Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic

Environmental Action & Community Building

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Information for term Environmental Action & Community Building

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

Rolling Admissions

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Sep 28 – Nov 7, 2020 (6 weeks)
$4,850

Application Deadline

September 1, 2020
weeks
days
hours

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: September 1, 2020
  • Dates: Nov 9 – Dec 19, 2020 (6 weeks)
$4,850

Application Deadline

November 1, 2020
weeks
days
hours

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: November 1, 2020
  • Dates: Jan 4 – Feb 13, 2021 (6 weeks)

Application Deadline

December 1, 2020
weeks
days
hours

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: December 1, 2020
  • Dates: Feb 15 – Mar 27, 2021 (6 weeks)

Application Deadline

February 1, 2021
weeks
days
hours

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: February 1, 2021
  • Dates: Mar 29 – May 8, 2021 (6 weeks)

Application Deadline

Rolling Admissions

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Sep 28 – Dec 19, 2020 (12 weeks)
$8,245

Application Deadline

November 1, 2020
weeks
days
hours

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: November 1, 2020
  • Dates: Jan 4 – Mar 27, 2021 (12 weeks)

Application Deadline

December 1, 2020
weeks
days
hours

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: December 1, 2020
  • Dates: Feb 15 – May 8, 2021 (12 weeks)

Application Deadline

November 1, 2020
weeks
days
hours

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: November 1, 2020
  • Dates: Jan 4 – May 8, 2021 (18 weeks)

Overview

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Core components of this program are subject to change in Fall 2020, in order to accommodate any new health and security requirements, due to COVID-19. View the details.


Focus on eco-innovation and leadership training while helping communities in need create their own green energy

Do you love getting your hands dirty? Collaborating with diverse groups to come up with clever solutions to real-world problems? Or maybe you have a zero-waste, green thumb? Then this could be just your thing! Working with our partnered NGOs students will have the opportunity to build a school garden, come up with solutions for upcycling waste, while also learning about local issues and assisting on environmental projects already established in the community.  
 
Eco Solutions is a community based program focused on activities that help students to build awareness about the environmental impacts of the people in the local and world context. The program will be developed with different organizations that are invested in the promotion and execution of environmental actions, and initiatives localized on the Santiago, DR area. Those organizations include Sociedad Ecológica del Cibao (SOECI), Jardín Botánico (Botanical Garden) and Verde Profundo. Based on project needs identified by our NGO partners, students will be able to participate in workshops that lead to project based learning and community impact.
 
In addition to service work you’ll take functional Spanish classes to help you communicate with the local community and have ample time to practice your language skills in the cafes, shops and markets of this scenic hilltop city. Your actual service experience will be enhanced by the service-learning workshop that you and your peers will participate in over the course of each block. CIEE recognizes the importance of framing the service experience and the value of increasing participants' leadership skills, ability to problem-solve, build community relations and initiate change. Spend a few hours per week focused on these complementary skills to make your service experience even more impactful for you and the community! 

You will also take part in our Global Competence Course. This online course will allow you to connect and collaborate in real-time with our entire cohort of Gap participants worldwide, through interactive workshops and discussions. Reflect on your own cultural biases, share insights about your experience and learn about topics ranging from cultural identity and leadership styles to how to work and live sustainably or develop communication skills.

By the end of your stay, you’ll have gained valuable leadership and training skills and learned first-hand about obstacles that exist for energy production and other basic services in developing countries. At the same time, you’ll be part of an exciting solution that not only empowers communities, but sets the future course for sustainable green energy development worldwide. 

On weekends and evenings, get into the rhythm of Dominican life while exploring all that Santiago, La Ciudad Corazon, has to offer. Prepare meals with your hosts, hit the beach, take a day trip to explore a nearby town or nature reserve. Make the most of this amazing opportunity!

The Take-Aways

  • LEADERSHIP

    CIEE is committed to developing young leaders through our Gap Year Abroad programs. Return home with a new-found confidence and the ability to work across cultural lines.

  • GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

    Develop an appreciation for the innovative role NGOs play in the DR to support local communities. Come home with the motivation and skills to drive meaningful change in your own community.

  • SERVICE LEARNING

    A Certificate of International Service Learning

  • of alumni said their skills improved

    97%
  • said they learned to interact with different cultural backgrounds

    94%
  • said their level of independence increased

    89%

Location & Culture

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Practice your Spanish and experience a friendly Caribbean city full of culture, music, and warmth.

Santiago de los Caballeros, the Dominican Republic’s second largest city, is situated in the northern part of the country along the Yaque del Norte River. It sits in a fertile valley, boasting crops of all kinds, from fruits and vegetables to tobacco and rice, along with the economic mainstays of coffee and cacao.
 
While Santiago is a commercial and cultural hub, it’s also a small city, easy to navigate, friendly and full of colorful streets, produce, and people. You can visit mercados and get a sense of the syncretic makeup of the culture in the local cuisine, which is a fascinating mix of African, Spanish, Taino (indigenous people that inhabited the island before Columbus's arrival), and Middle Eastern influences.
 
