Experience two very different sides of the Dominican Republic during this intensive program. Leave the resorts and tourist destinations behind as you travel deep into the heart of the country to the bateyes—underserved communities of predominantly Haitian sugarcane workers. Though resources are in short supply, there is a generous sense of community. Listen to stories from local farmers, mothers, leaders, and youth, and contribute to service projects designed to create lasting improvements. Then travel northeast for a completely different experience and reflect on your time in the bateyes amid the country’s turquoise waters and white sand beaches.
Travel this program in 2024
In 2023, we recommend Mountain Air and Island Service
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.
A school backpack is ideal as it can be used for day trips.
- Two photocopies of passport
- Book and/or journal
- Ear buds
- Change of clothes
- Water bottle
- Additional community service forms
- Visa documentation (if applicable)
- Consent to Travel Letter (for students under 19, recommended by the US State Dept but not required)
- Rustic Pathways emergency contacts
A 50-70 Liter duffel bag or backpack is ideal.
- Socks (15)
- Underwear (15)
- Pants/capris (2)
- Jeans (1)
- Long service shorts (2-3)
- Long skirt
- T-shirts (8-12)
- Long sleeved shirt (1-2, lightweight)
- Quick dry towel
- Beach towel/sarong
- Rain jacket
- Light jacket
- Strappy sandals (like Tevas or Chacos)
- Sneakers (2)
- Hat (for sun)
- Work gloves
(Travel size bottles in Ziploc bags)
- Body wash
- Face wash
- Oxybenzone-free sunscreen (reef-safe)
- Bug spray
- Feminine hygiene products
- Contact solution
- Foam earplugs
- Personal med kit
- Wet Wipes
- Razor/shaving cream
- Shorts should be knee length—think Bermuda or basketball shorts—to be respectful to the local culture and traditions.
- Students must bring additional hand sanitizer and one disposable mask per day of the program, or three hand-washable masks.