Find your passport now. Make sure it has not expired. If you do not have an American or Canadian passport, look here to see if there are any special visa requirements for your country.
This is NOT an American Express vacation. This is NOT a tour. This is a work trip to a developing country. Part of the fun is all the things that go wrong. Expect it. Enjoy it. Be flexible. Practice being “Gumby”.
Things to bring:
Mosquito repellent. Extra mosquito repellent. We suggest mosquito repellent with deet. Also, a long sleeve shirt and long pants for those times mosquitoes are bad.
A portable battery powered fan for sleeping, especially if the heat bothers you.
A flashlight with extra batteries.
A personal water bottle.
Suggestion – twin sheets, a towel, an airline style blanket/throw, and washcloths. (Sheet and towels and blankets are optional, they are available at your volunteer location)
Foam Ear plugs (The chickens and donkeys and snorers can be loud at night!)
A camera and memory cards. Double the memory you think you will need.
Personal toiletry items, including soap, you may need. Instant hand sanitizer is helpful.
Just in case—items for stomach issues—Pepto Bismol, immodium, etc.
An extra pair of glasses or contacts, if you use them.
A pair of closed toed shoes.
A plastic garbage bag to store your dirty clothes for your trip home. Outreach360 does not provide them.
Guys—bring at least one pair of pants for working in the schools. If you plan to go to church, also bring a nice polo or dress shirt.
Women – Professional Dominican and Nicaraguan women dress very modestly. Wear skirts or pants or capris at or below the knee. No shorts, tank tops, or sleeveless dresses. Long shorts (at knee or below) can only be worn while running before breakfast, or over your swimsuit if you go to the beach with the kids. A one piece swimsuit always. If you plan to go to church, bring a long dress or skirt and blouse.
You will receive one Outreach360 tee-shirt prior to your trip to wear on your flight, and you’ll receive additional Outreach360 shirts when you arrive in the D.R. You are asked to wear Outreach360 shirts each day; bringing one additional casual shirt and one nice shirt (for optional church) will be sufficient.
If you are under age 18 and not traveling with a parent, you will need to be accompanied by a temporary legal guardian 21 years of age or older. Please complete the Temporary Guardianship Formand give it to the temporary guardian traveling with you. A copy should be sent to us, and a copy kept with the legal guardian to show the airlines/immigration.
There is no need to bring electrical voltage converters/adapters; Dominican and Nicaraguan power is the same A/C power used in the United States and Canada. Please, no electric hair curlers, straighteners, or blowers.
For those who may need to reach you in case of an emergency, have them leave a message on the Outreach360 machine (602) 375-2900. We will check messages daily. It is an Outreach360 requirement that you call someone at home with an “arrived safe” message. Please coordinate this in advance of your trip so your family knows who you are going to call. Please tell people NOT to expect a “Got there O. K.” call from you until at least 24 hours after you arrive. Phone calls during the week will be limited to emergency calls only. We find that phone calls during the week can be a significant distraction from your work. If you are staying more than one week, you will be able to call home on the weekend. Phone cards will not work; plan on spending $1 for a 3 minute call home. If you bring your own cell phone, you will be asked to put it away after your “Got there O. K. call home. You will have access to a phone if you have an emergency.
Your housing, food, ground transportation, and insurance are covered through your donation. The amount of spending money you need will be minimal. You will need $10 to enter the country. There is no charge to exit the country, unless you stay 30 days or longer in which case you should plan on paying an exit visa of $30. You will need money to make a phone call home, to buy an occasional soda, buy any miscellaneous personal items you may need, etc. Some volunteers have spent less than $10 during a week. You will probably not have access to an ATM machine, unless you are with us for more than a week. Our suggestion is to bring $100 in cash (not traveler’s checks), and to not change money until you arrive.
Your Outreach360 IMG medical insurance has a $100 deductible; each volunteer is responsible for paying for any medical bills at the clinic, and for submitting their bills to IMG for reimbursement. Outreach360 can lend the funds to the volunteer if necessary.
Most airlines allow you to bring two large (up to 50 pounds each) pieces of luggage to check in; confirm with your airline. Also check to see if there are any special luggage embargoes on your airline, i.e. no checked boxes. We request that you bring all personal essentials and one week of clothing in your carry-on, as it may take a week to return to the airport to pick up lost luggage.
You will have access to a charging station for your camera; no special European-type electric adapters are needed.