Aldeas De Paz - Peace Villages Foundation Header Image Aldeas De Paz - Peace Villages Foundation Header Image

Aldeas De Paz - Peace Villages Foundation

Verified

Aldeas De Paz - Peace Villages Foundation Programs

Dominican Republic

NGO Management - The Day-to-Day running of a small NGO

Fundacion Aldeas De Paz - Peace Villages Foundation NGO Management program in the Dominican Republic is a perfect for those wanting to learn more about how a small grassroots...

This program has been saved 3 times

Save Program

Dominican Republic

Medicine and Healthcare - Hospital or Dental Clinic

Fundacion Aldeas De Paz - Peace Villages Foundation offers volunteering opportunities in the field of Medicine and Healthcare in the Dominican Republic. This medical observation...

This program has been saved 1 time

Save Program

Dominican Republic

Youth Care, Community, and Nature - Enhance the Lives of Kids

Enhance and improve the lives of children in the Dominican Republic by signing up for a Fundacion Aldeas De Paz - Peace Villages Foundation volunteering program. The foundation...

This program has been saved 5 times

Save Program

Dominican Republic

Social Multi Media Journalism - Perfect for creative people

Help promote children's rights or ecological tourism in the Dominican Republic through a volunteering program offered by Fundacion Aldeas De Paz - Peace Villages Foundation....

This program has been saved 2 times

Save Program

Dominican Republic

Dental Healthcare – Dentistry observation and experience

Gain practical experience at a dental clinic, and kick-start your career as a dentist. Program participants may be assigned to a dental clinic at a local hospital. They will...

This program has been saved 1 time

Save Program

Dominican Republic

Hospitality and Tourism – Work at exotic destinations

Aldeas de Paz is offering Hospitality and Tourism internship opportunities in the Dominican Republic. The placements are ideal for individuals who are interested in exotic...

This program has been saved 2 times

Save Program

Aldeas De Paz - Peace Villages Foundation Reviews

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

This program made me waking up every day excited for what was to come.

My name is Christopher Murray, I am entering my 4th year of University in Canada hoping to become a doctor someday, and I have just finished a 12-week volunteer placement in the Medicine and Health Care Program. My intentions with this program were to get some clinical volunteering experience unique to a developing, rural setting as well as to spend some time outside of my comfort zone. After 12 weeks, I am very satisfied with my experience after achieving what I wanted and more.
When I originally decided to come here, I had 4 months to prepare for the trip. Being from Canada, I had almost no exposure to Spanish prior to my decision so that was a major insecurity for me. Coming here, there is a major shock of having to operate in a completely foreign language but that is quickly subdued when you see that the locals are some of the most welcoming, understanding, and patient people you can meet. Many of the shop owners know some level of conversational English so when they realize you are not exactly a tourist, they are more than happy to exchange some conversational tips and practice with you. All you have to do is ask. There are also 4 hours of Spanish class at both beginner and intermediate levels that are offered and they are absolutely superb for training your ear and building your Spanish grammatical base.
Specific to my program, I felt very accommodated to which I am so grateful for. Dr. Flor and Manfred both made sure that I could function properly wherever I was assigned and most importantly, they reciprocated being available and open to any feedback and ideas I had. In that environment, I felt that I was effective and helpful which was very rewarding and made me waking up on the work days very excited for what was to come.
Living in Samana has been an absolutely wonderful experience. Experiencing Samana reminded me of my docile home town but with a Caribbean twist. As I have mentioned before, the locals are extremely welcoming and nice which quickly made me feel comfortable and welcome. During the weekends, there was always something to do whether it was an impromptu trip to one of the local beaches, dancing at an outside discotheques on the Malecon, or an adventure exploring the island. One of the best aspects about participating with this organization is having volunteers here from all around the world to share experiences with. I absolutely loved the cultural exchanges that took place within the organization and I will always remember the friendships I made here. 10/10 would recommend.

