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Volunteer as a Teen in the Dominican Republic

VISIONS Service Adventures Provides the Program

Dominican Republic family crowd
Photo by Veronica Hackethal.

The first thing I noticed when I stepped off the plane in Santo Domingo was the incredible noise. When visitors arrive in the Dominican Republic they are met by their entire extended family. Boom boxes play full blast and everyone dances and laughs and celebrates. At least that’s what happened with us—a group of 20 teenage Americans heading off for three weeks of community service under the auspices of VISIONS Services Adventures, a nonprofit organization established in 1988 and based in Bozeman, Montana.

The VISIONS Service Adventures program was an excellent mix of volunteer work, play, and study. We worked at building homes or managing a daycare camp four hours every morning, then came back for lunch and went out to see the country.

We were in charge of daycare camp for very poor children in a building with four walls but no roof. I taught them hip-hop and they taught me merengue.

One of the big lessons I learned while I was in the Dominican Republic is how little a person needs materially to be happy. Our group lived very simply—often without electricity and water—but in luxury compared to the way most people live in the Dominican Republic. The people possess an amazing spirit and love for life. In spite of the hardships, I never once heard anyone complain about their circumstances.

I would encourage everyone to experience a new and absolutely incredible culture and to challenge themselves by taking part in a volunteer community service program abroad.

VISIONS Service Adventures offers programs for teens in locations around the world, usually during the summer, from two to four weeks in duration.

Related Topics
Volunteer Programs in the Dominican Republic

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