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Aldeas de Paz

Special Needs Caretaker & Community Assistant

Santa Barbara de Samaná, Dominican Republic

Our aim is to empower young people in Samaná by providing a platform at our school where they can be supported in developing their potential and improving their own lives

About the Project

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

Volunteers in Santa Barbara de Samana have plenty of opportunities to make a difference to young people who would otherwise lack educational and creative opportunities and also promote the integration of special need kids into the educational system. Whether your skills lie in English teaching, computer literacy, music, sports, riding, drama, art, or hands-on work like ecological maintenance or conservation, we can offer you a unique chance to implement your own ideas. Our school provides volunteers with the opportunity to make a difference to the young people of our local community whom would otherwise lack educational and creative opportunities, whilst also positively promoting the integration of special need kids into the educational system. At our school we offer volunteers with the unique chance to implement their own ideas whilst also making a positive difference to our community.

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. 

Activities for Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy Students or Professionals 

Your skills can be utilized at our special needs school. The children at the school have a range of development challenges. The only clinic that provides therapy is too far and expensive for most of the families to attend and therefore with your skills the children can get the therapy they need. Please contact us for more information.

Requirements

No previous experience or special skills are required; all that is necessary is enthusiasm, self-reliance, patience and an open mind. However, volunteers with experience are strongly encouraged to apply. We welcome individual volunteers, families and groups regardless of age, experience or background. 

We ask you to bring some arts & crafts materials such as: pencils, crayons, wax crayons, rubbers, sharpeners, glues, ruler, scissors, colored paper, etc.. Depending on how much space you have left you find heresome more ideas what to bring for the children.

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!

Typical day

Our activities can include but are not limited to

  • Assist with recreational, developmental and therapeutic activities for special need kids
  • Help with special events
  • Play and take care of underprivileged children
  • Assist with maintenance and restoration activities on our school building
  • Assist teachers with projects and activities geared to children with special needs
  • Have weekly meetings with other volunteers and staff to create weekly schooling plans
  • Assist with English classes and computer literacy classes for local youth and adults 
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.

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

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 English (basic level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Participants need to be enthusiastic, willing to learn, ready for a challenge. You do not need to speak fluent Spanish, some Spanish knowledge is helpful. Receive free Spanish classes every week!!
Time Commitment
Regular working hours are hardly predicable. It mainly depends on the work force. Get in touch with Aldeas de Paz straight ahead to get more infos about current to dos and objectives.

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+
Wheel Chairs

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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We refund your fees if Aldeas de Paz cancels your trip
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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

When you stay in our volunteers guesthouse the fee above is applied. If you would like to stay in host family's house, 75 USB 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

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 (off 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)
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)
$1,070.00
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.
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, C/Adriano Horton, Santa Barbara de Samana
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