The city features a number of museums and historic buildings as well, dating back to Spanish colonial times, and it is famous for bachata, a popular local form of Dominican country music and dance. It’s also home to the popular Dominican Baseball team, Las Aguilas Cibaeñas. Baseball (“Beisbol”) is, of course, the national sport, and you’ll find a baseball stadium/park in nearly every town you visit on the island.

Daily Life

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Daily Life

A succesful Gap service experience achieves the right balance between hands-on learning opportunities, structured moments of instruction that can put your experience in context, and cultural activties or excursions that fully immerse you in the local culture.

Here's how a typical week goes on a CIEE Gap Service & Leadership program:

  • 15-20 hours of service project and/or service learning discussion with your CIEE facilitator and peers
  • 1 hour of the CIEE Global Competence Course (online with global community)
  • 2 cultural activities
  • Free time to explore and have fun!

Weekends are for group excursions (two per 6-week block) or personal travel and exploration.

*If Covid-19 homestay requirements cannot be met participants will be placed in a CIEE-vetted dormitory or apartment. Confirmation will be communicated to participants in advance.

  • Carefully Screened Homestay*

  • Local Support

    Local CIEE Center staff available 24/7

Activities

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Sample Activities

  • Learn about environmental sustainability and visit an organic coffee farm at the Rio Blanco Eco-Tourism Complex, all the while being surrounded by lush green mountains and bamboo forests.
  • Explore the markets and main sights in downtown Santiago, such as El Monumento (a monument built in 1944), San Luis Fort, and Centro León, which is the premier arts and cultural center that showcases Dominican treasures.
  • Shop along the lively Calle del Sol. Hunt for bargains and colorful fashions, and visit the artisan shops of Mercado Modelo for a variety of authentic handicrafts.
  • Walk through one of the oldest neighborhoods, Los Pepines, which belongs to a folkloric project to rescue and keep local traditions alive... you will marvel in the vision of many artists that have painted the walls of the city while connecting the murals with social commentary about recycling and city beautification.

Sample Day Trips

  • Take a day trip to the northwestern border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, where you’ll visit the Dajabón market – the most important binational market in the Dominican Republic. You’ll also get the chance to swim at El Morro beach, and learn about issues around Haitian workers in the Dominican Republic with the NGO Centro Puente.
  • On a day trip to Salcedo, you’ll visit the Ojo de Agua – birthplace of the Mirabal sisters, who fought against the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. You’ll learn about the resistance groups and movements against Trujillo, and the cultural and political changes triggered by them.
  • Spend a day visiting the Dominican Republic's bustling capital city, Santo Domingo. You will visit the Colonial Zone, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that houses the first permanent establishment of the New World, as well as see a natural wonder, Los Tres Ojos ("The Three Eyes") National Park, a system of natural limestone caves that were sacred places to the Tainos, the indigenous people who inhabited the island before Columbus.

Please note this list of activities is based on past programs and subject to change at CIEE's discretion to both adapt to local circumstances and participant feedback. Our goal when revising itineraries is always to enhance your experience. Every activity is designed to provide you with a deep immersion in your topic, local culture and sights. Get ready for maximum fun!

Eligibility & Fees

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Eligibility & Fees

Eligibility

  • High school graduates in good academic standing.
  • Students must demonstrate, through the application and interview process, flexibility and maturity.
  • Students must be 17 years or older at the time of their departure.

Fees

$50

Apply for one or two 6-week blocks. Combining blocks in two different locations is not yet available.

Program fee includes iNext travel insurance. Full inclusions are found online.

Program

Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Costs

Fall Block II 2020 6 weeks Rolling Admissions Sep 28, 2020 Nov 7, 2020

$4,850

Fall Blocks II, III 2020 12 weeks Rolling Admissions Sep 28, 2020 Dec 19, 2020

$8,245

Fall Block III 2020 6 weeks Sep 1, 2020 Nov 9, 2020 Dec 19, 2020

$4,850

Spring Block I 2021 6 weeks Nov 1, 2020 Jan 4, 2021 Feb 13, 2021
Spring Blocks I, II 2021 12 weeks Nov 1, 2020 Jan 4, 2021 Mar 27, 2021
Spring Blocks I, II, III 2021 18 weeks Nov 1, 2020 Jan 4, 2021 May 8, 2021
Spring Block II 2021 6 weeks Dec 1, 2020 Feb 15, 2021 Mar 27, 2021
Spring Blocks II, III 2021 12 weeks Dec 1, 2020 Feb 15, 2021 May 8, 2021
Spring Block III 2021 6 weeks Feb 1, 2021 Mar 29, 2021 May 8, 2021

Enroll for two in-country 6-week blocks and save 15% ($8,245 total)!

Ready to change your life?