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Baseball is life in the Dominican Republic. Experience first hand the passion that is found at all levels of Dominican society as you play bitilla with local children, scrimmage against community teams, play full fledged games at professional baseball camps, and help build new fields throughout the community. Explore the hidden gems of the Dominican Republic as you travel to the Bahia de las Aguilas; considered by many as the most beautiful beach in the country.

With our No Anxiety Escrow Policy, you cancel for any reason up until the day of travel, and escrow 100% of the program fees for up to two years from the cancellation date.

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2017 Departures

Departs (USA) Returns (USA) Availability
June 27 July 12 Very Limited

Program Profile

Country
Dominican Republic
Community Service Focus
Infrastracture, Education

Connecting Programs

Schedule two or more programs in a row to create your ideal Rustic Pathways experience.

This program connects especially well with:

  • Day 1

    Depart the United States for Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Your Rustic Pathways staff will greet you upon arrival and take you to the nearby hotel for the night to get some sleep before the real adventure begins.

  • Day 2

    After a buffet breakfast, head to your new home of Boca Chica, just a short drive away from Santo Domingo. Settle in at the eco-village apartments and familiarize yourself with the history of baseball here in the Dominican Republic. Get to know your team before you dive into community service and lots of baseball games!

  • Day 3 - 5

    Get ready to work hard these next two weeks as you contribute to sustainable service projects in the community. Throughout your time in the Dominican Republic you will help construct baseball fields for local youth, get your hands dirty with various infrastructure projects, and clean up the surrounding beaches to help protect the environment. After a hearty lunch, you grab your hats, bats and gloves for your first baseball practice here in the DR! Learn first hand about the passion that Dominican people bring to this sport.

  • Day 6

    Take a short trip to the Cuevas de las Maravillas where you will find paintings and engravings by the Taínos, the indigenous people to the Dominican Republic. After three days of invigorating service and learning, look forward to enjoying unwinding with a well-deserved day of fun. Today, head out to Playa Juan Dolio to spend the day swimming in the serene Caribbean waters and soaking in the sun on the beach.

  • Day 7 - 8

    Continue your service work alongside community partners, working together to achieve your goal! Focus on your baseball game and get ready to cheer on your teammates and hit those home-runs!

  • Day 9

    Stay strong for another morning of community service. At this point, you will have made a strong connection to the community and meaningful project. After a hard day’s work, head to the beach in Boca Chica, where you will watch the sunset over dinner.

  • Day 10 - 11

    Finish up the final touches on your community service projects before a ceremony to celebrate all of your hard work. Say goodbye to all of the wonderful people you met in your community. In the afternoon, put your baseball skills to the test in your final game against a local Dominican team! Celebrate your accomplishments with a dinner out for your last night in Boca Chica.

  • Day 12

    Explore the beauty of the Dominican Republic as you travel through lush tropical vegetation and incredible coastal views. Arrive in Los Patos for lunch stop, where you and your group will get to see where the river meets the ocean! After lunch, keep enjoying the nice ride to an eco-ranch, where you’ll settle in and have a typical Dominican dinner.

  • Day 13

    Enjoy a day of adventure! Get an early start this morning with horseback riding through the breathtaking mountains and rivers of the Barahona region. Catch a glimpse of local culture as this trail guides you along the nearby communities. Take in all of the sights around you before heading back to the ranch for a well-deserved lunch. Spend the afternoon at the ranch, sliding down an 80-meters long toboggan through the natural scenery and ending in a natural pool!

  • Day 14

    Get ready for pure paradise! Explore Bahía de las Águilas, considered one of the most pristine beaches in the Dominican Republic. This beach is located on the southwestern part of the island and protected by the surrounding environment, making it a Caribbean paradise. Enjoy your day soaking up the sun and gorgeous views!

  • Day 15

    Head back to the capital for a tour of the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to the first university, cathedral and hospital in the Americas. Take a tour of the walled city and learn about the deep history of the first European settlement in the Americas. After touring the Colonial Zone and doing some souvenir shopping, head over to a special dinner and dance show at a typical Dominican restaurant.

  • Day 16

    If you are heading home, you must say your last goodbyes to your new friends and head off to the airport bright and early in the morning. If you are heading off to another Rustic Pathways program in Latin America, get ready for more adventure!

An Important Note About Schedule Changes

Rustic Pathways reserves the right to change, alter, or amend the daily itinerary for this trip at any time. Changes can be made for various reasons including changes in flight or program schedules, changes in the schedules of various external tours incorporated in our trips, the addition of new activities into a trip, or the substitution of an old activity for a new activity.

The itinerary shown here provides a good outline of the anticipated daily schedule for this program. As with any travel program, some changes may occur.

“Optional Activities” are fully included in the cost of your program, but you can choose to not do these activities.

“Add-On Activities” are not included in the cost of your program and must be paid for separately. Add-on activities are rare, but include things like skydiving, bungee jumping, or weekend side-trips. Not every program has add-on activities.

