Full Course Description

While interests political, economical, and otherwise in the Caribbean have increased significantly over the years, very few foreigners and visitors have truly witnessed and experienced the realities of life outside of the confines of the popular resort and tourist areas. As one of the largest economies in the Caribbean and Central American region, the Dominican Republic has played and will continue to play a significant role in the development of 21st-century society and ideologies. Through working with NGOs and local communities, students will be confronted with unfamiliar settings and pushed to reevaluate current policies and mentalities on global issues such as equal access to education, the residual effects of colonialism, and more. The service component of the trip will allow participants to observe and establish their own judgments on the Dominican Republic’s role in the global community. For example, what would the modern Dominican Republic be like if the country swapped roles with Cuba? How does sharing an island with Haiti affect domestic and foreign policies? On this service learning trip, students will work side by side with locals on community-driven projects in the Dominican Republic. They will partner with established nonprofits and NGOS—such as the Mariposa Foundation—to make sure their contributions are both meaningful and sustainable. Through hands-on work and deep exposure to the local culture, students will learn vital collaboration and problem-solving skills, and will return inspired to make a difference at home, too.