Dominican Republic: Marine Life and Coastal Restoration

Dominican Republic: Marine Life and Coastal Restoration

Questions? Call (440) 975-9691 for an admissions counselor

2024 Departure Dates

June 18 – July 3, 2024 Limited Enroll Now
July 2 – July 17, 2024 Available Enroll Now
July 16 – July 31, 2024 Limited Enroll Now

Grab your snorkel gear and dive into a marine adventure to protect the coastlines of the Dominican Republic. Stay in stunning Bayahibe and work with FUNDEMAR, a NGO dedicated to the conservation of marine ecosystems. Learn about threats to local marine and terrestrial life as you gain hands-on experience in scientific conservation methods, including the construction of reef restoration structures, the monitoring of coral growth in a wet lab, and the rehabilitation of mangroves. On remote Saona Island, spend a night helping to protect sea turtles. In your downtime, swim in freshwater caverns, search for sea stars in natural pools, and fall in love with island life.

Service projects support UN Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainable Development Goals
Program Profile
Program Profile

See the Real Dominican Republic

Activities and 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!
Consider no checked bag. We strongly recommend that you consider packing only a carry-on size bag. This prevents your luggage getting lost or separated from you, keeps your bag manageable, and helps you be more mobile on your travel day.
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 will be used for daily activities and outings.

  • 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 Letter (for students under 19, recommended by the US State Dept but not required)
  • Rustic Pathways emergency contacts
Main luggage

A 40-50 liter duffel bag or backpack is ideal.


  • Headlamp with red light setting (better for the turtles!)
  • Snorkel gear (fins, mask, snorkel)
  • Dry bag (to use on boat rides)
  • Students must bring additional hand sanitizer and one disposable mask per day of the program, or three hand-washable masks


  • Socks (10)
  • Underwear (15)
  • Lightweight pants (2-3)
  • Work pants or jeans (1)
  • Long, loose-fitting shorts for service project work. Something that provides coverage and protection while keeping you cool.
  • Athletic shorts (7-8)
  • Long skirt or dress (2-3)
  • T-shirts (7-9)
  • Tank tops (5-7)
  • Long sleeved shirt (1)
  • Pajamas
  • Swimsuit (2-4)
  • Long sleeved rash guard (1)
  • Quick dry towel
  • Beach towel/sarong
  • Rain jacket
  • Light jacket
  • Strappy sandals (like Tevas or Chacos)
  • Sneakers
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat (for sun)

(Travel size bottles in Ziploc bags)

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Face wash
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Oxybenzone-free sunscreen (reef-safe)
  • 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.
  • Students must bring additional hand sanitizer and one disposable mask per day of the program, or three hand-washable masks.