This is a unique opportunity to work with and impart skills to local leaders who have been raised in the poverty they are trying to treat.It is an opportunity to reach out to people who have rarely, if ever, had the opportunity to receive healthcare or health education. You are guaranteed to make changes and be changed.
Who: Anybody who has an interest in helping — everyone has a skill they can offer and something they can teach!
What: Truly making a difference in rural Dominican Republic
When: Either (or both) week(s) of April 25th or May 2nd, 2015
Where: Paraiso and 32 surrounding mountain villages
*Knowledge of Spanish or Creole is not necessary, as we will travel with local interpreters.
We will again be serving about 3,000 people (over a 2 week period) across 32 communities in the southwest region of the Dominican Republic in an area surrounding the town of Paraiso. The villages we are serving are spread along “roads” (in the loosest of terms) that branch out from Paraiso like fingers from a hand (see village map). About 90% of the people in these communities are, or are descendants of, Haitian immigrants. These people are, in many ways, worse off than Haitians in Haiti, because it is very difficult for an undocumented Haitian to receive healthcare. To get to the nearest hospital, they have to traverse the mountains down to Paraiso, pay for transportation (that could be an entire days’ wage) to get to the nearest town, Barahona. However, there is a military checkpoint between these 2 towns that makes this virtually impossible, except in emergency situations.
The Dominicans and Haitians alike in this region are some of the warmest and kindest people I have ever met. They have taken me in as one of their own and would literally give the shirt off their backs. They are eager to learn and I feel a strong obligation to use the resources we have (knowledge/skills/training in ANY field), to give the biggest donation of all: education. We will bring tools as the education continues, but the ultimate goal of this project is self-sustainability. This is guaranteed to be a life-changing experience for everyone involved.