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Hands-On Experiences to Inspire Your Future

Learning Beyond the Classroom

Adventure Travel & Cultural Immersion

Community Engagement & Global Awareness

Active Immersion in Language & Culture

Dominican Republic

Beaches, Bachata, & Community Building

June 27 — July 18
$6,190 + airfare

Dominican Republic

Beaches, Bachata, & Community Building

June 27 — July 18
$6,190 + airfare

Explore the Dominican Republic, a Spanish-speaking Caribbean country known for its vibrant culture, gorgeous beaches, and complex colonial past. Begin in Santo Domingo, then head southwest to your host community to work alongside community members on service projects. Take overnight trips to the mountains of the Cordillera Central, the northern coast, and the Samaná Peninsula.

• Work with locals on small-scale construction projects
• Learn to cook traditional empanadas with a local chef
• Play a game of baseball with Dominican friends
• Camp under the stars on a pristine white-sand beach
“The program exceeded expectations and Davis loved every element. He gained friendships, new and daring experiences, and was challenged in adapting to a culture and lifestyle outside his norm.”
—Alice & Trevor L., Santa Fe, NM

Itinerary

This itinerary represents our best projection of the group’s schedule. However, we may implement changes designed to improve the quality of the program.

Departure — Travel Day

Meet your fellow high school student travelers and one or more of your leaders in Miami, and fly together to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.

Santo Domingo — 2 days

Spend your first two days in the country’s vibrant capital city and learn about Dominican history and culture. Get to know each other through a group orientation and prepare for your stay in the host community.

Host Community — 12 days

Travel by private bus to your host community. Located in the undeveloped southwestern region of the Dominican Republic, this small community is your home for the next two weeks. Work together with warm and welcoming community members to complete meaningful projects identified by the town council. Rotate through several different projects, such as light construction work, planting an organic garden or seedlings, and teaching English to local children and adults. In the late afternoons, practice your Spanish and play baseball with friends from town.

Beach Excursion — 1 day

Camp overnight under the stars on a beautiful, remote beach overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Swim in the turquoise waters, enjoy a meal together, and play guitar around a beach bonfire with new Dominican friends.

Jarabacoa — 2 days

Say a bittersweet goodbye to your host community and set off on five days of adventure travel. Relax at an ecolodge tucked high into the rugged Cordillera Central Mountains, home to the highest peaks in the West Indies. Raft down the whitewater of the Rio Yaque del Norte with professional guides or ride horseback through the countryside.

Samaná Peninsula — 3 days

Cap your adventure with a stay on the picturesque Samaná Peninsula. Snorkel along white-sand beaches, explore mangrove forests, and hike to a gorgeous waterfall. Learn about a local permaculture project run by a Dominican family and enjoy delicious, homegrown food at our ecolodge.

Santo Domingo — 1 day

Spend the final night of your trip together as a group in Santo Domingo. Enjoy a celebratory meal and reminisce about your shared adventure.

Return — Travel Day

Fly from Santo Domingo to Miami with your group and a leader, and then continue on to your final destination. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.

Itinerary

This itinerary represents our best projection of the group’s schedule. However, we may implement changes designed to improve the quality of the program.

Departure — Travel Day

Meet your fellow high school student travelers and one or more of your leaders in Miami, and fly together to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.

Santo Domingo — 2 days

Spend your first two days in the country’s vibrant capital city and learn about Dominican history and culture. Get to know each other through a group orientation and prepare for your stay in the host community.

Host Community — 12 days

Travel by private bus to your host community. Located in the undeveloped southwestern region of the Dominican Republic, this small community is your home for the next two weeks. Work together with warm and welcoming community members to complete meaningful projects identified by the town council. Rotate through several different projects, such as light construction work, planting an organic garden or seedlings, and teaching English to local children and adults. In the late afternoons, practice your Spanish and play baseball with friends from town.

Beach Excursion — 1 day

Camp overnight under the stars on a beautiful, remote beach overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Swim in the turquoise waters, enjoy a meal together, and play guitar around a beach bonfire with new Dominican friends.

Jarabacoa — 2 days

Say a bittersweet goodbye to your host community and set off on five days of adventure travel. Relax at an ecolodge tucked high into the rugged Cordillera Central Mountains, home to the highest peaks in the West Indies. Raft down the whitewater of the Rio Yaque del Norte with professional guides or ride horseback through the countryside.

