In the far northwest region of the Dominican Republic, Outreach360 volunteers serve in the small, rural fishing town of Monte Cristi. Although the Dominican’s vibrant culture and island vibe have made it known in tourism, the social injustices bred by European conquistadors are still very present in contemporary society and a contributing cause to the poverty many Monte Cristi residents face every day. Here in this slow-paced beach town, many residents find work fishing the local waters, harvesting salt from the historical salt flats, or working in the nearby agricultural industry. Unlike the bustling tourist destinations in the large coastal resorts in the Dominican Republic, Monte Cristi finds itself well off the beaten path. It’s this distance that adds to its authenticity and charm, revealing beautiful scenery, friendly people, and the lively community of true Dominican culture.
The highlight was teaching the children! They were so loving and cute and eager to learn. It was also super cool to experience the culture of the Dominican Republic, it was very different than anything I have experienced before. Do it! It was one of the coolest and most memorable experiences of my life.Casey Jobe, Sugar Bowl Academy
- OFFICIAL NAME: The Dominican Republic
- FORM OF GOVERNMENT: Democratic Republic
- CAPITAL: Santo Domingo
- POPULATION: 10,650,000
- LANGUAGES: Spanish
- MONEY: Dominican peso
- AREA: 18,704 square miles (48443 square kilometers)
- AVERAGE TEMP: 77° F
Outreach360’s Service Program in Monte Cristi focuses on education for children as a sustainable solution to many of the issues of rural poverty. By providing capacity building programs that meet local needs, Outreach360 volunteers play an important role in creating opportunities for disadvantaged children to overcome the challenges of poverty and transform their own lives. As a volunteer in Monte Cristi, you’ll take on the role of a teacher, primarily teaching English in our full-time programs with local partner schools, or providing unique programs at Learning Camps in local neighborhoods throughout the community. Making a real difference through service-learning, combined with real cultural interaction, creates the opportunity to transform the lives of the children we serve and the volunteers.
In addition to teaching at the Learning Center or in community camps, Outreach360 volunteers in Monte Cristi broaden their cultural understanding through activities and excursions organized by Outreach360. Outreach360 recognizes that an essential component of service-learning is understanding the culture and the people that you serve. From swimming in turquoise Caribbean waters to learning traditional Dominican merengue dances, cultural activities are an invaluable part of the service-learning experience in Monte Cristi.