Domian Republic
Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic

Leadership & Service in Youth Development

Deadline Extended




3 weeks



Extended Deadline

Enroll Now

Request Information



3 weeks



Extended Deadline

Enroll Now

Request Information

Program Overview

Assist and support a summer camp project for children and teens that study at Acción Callejera.

Join forces with an organization serving underprivileged children and teens in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic. This summer camp aims to improve the lives of approximately 200 children and teens. The project is part of prevention program focused on vulnerable communities where many homeless children cut school and are forced to work.

Make a difference and have fun as you help coach sports, run arts and crafts workshops, and foster teamwork among camp-goers. Engage with community leaders and reflect on the importance of children's rights. Take functional Spanish classes to help you communicate with the locals.

At your homestay, share meals, learn Caribbean customs, and enjoy every-day routines. Play dominoes, go out for coconut ice-cream, try tostones and empanadas on the go, and become a local baseball fan. On excursions, tour the river and mountain areas and get to know coffee and cacao production farms on the island. Your experiences in Santiago de los Caballeros will create lasting memories and influence your plans for future service projects.

The Take-Aways

Real World Experience

Work alongside passionate Dominican NGO leaders committed to transforming the lives of children through education. Reflect on your own leadership style and strengths as you mentor children ages 4 to 15. Be better prepared to plan and implement community activities.

Credentials for Your Future

Topics for your college essays; experience to inform your future career; a Community Profile documenting how you investigated needs, resources, and perspectives during your service; and a record of your service-learning hours.

Life Skills and New Friendships

Return with greater self-confidence, independence, and improved communication skills. Enjoy a broader worldview and friends of different backgrounds from across the U.S.


Hours of Service-Learning


Weeks of Community Engagement


Life-Changing Experience

The Destination
  • city shot
  • city shot
  • city shot

The Destination

Welcome to Santiago de los Caballeros, the second largest city in the Dominican Republic.

Santiago de los Caballeros, also known as La Ciudad Corazón or “Heart City,” is located in the fertile Cibao Valley, surrounded by mountains. An important center of local industries and businesses in the Dominican Republic, this empowered city has undergone significant development and growth over the past five decades. Today it stands as the country's education capital, boasting a lively student and youth culture.

In a city of a little over 1 million people, you’ll enjoy a beautiful glimpse into Caribbean life. There are many restaurants as well as local associations and institutions that promote and preserve the most important traditions of the Dominican people. As you discover this scenic hilltop city, you’ll get to know the country’s heritage and diversity—ever present in its historic museums, monuments, murals, and quaint architecture.

In Santiago de los Caballeros, experience the true essence of the Dominican Republic through its merengue and bachata rhythms, love of baseball, and delicious African, Spanish, and Taino dishes.

Cultural Awareness

CIEE wants all our students to feel welcomed, supported, and empowered to succeed while studying abroad. Local CIEE staff have provided details about conditions and cultural attitudes that students with specific identities might encounter in Santiago de los Caballeros. 

Daily Life

Daily Life


Each day offers a balance between interactive instruction, service-learning, and cultural activities with time on your own, too.   

  • Breakfast at the homestay 
  • Hands-on learning with local instructors 
  • Lunch at the homestay or in the community with your fellow Global Navigators  
  • Out and about for a Cultural Activity  
  • Time for writing individual reflections on your service and for holding group debriefs 
  • Dinner at the homestay   


  • Overnight or day excursions to top sites  
  • Quality time with friends and everyone at your homestay 

Check out the blog posts to discover more about daily life and excursions on program.      


Carefully-screened homestay

24/7 Support

1 Program Leader for every 12 students and support from local staff

Program Blogs


Hard Work Pays Off

By Kokayi Postell at CIEE

Last week was quite labor intensive as we worked with two separate NGOs over the course of 4 days with a final summer camp on Friday. Our skills were put... keep reading


Under the same sun...

By Sheila Zarzuela at CIEE

The song "One Day" by Matisyahu states the following in one of its verses: "All my life, I've been waitin' for I've been prayin' for, for the people to say... keep reading


Finding Our Flow…

By Sheila Zarzuela at CIEE

Tuesday was our first day being introduced to our NGO, Accion Callejera, an organization focused on improving and developing the lives of children on the street. We were welcomed by... keep reading


Sample Activities

High school students rafting in Santiago de los Caballeros

Just imagine all the fun you'll have!

  • Go whitewater rafting and swim in the warm waters of the Caribbean. Discover breathtaking waterfalls!
  • Groove on the dance floor to the rhythms of merengue, bachata, and salsa in a special dance class just for Global Navigators. Learn about the island’s musical identity.
  • Tour Los Pepines neighborhood, where painted murals come to life with captivating stories and powerful messages. Explore Santiago’s traditional downtown and shop for souvenirs at Mercado Modelo.
  • Hike in the adventurous eco-tourism hub of Jarabacoa and finish the day with a refreshing dip in the river.
  • Let stories of courage and resilience inspire you on a visit to the Mirabal Sisters Museum, a tribute to the fearless national heroines who valiantly stood up against Trujillo's brutal regime.

Please note activities are based on past programs and subject to change at CIEE's discretion to adapt to local circumstances and participant feedback. Our goal when arranging activities is always to enhance your experience.  



  • Participants must be 14 years old and above.
  • Program open to all current high school students: Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors.  
  • For scholarship eligibility requirements, please check our Scholarship page

For more information, refer to the detailed Program Essential Eligibility Criteria.

Dates & Fees

Dates & Fees

Application Fee


Program scholarships and tuition include iNext Travel Insurance, but do not cover the cost of flights. Find additional details about what’s included with your tuition.

More questions? Find answers, get application support, sign up for virtual presentations, or contact us


Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Program Summer Session I 2024 3 weeks Start Date End Date Costs $4,950
Program Summer Session II 2024 3 weeks Start Date End Date Costs $4,950
Our Staff

Our Staff

Lucía Agüero

Center Director

Lucía Agüero has a BA in Latin American Spanish and Literature and a MA in Creative Writing. She is the author of poems and short stories published in several anthologies.

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