For more information, email dominican@rusticpathways.com

Program-Specific FAQs

  • Students will depart from Pedernales for Santo Domingo on Tuesday morning. They will spend that night in Santo Domingo at a hotel near the airport. Students transferring to other program in Latin America can catch a flight to Costa Rica, Cuba, or Peru on Tuesday evening. Students connecting to other programs in the Dominican Republic will join their new trip on Wednesday morning.

  • Students from the United States and Canada will be automatically issued a 30-day tourist visa upon entry into the Dominican Republic, for the cost of $10. STUDENTS MUST HAVE $10 UPON ENTRY TO PAY FOR THE TOURIST CARD.

  • Yes. All flights between the USA and the Dominican Republic will have a flight leader starting in New York. Return flights to the USA will also have a flight leader as far as New York. Flights from the Dominican Republic to Costa Rica and Peru will not be escorted.

  • The direct flight from New York to Santo Domingo takes approximately 3-4 hours.

  • Yes.

  • During this trip, students will visit the provinces of Santo Domingo, San Pedro de Macoris, and Pedernales.

  • Each program will have leaders who are certified in First Aid and CPR. Some of our program leaders are also 
certified as Wilderness First Responders, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), Wilderness EMTs, and/or Life Guards.

  • Rustic Pathways maintains a minimum of 1 Program Leader for every 7 students. Additionally, each program maintains at least 2 primary program leaders, one male and one female.

  • Rustic Pathways uses purified bottled water on all Dominican Republic Programs. We ask students to bring reusable water bottles in order to reduce plastic usage.

  • Students are allowed to bring phones on their Rustic Pathways program, but must abide by our cell phone policy. Students will not be allowed to use their phones during group activities, nor at any other time where it is disruptive to the group dynamic. If students are unable to abide by this policy, disciplinary action may be taken.

  • None. The Dominican Republic uses the same voltage as US outlets.

  • This program takes place in a few locations in Santo Domingo and eastern and southern parts of the Dominican Republic. Students should be prepared for hot, humid weather in the 80s and 90s during the day with occasional rain showers, and lows in the 70s and 80s at night.

  • During their time in the Dominican Republic, students will stay in a few different places. In Santo Domingo, we will stay at a hotel near the airport. In Juan Dolio students stay in a facility used to house volunteers. It has dorm-style rooms with bunk beds, bathrooms, a communal kitchen/dining area that we will use for meals, and a green space used for evening activities. In Pedernales, students will stay in a hotel.

  • Students will be eating traditional Dominican food prepared by a local chef. Breakfast may include plantains or toast with eggs, fruits, yogurt and cereal. Lunch and dinner will be typical Dominican dishes, which consists of rice, beans, salad and a meat/seafood dish or veggie dishes.

  • The bathrooms located at the facilities are shared with other Rustic Pathways students of the same gender, and have running water and American style toilets. Showers are rustic and hot water is not always available. Bathrooms shared with one or two other students in the hotels do have hot water.

  • Students will have limited to no access to Internet during the program. We will facilitate at least one check-in a week to parents.

  • Students should pack enough clothes and personal items to last through the program. Laundry may be available at some of the hotels, at an extra cost.

  • There are typically more boys than girls, however the exact numbers vary from week to week.

  • No flushing toilet paper down the toilet. Students cannot drink tap water.

  • There is minimal travel on this program. The longest bus rides students will experience is between 2 and 3 hours.

  • Students travel between sites and locations via small private buses.

  • While there is an inherent risk in travel, we control that risk very well. All of our programs are run in locations that we feel comfortable traveling to with students. Students will be supervised by our staff from the moment of the arrival in the Dominican Republic Airport. Students are never left alone in any place and the communities we are working with are very responsible.

    All staff have at least first aid and CPR certifications, and some are also Wilderness First Responders. We employ local staff that know the areas that we visit well.

    We have risk management plans in place for all of our programs, and close relations with local communities. We hire local staff that know the lay of the land, and can spot risky situations. We monitor weather, crime, and government notices, and also have a partnership with HX Global. We keep our finger on the pulse of what’s going in the country.

    Parents should consult the CDC website and HX Global for information on Malaria and Dengue, which are both present in the Dominican Republic.

  • Please consult with a travel doctor or your family physician for immunization and other medical recommendations, based on the area(s) where you will be traveling and on your own medical history. In addition to consulting with a medical professional, please visit the HX Global and Centers for Disease Control websites for country specific information around immunizations and traveler’s health. Please let us know if you have specific questions.

  • HX Global is one of the world’s leading providers of medical evacuation and travel services. All participants traveling with Rustic Pathways will have access to HX Global benefits through Rustic Pathways’ membership.

    As a member you will have access to HX Global’s extensive travel information database to help you make informed decisions prior to travel. Additionally, all travelers who travel outside their country of residence will have access to medical evacuation support during their program. For more information please visit our HX Global webpage.

  • From our facilities in Juan Dolio, the nearest clinic is about 20 minutes away, and the nearest hospital about 40 minutes away. In Pedernales, the nearest clinic is 30 minutes away, and the nearest hospital is about 40 minutes away.