Program: Medicine and Healthcare - Hospital or Dental Clinic

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Being busy with my volunteer position helped me feel at home fast

Before coming to the Dominican Republic I was very nervous. I was worried how life would be here and what kind of conditions I would find. I was scared for my safety and thought there would be danger everywhere. What I found was the opposite of every preconceived notion I had in my mind.
Manfred made everything really easy for me when I arrived. I knew Marcos would pick me up at the airport, and I would not have to worry about the language barrier because he speaks English and he would buy my bus ticket. Arriving is Samana was so easy for me. This helped put me at ease even before I arrived in the country.
Initially, when I booked my placement, I booked a private apartment. I am so glad that I did not end up staying there. I ended up living in the cooperative living apartment and I loved it. Being with two girls from two different countries was so much fun and made living here an amazing time! I never felt any culture shock. I quickly became comfortable with my living situation and the culture because of this. Having other people to do everything with makes adjusting much easier. We also did things on our own and that was ok too. There was mutual respect between everyone.
Another important aspect is diving right into the culture. Immediately I went to the beach, ate the food, explored the town, this made me feel more comfortable with my environment. Another easy way to adjust is practicing Spanish, even if you are not fluent. While we do have Spanish classes, the best way to practice Spanish is talking with people. Soon people began to recognize me around town and would speak to me. Everyone was quite friendly and patient. They are interested in you just as you are interested in them!
Being busy with my volunteer position helped me feel at home fast as well. Being NGO management I was included in many activities with Manfred. I was able to visit a prison with a doctor hoping to start a clinic, go to a cooperative producing coconut oil, attend meetings with different local residents, and have a better understanding of the running of an NGO. By having these different experiences, I kept busy and was able to see a more intimate look into a culture I knew very little about.
Overall, I was impressed with the amount of programs the organization offers. I think it is wonderful that you can become involved in any area you choose, either to apply your skills or gain more. I hope Manfred continues to expand the programs. I think this is a great opportunity for an individual, a group or friends, or even a family to come experience the culture, a beautiful country, and do some hands on work that will benefit a community that deserves it! No matter what age, or from what country you come, you will have an amazing experience here.

Program: NGO Management - The Day-to-Day running of a small NGO

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The multimedia work I did here was very enjoyable

My name is Kevin Murton and I have just finished my 7 weeks in Samana, Dominican Republic, volunteering for Aldeas de Paz helping with the Multi Media output.

As everyone would be, I was a little nervous about how the experience would turn out for various reasons, particularly in relation to my age and lack of intermediate Spanish ability.

I quickly realised I didn't have to worry on either account.

Although I was encouraged to speak Spanish whenever I could, particularly in the Spanish lessons, I felt comfortable at all times that my English would get me by, and that was the common language we generally used in any meetings I was involved in.

In relation to my age, genuinely I felt no difference in my relationships with the volunteers as the younger ones did with each other. Having a young open mind and respect for each other was plenty for everyone to generally get along.

I offered my unique set of skills, capabilities and energies and others did the same. I suppose you kind of adopt a role within a temporary family setting, which obviously changes as people come and go.

So when I initially arrived, I had an amazing welcome from Manfred and the rest of the volunteers. I made sure I had no expectations as to the place I was coming to and made myself aware of the fact that cultural differences would be inevitable. A mindful, moment-to-moment approach, without too much judgement, helped me through those initial few days.

Bit-by-bit I felt more and more comfortable with any security concerns I may have had. A healthy awareness of what was going on around me, like I do in London, and common sense decisions became part of my everyday living. It feels very safe here.

Getting used to the heat, changes in diet and the variety of nature that you see (from experience a clean room and a spray every month of insect repellant deters anything that may want to come inside), can all be viewed positively, and some may not be concerned with these changes at all, but if you are, taking the initiative to find the best way you want to deal with these issues quickly is a good idea.

