Comprising the eastern half of the Caribbean Island of Hispaniola, the Dominican Republic ("the D.R.") neighbors Haiti, the site of Columbus' original landing. A developing nation, the D.R. is home to a diverse population of more than ten million. With a nominal per capita GDP of just $7,500 USD, it's also a nation of widespread poverty.
Camino operates principally in two regions: among the rural campos (villages) of the massive Cordillera Central mountain range, and on the north coast, just east of the tourist city of Puerto Plata. This region is home to many bateys, communities of poor, mostly undocumented Haitians: the outcasts of Dominican society.
The Seminar begins with a comprehensive prep phase, which includes team-building and a primer in Dominican language and culture. We'll gather in person and online in advance of the trip.
Our seven night, eight-day international practicum will spend two thirds of the time living in a rural mountain village assisting with a small but meaningful service project that meets an expressed local need. The project might involve building or repairing a home for a family, upgrading an aqueduct, or improving a section of road. We'll coordinate with a local foreman and coordinator. The cohort will stay in the Centro Camino, our simple but comfortable headquarters in the mountain farming village of El Faro. We'll hire local cooks and take our meals together. Packed days will be unpacked each night in guided group reflections with your cohort and leaders, with plenty of time to build relationships with the host community.
From there, we'll head north to the coast, where we'll stay at a marvelously unique and beautiful property hidden in the hills overlooking the ocean. We'll assist with a nutrition and hygiene distribution program directed by a nonprofit that serves the largely undocumented Haitian population in the region. These ministries serve both bateys (slum villages) and the Sosua garbage dump, where the poorest Haitians and Dominicans forage for salvageable metal, plastic, and discarded food for subsistence. This eye-opening encounter with the realities of extreme global poverty invites cohort members to deep reflection and analysis. Our discussions will attempt to examine the root causes of these conditions, and consider how the experience can affect our mentality and practices back home.
Shorter international seminars can be planned without the coast component.
The International Seminar provides a challenging but massively rewarding experience of personal growth. We'll continue to the reflective journey well after the physical one has ended. We'll gather again, in person and in our online community, to explore meanings, trade insights, and consider the future in light of our shared experience.
Now booking through 2021. Spaces are limited; early reservations are recommended. Don't miss your opportunity. Click on "Submit a Reservation Inquiry" below to learn about available dates.
International Seminar Cost
We believe in presenting clients with an up-front, all-inclusive program cost, which we will calculate based on the size of the group, length of the Seminar, and planned itinerary. We arrange group air travel based on schedule and price. It is important that the entire group travel on the same flights arriving in the Dominican Republic. Below are pricing samples based on a group of 8 clients:
8-day, 7-night Camino Seminar (4 nights in El Faro, 3 nights on the coast) = $2,900/person + airfare
5-day, 4-night Camino Seminar (4 nights in El Faro) = $2,400/person + airfare
Discounts are available for:
college students as well as recent graduates of high school or undergraduate college
groups of 10 or more clients with deposits paid
(The discounts mentioned here may not be combined.)
Notice about medical preparations for travel: Camino Seminar participants are highly encouraged to consult with their primary physician prior to travel, and will be provided with a set of general recommendations based on CDC guidance and past advice from travel medicine clinics. Often, this includes immunizations and medications such as antimalarial drugs. Because medical preparations are an individual decision, the cost of any such preparations is not included in the program fee.