Trip | Internship, Volunteer in Dominican Republic
Environmental Conservation and Sustainable Tourism Program Samaná, Dominican Republic
Samaná, Dominican Republic
about this position
About this position
Overview: Environmental Conservation and Sustainable Tourism Program Samaná, Dominican Republic
Fast growing tourism is a serious threat to the Dominican Republic´s flora and fauna. Samaná Bay is not only a significant breeding ground and nursery area for humpback whales from all over the North Atlantic; it is also the most important multi-species fishing ground in the Dominican Republic, a growing international tourist destination, and a commercial port. While tourism is an important source of economic activity and financial income, its impact on sensitive coastal-marine ecosystems is of particular concern. A major portion of environmental degradation in coastal areas is attributed to the establishment of large-scale hotel developments in areas of high biodiversity, unregulated tour activities that put at risk reproduction sites for whales and turtles, as well as mangrove deforestation and coral reef damage from diving and boat tours anchors, which in turn decreases the resilience of these coastal marine ecosystems and increases their vulnerability to tropical storms.
What to expect
Description: Environmental Conservation and Sustainable Tourism Program Samaná, Dominican Republic
You can contribute in developing programs aimed at biodiversity-friendly tourism and sustainable tourism development strategies as well as tools for the application of the legal framework and incentives to adopt sustainable practices.
The aim is to increase the awareness and the training of the public (individuals and community) and to address the lack of knowledge among the tourism sector, the private sector, the land-owners, and the staff of local public institutions. (Advanced Spanish skills are required) Activities that a volunteer can participate in are entirely dependent on motivation and Spanish skills. Our staff will support the participant.
Activities for advanced Spanish speakers:
- Developing and executing environmental awareness raising activities at schools and in the community and promote sustainable and biodiversity-friendly tourism.
- Support the certification of biodiversity-friendly destination and tourist services
- Help staffing a tourist information post on the beach side road in Las Terrenas (advanced Spanish skills and additional languages are required)
No previous experience is required to participate in the program. A typical volunteer or intern should be interested in protecting flora and fauna, biology, wildlife and sustainable tourism. He or she needs to be enthusiastic, proactive, willing to learn, ready for a challenge, and should not be scared of being in contact with soil or mud. Responsibility, commitment, patience and perseverance are among significant qualities.
Itinerary of your stay abroad
Start of the internship
All internships are available the whole year. So you can flexibly choose the right date for your start and we will coordinate it between you and the organization.
Time of arrival
It is always more comfortable to arrive a few days before the actual start of your internship. You won't only avoid stress, but also you time to get over the jetlag. As soon as our local partner will get your data of arrival , he will settle all details with your accommodation. If you are living with a host family, you can move in up to three days earlier with no further charges. You will have enough time to relax after your long trip, to make some first excursions and to get to know your environment, your host family as well as the countryside and people.
Arrival at Las Americas International Airport
After your arrival you will picked up by a driver of our local partner organization who will take you to the nearest bus terminal Santa Domingo about 10 minutes away. You will receive a ticket from the driver and then take the Bus to Santa Barbara de Samana, which is a 2 hours drive. If you plan to arrive in the afternoon, at another airport or reach the Dominican Republic on other ways, it is suggested that to look for an accommodation for one night in Santa Domingo and to continue your journey to Samana on the next day. This can also be arranged with our local partner.
Arrival at Samana, El Catey International Airport
After arrival at the airport one of the staff of our partner organization will wait for you and drop you to your accommodation, which is a 40 minutes drive.
Arrival at different airports
Please inform our partner organization in Samana, which airport you are planning to arrive and kindly follow their instructions.
Your first days in Samana
To avoid a cultural shock you will get an instruction to the culture soon after your arrival or just shortly before your first day of work. During this briefing you will get informed about people and culture as well as cultural features and the most important Do’s and Don’ts. Furthermore you will get some insider tips which makes it more easy to find an access into the new lifestyle. And of course also the understanding will get more easy. By the way, your volunteer program includes a language course which will also be helpful for you to settle.
Accommodation in the Dominican Republic
There are 2 types of accommodation options available:
Shared living community:
The volunteer/ intern houses are well equipped with electricity, normal toilets, fully equipped bathrooms, common kitchen and a dining area, where you can meet up with the other participants.
Living in a host family:
You also can choose to live with a host family in Samana. All host families are carefully selected and already have experiences with foreign guests. This is a perfect opportunity to experience authentic Caribbean life! You will be accommodated in a private room equipped with bed and cupboard. Furthermore, you will join 2 meals a day with your host family. During your stay you will become a part of the family and can immerse into the Caribbean culture. Also, put your Spanish skills into practice and improve them during everyday conversations.
- Placement in a volunteer program according to your demands
- Assisting visa application
- Information about affordable flights, travel insurances and other important travel documents
- Airport transportation with direct transfer to your accommodation
- Airport transfer to bus terminal Santo Domingo
- Bus ticket from Santo Domingo to Samaná inlcuding return ticket
- Accommodation in a guest house or guest family for the duration of your project (please note: an additional fee for living a guest family applies)
- Living in a host family includes 2 meals a day
- Living in s shared flat: slef-catering
- 6 hours Spanish lessons per week
- Orientation on site through a staff member
- Tips and information about freetime activities
- Contact person during your stay abroad
- 24-hour emergency number
- Regular meetings with all volunteers or interns
What's not included:
- Meals (shared flat)
- Additional personal expenses
- Airport drop
Our local team
Our local team
Manfred - local coordinator
Due to his passion for travelling the world, experiencing new cultures and being socially committed, Manfred early decided to work in the field of development aid. Thus, in 1998 he started to organize a street kids projects in Caracas, Venezuela. He mainly took care of international cooperation, cultural exchange and volunteer work. His efforts in Venezuela have proven that popular, so that he decided to establish a new volunteer program in the Dominican Republic. The more people can be helped, the better! Now he is coordinating volunteers in Samaná, the Dominican Republic, and will become your contact person during your stay in the Caribbean! Learn more about Manfred here!