroom (Double)
    Food & Beverages

    Two meals per day are included when you stay in a host family. For a stay in the volunteers guesthouse no food is included in the volunteer programm fee.

    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.

    No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
    Costs (Prices in USD)
    4 weeks (min. stay)
    $1,070.00
    5 weeks
    $1,166.00
    6 weeks
    $1,263.00
    7 weeks
    $1,359.00
    11 weeks
    $1,744.00
    19 weeks
    $2,515.00
    50 weeks (max. stay)
    $5,500.00
    Average fees
    $189.00/week

    You can volunteer at the project site in Santa Barbara de Samaná/Dominican Republic between 4 weeks and 50 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.
    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.

    Get ready to volunteer in Dominican Republic

    Check out first

    Visa Regulations
    Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for Dominican Republic. Please check the visa regulations for Dominican Republic.
    Travel Seasons
    Find out the best time to volunteer in Dominican Republic and receive information on weather and climatic conditions.
    Living Costs
    Living costs vary with each destination. We give an overview of what you should plan as an estimated budget to volunteer in Dominican Republic.
    Budgeting
    Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Dominican Republic.

    What's next?

    Airport
    The nearest airport is Aeropuerto de las Américas (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.
    Vaccine Checker
    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.
    Free-time
    What can you do in leisure-time in Dominican Republic while you are not working at your volunteer opportunity?
    C/Adriano Horton, Santa Barbara de Samana, 32000 Santa Barbara de Samaná, Dominican Republic zoom="6"

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