Aldeas de Paz

Youth care & Community Assistant

Santa Barbara de Samaná, Dominican Republic show on map

Non-profit | Aldeas de Paz

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 This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+
Wheel Chairs

YOUTH CARE & COMMUNITY WORK

Enhance the Lives of disadvantaged community members

About the Project

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. The Mama Elba school in Samana was founded by Aldeas de Paz in 2015 and is one of the few educational institutions in the Dominican Republic that focuses on teaching children with special needs. 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 promoting the integration of special need kids into the educational system.

In Las Terrenas we are involved in youth, family and community development. We promote leadership and life skills, healthy lifestyle and constructive use of freetime. We are building community support for youth development and engaging support of parents, women empowerment, sexual education, domestic violence prevention and at risk youth work and education. Additionally, volunteers have the unique chance to present and implement their own ideas with the support of the team.

We are constantly adapting our activities to community 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 will be asked to get involved in a combination of activities which can require working directly in contact with our beneficiaries, underprivileged children, youth and young adults. Your tasks will be assisting at teaching at our school for children with special needs or teaching languages or computer literacy classes to locals.

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

You can participate in this program as a volunteer or as an intern. Please let us know your school or universities internship requirements in advance so that we can work out your personalised work plan together. Also tell us about your personal expectations or goals and we will see how we can help you to achieve them.

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. 

Placement Locations

  • Samaná: Mama Elba school for children and adults with special needs, computer literacy classes, English classes, intercultural events and exchange
  • Las Terrenas: Montessori school, English classes, community social work, intercultural events & exchange

The longer you stay, the less you pay!

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!

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 the Dominican culture.

Typical day

Activities can include but are not limited to  

  • Teaching and assisting in our school with recreational, developmental and therapeutic activities for children and young adults with special needs

  • Assisting at our school with recreational, developmental and therapeutic activities for children and young adults with special needs (requires 22 hours of preparations and classroom activities per week).

  • Playing and taking care of underprivileged children and young adults

  • Having weekly meetings with other volunteers and staff to create weekly schooling plans and educational projects

  • Organizing and leading intercultural events and regular meetings for local community members and international volunteers, expats and travelers with cross-cultural activities fostering exchange and integration

  • Helping with special events like fundraising parties, cooperating with other organizations and supporting community activities when help is needed

  • Assisting teaching English classes (or other languages) as well as computer literacy classes to local youth and adults and prepare them for jobs in the tourist industry

  • Assisting with maintenance and restoration activities on our school building

  • Assist our social worker with youth, family and community development in direct contact with community members (requires advanced spanish skills)

  • Creating your own project or activity

Activities for Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy Students or Professionals

Your professional skills are very useful for our children and young adults at school which are all facing different development challenges. The only medical center providing therapy for their special needs is too far away and too expensive for most of the families. Therefore, the pupils can only get the therapy they need with your help. Teaching some basic therapeutic methods and skills to the other volunteers working in the school would also be very supportive. Please contact us for more information.

Activities for advanced Spanish speakers

Social work in the community, women empowerment, sexual education, domestic violence prevention and at risk youth work and education. You will be accompanying our social worker on family home visits and assist with empowerment and educational workshops as well as community building activities in direct contact with community members from low income neighbourhoods in Las Terrenas.

Your Profile

No previous experience or special skills are required but basic Spanish language skills are very helpful. However, all that is truly necessary is enthusiasm, self-reliance, patience and an open mind. Nevertheless, volunteers that already have experience in teaching, working with children or working with people with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. We welcome individual volunteers, families and groups regardless of age, experience or background. You don't have to speak fluent Spanish as we provide free Spanish classes on a regular basis, full support and 24/7 backup. An ideal volunteer is proactive, result-focused but still patient and willing to engage in activities autonomously while still having our support and supervision. 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 can get some more ideas on what to bring for the children if you contact us.

What to expect

Working hours will be primarily in the afternoon when the children are at the school. Our school requires 22 hours of work per week, including a preparation meeting and classroom activities. Due to the friendly teachers and the warmhearted children you will feel welcome from day one and find yourself in a pleasant working climate. Basic Spanish skills are needed, but an advanced level of Spanish experience will open up more opportunities.

Details on Arrival

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 of 4 weeks is required for participation in our community based social work in Las Terrenas (requires advanced spanish skills). 

A minimum of 2 weeks commitment is required for our school placement and related activities like computer literacy classes and language teaching.

You can participate in our programs throughout the whole year. Please make sure to arrive on a weekday 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
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) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Criminal Background Check
required
Education Requirements
at High School 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 don't need to speak fluent Spanish, some Spanish knowledge is helpful. Receive free Spanish classes every week!!
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:00 - 17:00

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 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 Aldeas de Paz.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
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 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.

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)

Guest Family Bedroom (Single) Bungalow 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. 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)
$1,265.00
6 weeks
$1,455.00
8 weeks
$1,615.00
10 weeks
$1,755.00
12 weeks
$1,835.00
16 weeks
$2,412.00
50 weeks (max. stay)
$7,045.00
Average fees
$229.00/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 will be agreed with 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/Adriano Horton, Santa Barbara de Samana

You might be also interested in

Hospitality and Tourism Santa Barbara de Samaná, Dominican Republic Aldeas de Paz Non-profit | Aldeas de Paz
We offer hospitality and tourism opportunities to those who want to get a head start in their career and gain first-hand experience in hospitality or tourism.
Dentistry Observation Internship Samaná, Dominican Republic Aldeas de Paz Non-profit | Aldeas de Paz
Work side by side with dentists in a developing country. This program offers you hands-on dentistry work experience at a neighborhood dental health clinic.
Animal Rescue and Farm Maintenance Santa Barbara de Samaná, Dominican Republic Aldeas de Paz Non-profit | Aldeas de Paz
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.
Multimedia Journalism Assistant Santa Barbara de Samaná, Dominican Republic Aldeas de Paz Non-profit | Aldeas de Paz
Volunteers join the fight for children rights in the DR and raise awareness through documenting, filming, editing, social networking and expositions.
Medicine and Healthcare Santa Barbara de Samaná, Dominican Republic Aldeas de Paz Non-profit | Aldeas de Paz
Gain invaluable hands-on experience, working side-by-side with medical staff at the local hospital.
NGO Management and Administration Santa Barbara de Samaná, Dominican Republic Aldeas de Paz Non-profit | Aldeas de Paz
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.
Reservation
The project site is open in: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Why am I seeing this?

You requested a page that doesn't exist on this site any more. This could be caused by a link you followed that was out of date, by a typing in the wrong address in the address bar, or simply because the post has been deleted.

Take Me Home