Eating the Plata del Dia or buying vegetables at the local market or the colmardos near to the apartments can make food here quite cheap, but be aware of buying too much at the 'gringo' supermecado. Food can be very expensive here and a lot of it doesn't have the price on it.

It may take a while for the local gift shops to realise that you aren't a tourist, so you will be an amigo/a to all of them. It's a good way to practice your Spanish if nothing else.

The Multi Media work I did here was very enjoyable and working at the school, the hospital, at the Ayuntamiento, interviewing the Mayor. It feels very rewarding having produced film that can only show Aldeas de Paz in a positive light and perhaps create opportunities for future grants.

There is some amazingly beautiful scenery here on the Samana peninsula to explore. Whale watching during February and March, El Salto de Limon (waterfall), the amazingly beautiful Playa de Cayo Levantado and Los Haitises are some, but every so often you catch the beauty shown by the people; typically on the beach, with Bachata music playing as couples dance, as others play table games and still others lay back in the sun with a Carribbean kissed cocktail ready to sip, wrapped in not much more than the hot breeze drifting off the gentility of the ocean.

I have experienced a few of these kinds of cultural immersion trips now and felt genuinely emotional about leaving a group of people, whose heart tells them they want help a society, which at the moment is not able to give the same chances as most of us have back in our own countries.

Manfred is a great man and I have a lot of respect for him. He makes a lot of effort to help make your experience a useful and happy one. I came here to have an adventure, learn more Spanish and help a very worthwhile charity. I leave feeling like a better person, with what I have accomplished. Thanks Manfred, I have had an amazing experience, which will stay in my memories for a very long time to come. I hope our paths meet again in the not too distant future! Bye I'm off to Costa Rica.

Program: Social Multi Media Journalism - Perfect for creative people

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

It turned out to be exactly what I was pursuing, I was right at the center of the organization

Hi, I’m Tim from Germany. In order to gain practical experience in the field of Management I started considering different options globally and decided to go for NGO-Management with Aldeas de Paz in the Dominican Republic. Within my studies at university I was already able to gain useful theoretical experience which I wanted to put into active use.
And let me just say this, it turned out to be exactly what I was pursuing, I was right at the center of the organization and could experience the restructuring of the organization first hand. As most of you probably already read, the organization had to move from Venezuela to the Dominican Republic in early 2015, and building up all the structures proves to be a long progress. Many things are already done and set up, specifically the school and housing structure, but other parts need further improvement.

Working within the Administration means working with human resources, financials, school and program administration and generally everything regarding the organization. Right from the very beginning there was a need to structure every single day, but I soon got into it and after a few days of work I looked forward to every new day and the new challenges.
Apart from the work, there was also more than enough time to plan trips around the peninsula of Samana for the weekends and other fun activities in or near the City of Santa Barbara de Samana, which could be done after work during the week. It is surely amazing, how many different things you can explore right where you live, right where you feel like you know every corner after living there for a week. This is something, that I can recommend everyone to do, no matter where you are, there is not always a need to travel far away.

But back to the work experience: as I’ve said, I was part of the NGO-Management program, so I’ve surely had another point of view on the programs. But from organizing and overviewing the different programs and the volunteers working in it, I can already tell that there is so much to do and every single person can have such an impact within the community. It is amazing to see, how a person new to a country, a culture or maybe even the language can be integrated, the general spirit of this peninsula and the country overall is to welcome everyone and work together – always tranquilo, but steadily – on developing and executing the ideas for the different programs. Plus, they are always open for new programs, but be prepared for a nice bit of discussion, that is something that most people are very good at! But then again, this just boosts your language skills furthermore, learning by doing just is the best way to learn!

