Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic

Building Eco-Solutions to Empower Communities

Summer '20 applications are now open!
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Information for term Building Eco-Solutions to Empower Communities

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

Rolling Admissions

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jun 14 – Jul 4, 2020 (3 weeks)

Application Deadline

Rolling Admissions

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jul 12 – Aug 1, 2020 (3 weeks)


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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 building 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 projects that are run at the same time as our program, students will be taught in different workshops that lead to projects articulated with the communities.  
Your days will be full, with daily Spanish classes and peer activities before and after your service work. Along with field trips to places like the Renewal Energy Lab at Instituto Superior de Agricultura, you’ll round out your experience with visits to cultural attractions and scenic destinations. Explore the local mountains on horseback, visiting waterfalls and caves. Learn to dance merengue, salsa and the local favorite, bachata. Chat with talkative and friendly locals in the plaza over dominoes. Enjoy an enormous noonday feast of rice and beans, roasted meat, plantains, sweet potatoes and more with your homestay. While there’s plenty of opportunity for coffee and snacks out on the town, almost all meals are shared at home, so you get to know the authentic tastes and traditions of everyday life. 

 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. 


    Gain hands-on STEM skills; leadership and training skills; plus experience working with NGO leaders to empower communities to create their own green energy


    Find rewards in teaching others how to create their own energy solutions so they can improve their lives and protect the environment


    A Certificate of International Service Learning (50+ hours)

Location & Culture

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Practice your Spanish and experience a friendly Caribbean city full of culture, baseball, tropical foods and music.

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 street vendors carrying large baskets of fruit, vegetables, and other goods on their heads. Traditional merchants, called marchantas, ride burros loaded with baskets of goods and call out their wares in a musical chant. You can visit mercados on almost every corner and see the wide variety of foodstuffs that make up the local cuisine, a fascinating mix of African, Spanish, Taino (indigenous people of Caribbean and Florida), and Middle Eastern fare.
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

"After my trip with CIEE I have definitely grown in ways I never could if I had stayed in the US."

Learn more about daily life on a high school study abroad program by reading our blogs.


    Carefully Screened Homestay


    24/7 Support from your CIEE program leader and in-country CIEE staff members

Program Blogs

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Program Blogs


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Activities & Excursions


  • Shop along the Calle del Sol. Hunt for bargains and colorful fashions, and visit the artisan shops of Mercado Modelo for a variety of authentic handicrafts
  • Head to the local museum at Fort San Luis
  • Ride a gondola to the top of a mountain in Isabel de Torres, where you’ll visit a historical fortress and catch gorgeous views overlooking the northern coast of Puerto Plata.
  • Enjoy merengue, bachata, and salsa dance classes.
  • Take a daytrip to Santo Domingo and explore the capital city
  • Practice your skills at an art workshop - craft a traditional Carnaval Mask!
  • Learn to cook Dominical specialties with local peers
  • Visit the Hermanas Mirabel museam on a daytrip to Salcedo
  • Take an overnight excursion to Montecristi in Northwest DR, full of traditions, merengue music, and gastronomy. Bath in a river, eat locally grown mangos, and meet villagers. You'll spend the last day relaxing at the sea, snorkling and exploring the DR's famous scenic salt mines.


  • Montecristi in Northwest DR: Full of traditions, merengue music, and gastronomy. Bath in a river, eat locally grown mangos, and meet villagers. You'll spend the last day relaxing at the sea, snorkling and exploring the DR's famous scenic salt mines.

​​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!

Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees


  • Program open to all current high school students: Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors. 
  • For scholarship eligibility requirements, please check our Scholarship page.



Program scholarships and tuition include iNext Travel Insurance, but do not cover the cost of flights. More details about tuition inclusions can be found here.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Summer Session I 2020 3 weeks Rolling Admissions Jun 14, 2020 Jul 4, 2020


Summer Session II 2020 3 weeks Rolling Admissions Jul 12, 2020 Aug 1, 2020


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