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The National Peace Corps Association envisions a more peaceful world shaped by greater cross-cultural understanding and lifelong engagement at home and abroad. National Peace Corps Association members – those who already have served as Peace Corps Volunteers and those who have not (yet) served – embody the values of service and cross-cultural education in communities in the U.S. and around the globe. In 2012, the National Peace Corps Association launched Next Step Travel, a service travel program operated by Discover Corps. In this program, you and your group of dedicated travelers will experience hands-on service projects, educational programs, and a close-up view of the impact of volunteer service. We invite you to join us to take your own next steps to visit other countries and serve around the globe. The National Peace Corps Association is a nonprofit organization encompassing a network of over 50,000 individuals and more than 140 member groups. The Association and its member groups produce global education programs and advocacy campaigns, and provide community, national and international services. It is governed by a board of directors, and is managed by a professional staff. It is separate from the United States Peace Corps, which is a federal agency.

Discover Corps is a program of Terra Education, an organization founded by Andrew Motiwalla. After college, inspired by the visions of JFK and Nelson Mandela, Andrew served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras for two years. There he learned first-hand about the development challenges Honduran communities faced, and saw the impact that a volunteer like himself could have. Energized by his Peace Corps experience, Andrew returned to the United States and joined a non-profit international volunteer organization. He hoped to inspire others to build those cross-cultural connections between the U.S. and the developing world. But like many of his generation, Andrew was seduced by the opportunities of the dot-com boom. He joined a software start-up where his salary and career aspirations increased substantially. Several years later, Andrew realized that he yearned more than ever to reconnect with his values of service and global citizenship. He abandoned his job and founded Terra Education with the mission to promote global education through service-learning. His vision was to create meaningful service experiences for those who did not have the chance to serve for two years in the Peace Corps. It was in this same spirit that Discover Corps was born. Discover Corps was created to give adults a way to rekindle their values of international service in spite of the demands in their busy lives. Discover Corps offers travelers a variety of service expeditions that allow them to work side-by-side with local people, learn firsthand about global issues, and return home a directly-engaged and informed global citizen.

+1 619 758 3030 | info@discovercorps.com | www.discovercorps.com


Why Travel With Us? National Peace Corps Association Expertise

Home Base ™ Lodging

Since 1979, the National Peace Corps Association (“NPCA”) has been promoting the values of the Peace Corps and guiding Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (“RPCVs”) to reconnect and continue to serve here at home. On each expedition, our Resident Expert will serve as NPCA Host and share the organization’s work with travelers. The NPCA Host is affiliated with the National Peace Corps Association and has a deep understanding of their mission and work.

The Home Base is a living space reserved for us, providing simple, comfortable accommodations to support an active itinerary. The Home Base is typically a spacious house in an authentic community, off the beaten path. Our accommodations are carefully selected for their quality, location, and character. Here volunteers relax, unwind, and get to know fellow travelers, creating a sense of community.

You’ll further immerse yourself in the Peace Corps ethos by: ➔➔ Exchanging stories with volunteers and RPCVs over dinner ➔➔ Receiving a briefing about the work of international volunteer programs in the host country ➔➔ Collaborating on a project with volunteers in the field ➔➔ Sharing a lunch with volunteers and community members ➔➔ Exchanging stories with volunteers and RPCVs over meals and service projects

Travelers may choose either Double or Single Occupancy rooms. In some countries we offer Hostel-style Occupancy accommodations as well. Group Occupancy: These rooms accommodate four people in two bunk beds per room. The rooms have drawers and lock boxes for each person and also have shared communal bathrooms. Group occupancy rooms are ideal for families or groups. Double Occupancy: Double occupancy rooms house two travelers per room and feature two adjacent twin bunk beds. Travelers sleep in the bottom bunk, leaving the top bunk empty. Double occupancy rooms have private, en-suite bathrooms. Single Occupancy: Single occupancy rooms have private ensuite bathrooms and include a twin size bunk bed.

