HighlightsThere is no end of activities and sights to visit in your spare time. Visit the north coast for some of the best windsurfing or kite boarding found in the world, go whale watching, try fun hiking, biking or even white water rafting for those adrenaline seekers! You may also like to visit the Caribbean's highest peak or the Playa Rincon, said to be one of the best beaches in the world. Hunt round the quaint town of Monte Cristo for some great finds including bargain priced jewellery made from handcrafted beads, and try some with some of the local rum in one of the colourful bars!
This versatile experience and observation program gives insight into all aspects of running the Aldeas de Paz Foundation. This program is focused on those who are interested in starting their own charity or want hands-on experience in working in an NGO. Volunteers and interns observe and assist the coordinator with office work, as well as in-community project support, administrative work and the coordination and supervision of community programs. The NGO volunteers/interns also help ensure the well-being of our volunteers and their full integration into various programs offered, as well as into the social life of the community. The foundation relies on NGO volunteers/interns to ensure smooth operations and therefore requires flexible volunteers. Direct work with our primary beneficiaries is an essential part of the work of Aldeas de Paz, so the NGO volunteers/interns are also expected to participate in foundation-wide events and activities involving our beneficiaries.
What to expect
The NGO Administration volunteers & interns observe and assist the Coordinator with office work, as well as in-community project support and administrative work and the coordination and supervision of community programs. The NGO Management volunteer/intern will furthermore help to ensure the wellbeing of our volunteers and their full integration into various programs offered, as well as into the social life in Samaná.
Activities for advanced Spanish speakers
Working on public relation projects designed to mobilize community support. These include, but are not limited to: radio broadcasts, participating in neighbourhood council meetings, writing bulletins/columns, organizing community projects, working with locals to find new volunteer opportunities, translate newsletters and website information into Spanish.
Activities can include but are not limited to
- Assisting with the coordination of volunteers, including conducting meetings
- Supporting the day-to-day running of the NGO and attending meetings with local actors, authorities and community members
- Shadowing the director/coordinator in general administration and day-to-day tasks
- Working in financial accountability tasks such as financial planning and budgeting
- Attending frequent operational meetings to discuss events at the foundation
- Participating in and remaining informed of all the foundation’s programs
- Assisting with updating social networks and the webpage
- Helping promote our cause online and practicing fundraising through social media and grant writing
- Assisting board meetings, taking useful meeting minutes and preparing reports
- Assisting with editing our monthly newsletter
- Helping with editing information and job descriptions and assisting with updating listing opportunities and forwarding updated information to our international sending agents
Financial Contribution & Benefits
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! The minimum contribution starts at €140 per week and includes Spanish language classes, double room at one of our fully equipped guesthouse apartments, a special program donation as well as a 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. If you wish a single room upgrade add €50 per week and an all in Host Family homestay upgrade is €150 per week, including a private bedroom and two meals per day. For more information about costs and benefits check out our webpage
What is included
- Welcome Service at the airport and transport to your placement location
- Volunteer or Internship placement
- Accommodation of your choice
- Placement introduction, training, supervision, briefings and meetings
- Free regular Spanish lessons throughout your placement
- Free Wifi and use of washing machine at all our facilities
- Certificate, written reference and student credit
- Information about adventure packages
- Full support and 24/7 backup from local staff
Spanish language classes: Volunteers and interns receive 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 are encouraged to 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 are immersed in the Spanish language and the Dominican culture.
No previous experience or special skills are required. A typical NGO administration and management volunteer and intern needs to be enthusiastic, willing to learn, ready for a challenge and has to have a desire to take initiative in coordinating a group of volunteers and daily tasks. Friendliness, care, commitment and patience are among important qualities. The ideal volunteer would have a passion for development aid, some experience in international volunteering and a desire to help other volunteers to have a great stay with us. Activities that a volunteer can participate in are entirely dependent on motivation and previous experience. Staff and other volunteers will support the participant. Basic conversational Spanish is very helpful for some activities but even without knowledge of the Spanish language, there is lots of work to do. To enable deeper integration into the community we provide free Spanish classes on a weekly basis, full support and 24/7 backup. We ask you to bring your laptop as well as a pen drive with you as flexibility regarding your working environment is necessary.
Volunteer Placement or Internship
Most of our participants join as volunteers and are free to commit from between 10 to 40 hours per week. That’s up to you! As an intern, however you probably have to fulfill requirements set by your school or university. Please inform us of your school or university internship requirements in advance so that we can work out your personalized work plan together. Also tell us about your personal expectations and goals and we will see how we can help you achieve them.
Time Commitment: A minimum of 2 weeks commitment is required