Aldeas de Paz is a sustainable and transparent grassroots NGO based in Santa Barbara de Samaná and Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic. We are independent from political, religious or business interests and maintain independence by completely funding and operating our programs with the practical and monetary contributions of volunteers and interns.
Since 2003, Aldeas de Paz promoted a Culture of Peace and created change with the help of
- university students looking for an academic internship,
- young adults searching for job experience and even
- families or couples.
Volunteers can work in several projects.
The minimum requirements are initiative, enthusiasm, the willingness to learn something new and basic Spanish skills.
A trained doctor is as welcome at our organisation as a young graduate, who wants to gain real experience for his future career.
OUR PURPOSE: We are a youth oriented organization with the purpose of educating, mentoring, inspiring and empowering young people. We aim to develop their potentials and help them to create opportunities for them and their community through our educational programs and recreational activities. We promote children rights and equal opportunities for all.
OUR MISSION: We promote a Culture of Peace through enriching cross-cultural exchange for people of all cultural backgrounds and nationalities and we practice voluntary community service where we provide additional opportunities in education, sports, health care and skill training. We assist our beneficiaries in developing their potential and improving their own lives.
OUR VISION: Offering volunteers and interns the great opportunity to work side by side with locals, learn new skills, study Spanish and immerse themselves in the Latin and Caribbean culture. We share the values of peace, justice and tolerance, fundamentally focusing on the preservation of cultural values and the empowerment of young people while valuing local knowledge and working with cultural sensitivity. Our volunteer opportunities are truly the microcosm of a world where people join together giving priority to improving life for humanity and promoting a Culture of Peace as a practical way to both prevent and resolve conflict.
VOLUNTEERING: Volunteering is a great way to experience another culture, make new friends and learn new skills. The beauty in volunteering lies in the fact that you are not simply passing through as a tourist. You are interacting with the community, building relationships and making a positive impact. It is an experience that may change your life! Volunteers are the driving force of our charity work, both through their volunteering and through their financial contributions. We have various programs currently under way and run by volunteers, as well as the long-term expectation of opening a multi-facetted Attention Center in Samana. We encourage volunteers to form schedules which work for them, and to work in any combination of programs. Volunteers decide how many hours they want to work. We recommend a minimum of 4 hours daily for 4 days a week. However, volunteers and interns may work as many days and hours as they wish. We emphasize that we focus on quality and not on quantity! The volunteer must cover all travel costs.
INTERNSHIP: In addition to the volunteer programs we also offer internship placements. Interns typically come for 6 weeks to 12 months and apply well in advance to inform us of their internship’s conditions and the requirements of their university or academic adviser. We are very happy to get in contact with academic institutions and to provide all materials and references necessary for interns to receive course credit for their volunteer work. Certificates are also provided to all interns upon successful completion of their internships. This communication is conducted in the specific manner agreed upon once the intern applies for the position.
LEARN SPANISH: We offer up to six free Spanish language classes every week. The lessons 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 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 immerse in Spanish language and Dominican culture.
HIGHLIGHTS: There are unlimited activities and sights to visit in your spare time. Visit the north coast for some of the best windsurfing or kiteboarding 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 Caribbean's highest peak, Pico Duarte, or the Playa Rincon, said to be one of the best beaches in the world. Hunt around the quaint town of Monte Cristo for some great finds including bargain priced jewelry made from handcrafted beads, and try some of the local rum in one of the colorful bars!
UPON ARRIVAL: Upon arrival at Santo Domingo Airport you will be met by an in-country pick-up service and transported to the bus terminal from where you leave with the luxury bus to Samaná or Las Terrenas. On arrival in Samaná, Aldeas de Paz staff will pick you up and bring you to the accommodation where you will be based for the duration of your project.
FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION: Your financial contribution depends on length of stay and starts at EUR 440 per month including: • Volunteer placement in the program/s of your choice • Accommodation • Placement introduction and handouts, supervision, regular briefings • 6 free Spanish language lessons • Certificate and/or written reference upon completion • Full support and 7 days, 24 hour backup from our local staff • Bus terminal pick-up: Our staff will welcome you to our home-base upon arrival and ensure that all of your needs are met - from a safe and comfortable place to stay, to unparalleled access to perspectives and insight about the local culture
All travel costs must be covered by the intern. Budget at least EUR 38 for in-country travel on top of whatever your plane ticket costs. Most volunteers will spend less than EUR 250 a month on personal expenses while staying here, but this depends on how you like to live.
We offer the following volunteer and internship possibilities in the Dominican Republic:
- Youthcare & Community: Teach children with or without special needs in a local school with the Montessori concept.
- Environmental Conservation: Promote ecotourism in a United Nations program (advanced Spanish speakers only).
- Endangered Marine Species Protection: Plant trees or learn to dive and kill Lionfish for maintaining balance in the ecosystem.
- Animal Farm Maintenance: Look after neglected street dogs and get to know life on a farm for pigs, horses and donkeys from the ecologist Kim Bedall.
- Medicine & Healthcare: Observe and assist in the public hospital of a development country. Depending on your skills, knowledge and interest, you can assist in the emergency hospitalisation, surgery, HIV-department or the laboratory. There are internships especially designed for professionals and dentistry students.
- Hospitality and Tourism: Boost your career and work as a receptionist
- NGO Managment: Learn how to run an NGO. Develop new strategies and structures. Shadow the coordinator. Create or translate short papers. Keep in close contact with agencies around the world and local partners. Help in fundraising activities.
- Multimedia: Promote our mission on a tight budget, develop social media strategies, film and take photos.
Optional: Aldeas de Paz offers free and popular beginner and advanced English, PC and German classes to locals.
We are closely integrated into the community of local helpers with connections to local NGOs and governmental offices. At times, we assist spontaneously in the preparation of Alphabetization kits, raising awareness for the protection of the parrotfish just to name two examples. If you want to, you can assist, too.
Project placements are possible in the city of Samaná and Las Terrenas in the Dominican Republic.
Aldeas de Paz operates near sea. In your free time and on the weekends, you may choose to visit the national park Los Haitises, do any kind of watersports, go skydiving, hiking or horseriding.
We are a registered charity.
We are a motivated group of volunteers, who love to live and work in a Carribean paradise for the good cause. Come join us!