In general I can recommend everyone that’s interested to go volunteering and for sure, Aldeas de Paz was exactly the right choice to learn about the management of a small grass-root NGO trying to find its path in new territory. If you are specifically looking for a small NGO, that focusses on bringing one particular community forward, this is the place to go to. If you are looking to experience volunteering first hand, but want to be in a safe environment to learn how it works, this is the place to go. And if you have the chance, stay longer than the one month that I was only able to stay there, because I’ve just been getting started when I had to leave. If you are willing to dive into a different culture with all the misunderstandings and different work ethics, you will find a place, where every bit of work that you do is highly appreciated, as every single step is a step forward!

Now go and see it yourself and join us in our mission to make this world a little better day by day!

Program: NGO Management - The Day-to-Day running of a small NGO

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

meine Zeit in Samana sehr gut gefallen und mir eine neue Sichtweise auf meinen weiteren Weg gegeben

Ich bin 20 Jahre alt und komme aus Hattstedt, Schleswig-Holstein in Deutschland. Nach meinem Abiturabschluss wollte ich gerne mehr von der Welt sehen und mein Spansich verbessern. Außerdem war ich mir mit meinen Zukunftsplänen noch nicht sicher, interessierte mich aber für ein Lehramts Studium. Das Angebot einer Freiwilligenarbeit in einem Land das weit entfernt von mir ist, kam mir also sehr gelegen. Durch die tolle und schnelle Vermittlung von „StudentsGoAbroad“ und „Fundacion Aldeas de Paz“ kam ich in den Kontakt mit Manfred Mönnighoff, der mir ausführlich ,freundlich und schnell die Informationen über das Projekt und notwendige Dinge gab, die ich in der Dominikanischen Republik brauchen werde.

Für meinem neunwöchigen Aufenthalt wählte ich ein Schulprogramm für Kinder mit besonderen Bedürfnissen und unterrichtete Englisch für Schüler aller Altersklassen. Das Projekt war anfangs schwer für mich, weil mir die Verständigung und Übersetzung in Spanisch schwer fiel, man sich an die neue Umgebung gewöhnen musste und die Kultur einfach sehr anderes war. Bei meiner Arbeit mit den Kindern bereitete ich mich mit den anderen Lehrern auf den Unterricht vor oder wir dekorierten die Schule die zu der noch nicht sehr Lebhaft aussah. Der Englischunterricht war für mich interessanter ,als die Arbeit mit den Kindern, weil ich selber die Sprache lernte, obwohl es anfangs sehr grundlegend war. Jedoch gefiel mir das Unterrichten von Woche zu Woche besser und ich hatte nicht nur tolle Lebenserfahrungen in der Schule, sondern auch beim Zusammenleben mit den anderen Freiwilligen und Freizeitaktivitäten mit den Einheimischen gesammelt. Dadurch, dass ich als Freiwilliger mich selber und das Projekt mit organisiert habe, lernte ich fiel über eigenständiges Arbeiten und den Umgang mit anderen Menschen.
Mir hat es einerseits gut gefallen das Projekt aufzubauen und mich zu engagieren, andererseits ist es manchmal unorganisiert gewesen, was aber an ungeschulten Personal und der unzuverlässigen Gesellschaft lag. Neben meinem Projekt habe ich gerne auf der Straße Basketball gespielt oder bin ins Fitnessstudio gegangen. Außerdem habe ich mit den anderen Freiwilligen an einem Projekt für die Wiederverwertung, Organisation und Einführung von Mülltonnen gearbeitet, die für Santa Barbara de Samana notwendig sind. Da das Projekt der Müllverwertung ein langer Prozess ist hoffe ich das die kommenden Freiwilligen es weiter führen können.
Im großen und ganzen hat mir meine Zeit in Samana sehr gut gefallen und mir eine neue Sichtweise auf meinen weiteren Weg gegeben. Nach meinem Aufenthalt in der Dominikanischen Republik nutze ich die Zeit um durch Mittel und Südamerika zu reisen.

Program: Youth Care, Community, and Nature - Enhance the Lives of Kids

Show more reviews