Samaná Peninsula — 3 days

Cap your adventure with a stay on the picturesque Samaná Peninsula. Snorkel along white-sand beaches, explore mangrove forests, and hike to a gorgeous waterfall. Learn about a local permaculture project run by a Dominican family and enjoy delicious, homegrown food at our ecolodge.

Santo Domingo — 1 day

Spend the final night of your trip together as a group in Santo Domingo. Enjoy a celebratory meal and reminisce about your shared adventure.

Return — Travel Day

Fly from Santo Domingo to Miami with your group and a leader, and then continue on to your final destination. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.

Featured

Leaders

Meet some of our featured leaders. Please note that these may not be your leaders for the program. 

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Featured

Leaders

Meet some of our featured leaders. Please note that these may not be your leaders for the program. 

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About the Destination

Located on the eastern half of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, the Dominican Republic is a country of rich natural resources and is known for its welcoming culture. Dominican heritage is palpable in the historical capital city of Santo Domingo through the bachata music playing in every home. Dominicans are proud of their country, passionate about their culture, and extremely welcoming to travelers eager to learn more about their vibrant island nation.

Language

Spanish is the official language of the Dominican Republic.

Climate

The Dominican Republic has a tropical climate with two seasons: wet and dry. We visit during the wet season, when rain showers are common. Days are hot with temperatures ranging from 80–90°F, and nights are cool, ranging from 65–70°F.

Cuisine

Typical Dominican cuisine consists of rice, beans, plantains, fish, eggs, meat, vegetables, and fresh tropical fruit. Many traditional dishes like mangú and mofongo start with a base of plantains.

About the Destination

Located on the eastern half of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, the Dominican Republic is a country of rich natural resources and is known for its welcoming culture. Dominican heritage is palpable in the historical capital city of Santo Domingo through the bachata music playing in every home. Dominicans are proud of their country, passionate about their culture, and extremely welcoming to travelers eager to learn more about their vibrant island nation.

Language

Spanish is the official language of the Dominican Republic.

Climate

The Dominican Republic has a tropical climate with two seasons: wet and dry. We visit during the wet season, when rain showers are common. Days are hot with temperatures ranging from 80–90°F, and nights are cool, ranging from 65–70°F.

Cuisine

Typical Dominican cuisine consists of rice, beans, plantains, fish, eggs, meat, vegetables, and fresh tropical fruit. Many traditional dishes like mangú and mofongo start with a base of plantains.

What to Expect

Review specific program expectations here. For more general information:

Service

During your time in the Dominican Republic, you can expect to work on several different volunteer projects—construction projects where you may learn to mix cement and lay blocks or paint a community building, environmental projects such as planting seedlings or shadowing local farmers, and educational projects such as teaching English to local children and adults. The focus of this program is learning about another culture by forming meaningful relationships with local people and undertaking a shared service experience together. You should come to the summer with an open-mind, eager to participate in new experiences and interested in exploring another culture and way of life. Everyone participates in all of the group’s projects on a rotating basis, and lends a hand in meal preparation and cleanup. To learn more about our Service programs click here.

Language Practice

Proficiency in Spanish is not required; however, students who study Spanish in school will have opportunities to practice while communicating with local people. Students who do not speak Spanish will have the opportunity to learn some basic language skills.

Independent Project

Pursue an independent project and explore an aspect of local culture of particular interest to you—design and paint a mural at the local school, organize a baseball tournament, or learn to dance bachata.

Physical Activity

This is a physically active summer travel program. In addition to construction and service work, you can expect to play baseball, swim, raft, ride horseback, and hike. You do not need to be at peak fitness to participate, but it is important that you have a desire to be physically active, and that you are excited about trying all activities.

Accommodations

Living accommodations in the project community are basic. The group lives together in a local school and students sleep in sleeping bags on camping pads with access to simple bathrooms. On overnight excursions, we camp in tents for a night at the beach, stay in a beautiful mountain lodge in Jarabacoa, and stay in a beachside ecolodge in Samana. In Santo Domingo, we stay in a small hotel. Leaders reside together with the students throughout the program.

Meals

In the host community we eat delicious home-cooked meals prepared by local cooks. Each day several students from the group form cooking crews and help prepare our meals. During excursions, the group eats in restaurants and occasionally goes to local markets to shop for a picnic lunch.