  • Rustic Pathways can cater to most dietary needs on this program. There will be ample access to fruits, vegetables, rice, beans, and grains for those who are vegetarian. Vegan diets can be accommodated, but with a little more foresight and planning, as this is not a diet commonly encountered in the Dominican Republic. Please know that while we are happy to accommodate alternative diets, many of the special diets common in the United States are not common in other parts of the world and travelers must be patient and understanding in having these needs be met. Please contact dominican@rusticpathways.com with any questions regarding special diets or allergies.

  • Students should expect to encounter moderate mosquitoes, as the DR can be buggy at times, particularly in the evening and at night. Students should bring repellent with DEET and may wish to wear light long sleeved shirts and pants.

  • Personal gifts, Internet, phone calls, and snacks are not included. All other costs (accommodation, meals, in-country transportation, and activities) are included in the program price.

  • The majority of costs associated with the program are included. Students should also have extra allowance money if they wish to buy souvenirs or purchase additional snacks from the local grocery store. US $100 per week is recommended.

  • Yes.

  • Please refer to our Community Service Hour Awards webpage for more information on how service hours are awarded.

  • Rustic Pathways works with local community leaders and organizations to identify and prioritize the needs of each community. We are partnering with batey communities on the construction of bathrooms and maintenance of baseball fields.

  • Rain Jacket and work gloves, in addition to the following baseball gear:

    • 4 pairs of baseball/softball pants
    • 8 pairs of sports socks
    • 1 pair of baseball/softball cleats
    • 1 glove
    • 1 wooden bat
    • 1 pair of batting gloves
    • wrist guards (1 pair)
    • 2 baseball hats
  • No.

  • This program does not include formal Spanish language instruction; however students will have multiple opportunities to practice Spanish with people from the communities as well as with our local staff. Local children in the Bateyes are especially eager to help Rustic Pathways students with their conversational Spanish.

  • Baseball is huge in the DR. Originally introduced by Americans during military invasions, it’s become a big part of Dominican culture and people’s daily lives.

    On this program, students will explore themes of poverty, immigration and documentation, youth, education, and socioeconomic disparities within the country as they relate to baseball.

  • In the Dominican Republic, Spanish is spoken. Most people speak little, if any English. Students typically do not have a problem with the language barrier, as locals are happy to practice English and teach students Spanish. Our program leaders are also bilingual and help translate for students.

Packing the right gear (and the right amounts) is the first step to an incredible travel experience. Follow these tips to pack like a pro:

Travel light. Pack only the essentials. You’ll need less than you think!
Bring the right clothes. Pack clothes that are culturally appropriate for your destination and acceptable for service projects. This means bringing long shorts (think Bermuda and basketball shorts), t-shirts with sleeves to cover shoulders, and appropriate footwear.
Leave your valuables behind. While traveling, it’s easier for things to get lost, stolen, or damaged. Keep any prized possessions safe at home.
Check with TSA. Make sure your luggage complies with TSA regulations, especially your carry-on. Useful tip: Pack an empty water bottle and fill it up after security.
Extra paperwork? If you need additional forms filled out to get credit for your service hours, no problem! Bring these forms with you so they can be completed in-country.

Rustic Gear. Want to get all your shopping done for your program in one place? We’ve got you covered. Check out Rustic Gear and get all the essentials sent right to your door.

Carry-On

A school backpack is ideal as it can be used for day trips.

  • Passport
  • Two photocopies of passport
  • Wallet/money
  • Book and/or journal
  • Pen
  • Phone
  • Camera
  • Chargers
  • Ear buds
  • Change of clothes
  • Water bottle
  • Medication
  • Additional community service forms
  • Visa documentation (if applicable)
  • Consent to Travel form
  • Rustic Pathways emergency contacts

Checked Luggage

A 50-70 Liter duffel bag or backpack is ideal.

Clothes

  • Socks (15)
  • Underwear (15)
  • Pants/capris (2)
  • Jeans (1)
  • Long shorts (2-3)
  • Long skirt
  • T-shirts (8-12)
  • Long sleeved shirt (1-2, lightweight)
  • Pajamas
  • Swimsuit
  • Quick dry towel
  • Beach towel/sarong
  • Rain jacket
  • Light jacket
  • Strappy sandals (like Tevas or Chacos)
  • Sneakers
  • Hiking boots
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat (for sun)
  • Work gloves
  • Headlamp/flashlight

Toiletries

(Travel size bottles in Ziploc bags)

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Face wash
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Contacts
  • Contact solution
  • Foam earplugs
  • Personal med kit
  • Deodorant
  • Wet Wipes
  • Razor/shaving cream

Important Reminders

  • Shorts should be knee length—think Bermuda or basketball shorts—to be respectful to the local culture and traditions.
  • Please bring $10 USD to pay for your tourist card upon arrival.
  1. a
    Boca Chica

    Welcome to Boca Chica, just a short drive away from Santo Domingo. This will be your home as you hep construct baseball fields for local youth and learn the ins and outs of baseball, the Dominican way!

  2. b
    Bahía de las Águilas

    This is considered one of the most pristine beaches in the Dominican Republic. This beach is located on the southwestern part of the island and protected by the surrounding environment, making it a Caribbean paradise. Enjoy your day soaking up the sun and gorgeous views!