Work alongside health care professionals on high-impact public health projects across the Dominican Republic. Explore the diverse regions of this beautiful Caribbean island while immersing yourself in local culture and practicing your Spanish in a healthcare setting. Identify health needs of rural, urban, wealthy, and impoverished communities and help develop meaningful public service initiatives. Earn your Wilderness First Aid and CPR certification and apply your new skills to helping communities in need.
Components of a Critical Issues Program
- Deliberate Focus: Students explore specific global issues as they exist in communities around the world.
- Pre-Travel Engagement: Prior to their arrival in the program’s base country, students build an understanding of the issue their program focuses on through readings, film screenings, and various learning opportunities.
- Program Content and Discussion: Students progress through a curriculum comprised of activities, discussions, and debriefs designed to expand their understanding and exploration of key topics.
- Program Staff: Program Leaders on Critical Issues programs have intimate local knowledge and an academic or professional background in the focus area.
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 will 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 form
- Rustic Pathways emergency contacts
A 50-70 Liter duffel bag or backpack is ideal.
- Socks (15)
- Underwear (15)
- Pants/capris (2)
- Jeans (1)
- Collared shirt*
- 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)
- Sturdy shoes for service
- 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
- *On the program we will be visiting NGO offices so please make sure to bring a collared shirt (a polo shirt or a button down shirt is fine) that you can wear with jeans to these meetings.
- 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.