Kickin’ off Public Health

Programs for this blog post

Leadership & Service in Public Health

Authored By:

Megan Hoeffler

Day 1

Our participants arrived in the Dominican Republic (DR) Sunday night after a long day of traveling. Students got to meet their host families that will be housing, cooking, and getting to know our high school study abroad students. They will be making Dominican cuisine for our students for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. 


Day 2

The first full day was spent doing orientation, get to know you games and learning about Dominican culture. Students got to walk around Santiago, stopping at a street vendor for yucca empanadas, juice, and fresh coconut water. From there we walked to a restaurant called Zumbador. Zumbador is a rustic restaurant known for it’s beautiful outdoor seating and it’s stray cats!


Day 3

We got to do orientation at the local NGO that we will be volunteering at for the next three weeks called Red Misericordia. Red Misericordia houses and provides programs for children in the DR who are in need. The grounds were donated from the government and the rest of the items at the NGO were also donated by various partnerships with other organizations. They offer education, spirituality, health, job readiness, counseling programs and more. Our students had a Q&A session with the NGO’s medical director who answered various questions about the many services they provide for the children. Our students will be doing summer activities with the children and promoting positive mental and physical health while interacting with the children. 

During the evening our students went to the local grocery store called Bravo and to the Wendy’s next door to stock up with snacks for movie night! We watched the movie called “In the Time of the Butterflies” about the four Mirabel sisters who are famous historical figures in the Dominican Republic.