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Aldeas de Paz

NGO Management and Administration

Santa Barbara de Samaná, Dominican Republic

This versatile experience and observation program is perfect for those wanting to learn more about how a small grass-root NGO is managed and operated.

About the Project

This versatile experience and observation program gives insight into all aspects of running the Aldeas de Paz Foundation. This program is focused on those who are interested in starting their own charity or want hands-on experience in working in an NGO. 

The NGO Administration volunteers and interns observe and assist the coordinator with office work, as well as in-community project support and administrative work and the coordination and supervision of community programs. The NGO volunteers will also help to ensure the well-being of our volunteers and their full integration into various programs offered, as well as into the social life of the community. The foundation relies on NGO volunteers to ensure smooth operations and therefore requires flexible volunteers. Direct work with our primary beneficiaries is an essential part of the work of Aldeas de Paz so that the NGO volunteers are also expected to participate in foundation-wide events and activities involving our beneficiaries.

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 in advance so that we can work out your personalized work plan together. Also inform us about your personal goals and expectations and we will see how we can help you to achieve them!

We expect our volunteers and interns to dedicate a minimum of four hours/ four days per week and a maximum of eight hours/five days per week working in their respective programs. Volunteers/interns usually come by themselves or with their partner to our foundation. However, we do offer family placements as well. In case a family decides to stay with us, the minimum age of the children is eight.  Individual volunteers/interns have to be at least 16 years of age. Volunteers/interns under 18 need to bring a written permission from their parents or guardians..

Requirements  

Your Profile

No previous experience or special skills are required. A typical NGO administration and management volunteer and intern needs to be enthusiastic, willing to learn, ready for a challenge and has to have a desire to take initiative in coordinating a group of volunteers and daily tasks. Friendliness, care, commitment, and patience are among important qualities. The ideal volunteer would have a passion for development aid, some experience in international volunteering, and a desire to help other volunteers to have a great stay with us. Activities that a volunteer can participate in are entirely dependent on motivation and previous experience. Staff and other volunteers will support the participant. Basic conversational Spanish is very helpful for some activities but even without knowledge of the Spanish language, there is lots of work to do. 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. We ask you to bring your laptop as well as a pen drive with you as flexibility regarding your working environment is necessary.

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!

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.

Special Offer

Spanish language classes - volunteers or interns receive up to six 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 in the Dominican culture.

Typical day

Activities can include but are not limited to

  • Assisting with the coordination of volunteers, including conducting meetings with the volunteers
  • Supporting the day-to-day running of the NGO and attend meetings with local actors, authorities and community members
  • Shadowing the director/coordinator in general administration and day-to-day tasks
  • Working in financial accountability tasks such as financial planning and budgeting
  • Attending frequent operational meetings to discuss events at the foundation
  • Participating in and remain informed of all the foundation programs
  • Assisting with updating social networks and the webpage
  • Help promoting our cause online and practice fundraising through social media and grant writing
  • Assisting board meetings, take useful meeting minutes and prepare reports
  • Assisting with editing our monthly newsletter
  • Helping with editing information and job descriptions and assist with updating listing opportunities and forward updated information to our international sending agents

Program activities for volunteers with more advanced Spanish skills

Working on public relation projects designed to mobilize community support. These include, but are not limited to: radio broadcasts, writing bulletins/columns, organizing community projects, working with locals to find new volunteer opportunities, translate newsletters and website information into Spanish.


Details on Arrival

Placement Locations 

Samana and Las Terrenas

The Aldeas de Paz Foundation headquarters is in Samana and Las Terrenas, 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.

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.

Time Commitment

A minimum time commitment of 4 weeks is required. For volunteers and interns with little experience, a six to eight weeks minimum time commitment is encouraged. 

You can participate in our projects throughout the whole year. 
Please make sure that you arrive only during weekdays so that we can arrange everything for your arrival.

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
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 English (intermediate level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
No previous experience or special skills are required. A typical NGO administration & management volunteer and intern needs to be enthusiastic, willing to learn, ready for a challenge
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 09:00 - 16:00

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Families
50+
Wheel Chairs

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

Contact Project Coordinator
Contact & Reservation
Jan
Feb
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Apr
May
Jun
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Included Services

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

•Volunteer or Intern placement in the program/s of your choice
• Our Volunteer Guesthouse: double room occupancy (single add 30US$/week)
• Family Home Stay: single room with two meals per day included (add 90US$/week)
• Free WIFI at Aldeas de Paz office from Monday through Friday
•Placement introduction and hand-outs, supervision, regular briefings
•6 free Spanish lessons included every week (worth: €10 each class)
•Certificate and/or written reference or student credit
•Full support and 24/7 backup

Accommodation

Each room has one or two beds, and sheets and pillows are provided. In our guesthouse, we have; cooking instruments, refrigerator, tables and cleaning materials. Most of us cook on a rotating basis (off course, you can eat in the town). Located in the centre of the seaside town of Samaná and Las Terrenas, 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.

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)
4 weeks (min. stay)
$1,215.00
6 weeks
$1,383.00
10 weeks
$1,692.00
12 weeks
$1,840.00
16 weeks
$2,112.00
50 weeks (max. stay)
$6,600.00
Average fees
$218.00/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.
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 Santa Barbara de Samaná, Calle Adriano Horton
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