Give & Explore
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One of the best parts of volunteering for a semester rather than vacationing for a week is that you have time to create relationships and really get to know the culture. You'll be living in Puerto Plata which is a beautiful travel destination for many tourists, but you have the unique opportunity to step into the city streets and see what tourists never do. Behind the facade of the nearby touristic beaches you will experience life as the locals do, see the deep poverty of the country, and give back on a personal level.
You don't even have to travel to get to a vacation destination because you're already living in one! Puerto Plata's stretch of golden sandy beaches attracts tourists from around the globe. The Dominican Republic is the most visited island in the Caribbean by far and for good reason. You can whale watch, explore national parks, enjoy seafood at a beachside restaurant, and have excursions through the tropical, mountainous countryside.
While you're already living in a beautiful area, volunteers do have vacation time to explore surrounding areas as well during the semester.
This country is an outdoor enthusiast's dream! Relax and go swimming at one of the many golden sand beaches, hike through a rainforest and cool off in a pristine waterfall, join in on a basketball game with local kids, go snorkeling around the coral reefs, parasailing, caving, white water rafting, horseback riding...the list goes on and on.