What to Expect

Review specific program expectations here. For more general information:

Service

During your time in the Dominican Republic, you can expect to work on several different volunteer projects—construction projects where you may learn to mix cement and lay blocks or paint a community building, environmental projects such as planting seedlings or shadowing local farmers, and educational projects such as teaching English to local children and adults. The focus of this program is learning about another culture by forming meaningful relationships with local people and undertaking a shared service experience together. You should come to the summer with an open-mind, eager to participate in new experiences and interested in exploring another culture and way of life. Everyone participates in all of the group’s projects on a rotating basis, and lends a hand in meal preparation and cleanup. To learn more about our Service programs click here.

Language Practice

Proficiency in Spanish is not required; however, students who study Spanish in school will have opportunities to practice while communicating with local people. Students who do not speak Spanish will have the opportunity to learn some basic language skills.

Independent Project

Pursue an independent project and explore an aspect of local culture of particular interest to you—design and paint a mural at the local school, organize a baseball tournament, or learn to dance bachata.

Physical Activity

This is a physically active summer travel program. In addition to construction and service work, you can expect to play baseball, swim, raft, ride horseback, and hike. You do not need to be at peak fitness to participate, but it is important that you have a desire to be physically active, and that you are excited about trying all activities.

Accommodations

Living accommodations in the project community are basic. The group lives together in a local school and students sleep in sleeping bags on camping pads with access to simple bathrooms. On overnight excursions, we camp in tents for a night at the beach, stay in a beautiful mountain lodge in Jarabacoa, and stay in a beachside ecolodge in Samana. In Santo Domingo, we stay in a small hotel. Leaders reside together with the students throughout the program.

Meals

In the host community we eat delicious home-cooked meals prepared by local cooks. Each day several students from the group form cooking crews and help prepare our meals. During excursions, the group eats in restaurants and occasionally goes to local markets to shop for a picnic lunch.

A Day in the Life: Host Community

Due to the traveling nature of this summer program abroad, each day is different. Here is a snapshot of a day in our host community.
Enjoy breakfast together as a group
8:00am
Work on projects that benefit the local community, such as light construction
12:00pm
Break for lunch and rest in the shade
2:00pm
Teach English to local children and learn about the sugarcane harvest
4:00pm
Join a pick-up game of baseball
6:00pm
Prepare dinner with local cooks and enjoy a family-style meal
8:00pm
Group meeting to discuss the day and upcoming schedule

A Day in the Life:
Host Community

Due to the traveling nature of this summer program abroad, each day is different. Here is a snapshot of a day in our host community.
Enjoy breakfast together as a group
8:00am
Work on projects that benefit the local community, such as light construction
12:00pm
Break for lunch and rest in the shade
2:00pm
Teach English to local children and learn about the sugarcane harvest
4:00pm
Join a pick-up game of baseball
6:00pm
Prepare dinner with local cooks and enjoy a family-style meal
8:00pm
Group meeting to discuss the day and upcoming schedule
“What an amazing experience! Keep doing what you are doing. We chose Putney because of the trip content and for the care you take putting the groups together so there aren’t a lot of kids who know each other. Lizzie says it was the best trip. She loved it!”
—Jennifer & Andy L., Chicago, IL
avery-stern

This Program is Directed by

Avery Stern

If you have questions or would like to talk further about this program, please get in touch!

avery-stern

This Program is Directed by

Avery Stern

If you have questions or would like to talk further about this program, please get in touch!

Enroll in two programs & save $1,000!

$800 tuition discount + no application fee

Dominican Republic
Beaches, Bachata, & Community Building

2024 Dates
June 27 — July 18

Duration
22 days

Tuition
$6,190 + airfare

Eligibility
Currently* in grades 7–8
*Your grade as of the day you apply

Typical Group
12–14 students, 2 leaders

Group Flight
Departs from Miami

Service Hours
40–60 

Additional Info

Questions? Visit our FAQ or call us at (802) 387-5000

 

2024 Dates
June 27 — July 18

Duration
22 days

Tuition
$6,190 + airfare

Service Hours
40–60 

Eligibility
Currently* in grades 7–8
*Your grade as of the day you apply

Typical Group
12–14 students, 2 leaders

Group Flight
Departs from Miami

 

Questions? Visit our FAQ or call us at (802) 387-5000

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