Full Service Travel Support We’ve got everything covered. Once you’ve registered, we are at your disposal to provide full support for all your preparations. We’re here to assist in booking flights and aiding in the passport and visa application process. In-country, we’ve secured accommodations and arranged for transportation, excursions, entrance fees, and most meals. We’ve taken care of all the details so you can relax, enjoy, and immerse yourself in the experience the minute you reach your destination.

National Peace Corps Association Membership After completing our program, you earn a free membership to the National Peace Corps Association. Use this membership to: ➔➔ Connect with Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and become a part of the Peace Corps community.

Travel in Good Company Your traveling companions are like you—active and engaged citizens who are passionate about making a difference and curious about the world. With the sense of camaraderie and shared adventure that naturally develops on our expeditions, it is not surprising that many lasting friendships will take root.

➔➔ Join our Online Jobs Board and learn about other options to volunteer and work abroad ➔➔ Attend the annual NPCA conference ➔➔ Receive WorldView, our quarterly magazine, which provides the Peace Corps perspective on global issues and highlights the work of the Community – stories you won’t find anywhere else.

+1 619 758 3030 | info@discovercorps.com | www.discovercorps.com


Volunteer on projects to improve the education of Maya children

Ride over the calm waters of Lake Atitlan, considered sacred by the Maya

Participate in a

Guatemala

community-based tour to learn about religious syncretism and Maya cosmology

Spend a couple of

Visit an artisan

days creating a World

market in

Explore the the boutiques, boutiques, Explore galleries and and cafŽs cafÊs of of galleries

Map with community

Chichicastenango -

Antigua. colonial Antigua

members and active

the largest in the

volunteers

hemisphere

+1 619 758 3030 | info@discovercorps.com | www.discovercorps.com


GUATEMALA Escape to a magical country where the ancient traditions of the Maya people live on alongside bustling modernity. Your expedition begins in the quaint colonial town of Antigua, where cobblestone streets and historic architecture will quickly make an impression. From there, you will head up to our Home Base in Quetzaltenango (or “Xela” – shay-lah – as it’s referred to by residents), four hours from the capital city. A weekend visit to Lake Atitlan will allow you to explore the communities that surround the lake. AT A GLANCE

SERVE

DISCOVER

EXPLORE

Program Dates October 6 – 19, 2012 March 9 – 22, 2013 June 1 – 14, 2013 August 24 – September 6, 2013

Program Dates October 6 – 15, 2012 March 9 – 18, 2013 June 1 – 10, 2013 August 24 – September 2, 2013

Duration: 14 days Max. group size: 20 Activity Level: Moderate

Duration: 10 days Max. group size: 20 Activity Level: Moderate

Group Occupancy $2,999 *

Group Occupancy $2,199 *

Post trip extension (for 14 day program only) TIKAL AND NEARBY RUINS (3 additional nights) $895 (double occupancy)

Our primary project will be refurbishing a local school, where we’ll also work with Maya children. The school is unique in that it is run by Maya teachers and actively promotes the preservation of indigenous language and culture. We will help by fixing parts of the school or building a new classroom, as well as organizing games with the students. In addition to this project, we’ll spend a couple of days with Returned Peace Corps Volunteers in a rural community painting a World Map - the World Map Project is so successful that volunteers have launched projects around the world over the past 50 years.

Guatemala holds vast opportunities for discovery. We will meet a traditional shaman who will teach us about Maya cosmology, and also learn about medicinal plants used by the Quiche people of the region. You’ll dive into Guatemala’s rich culture by learning how to make colorful indigenous textiles, play the local music and marvel at art created by indigenous painters. You will meet with grassroots leaders to learn about the challenges the Maya community faces to preserve their heritage in the face of globalization. In addition, we’ll meet with Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who will take us to visit inspiring projects in rural communities, and share with us their experience of serving in Guatemala.

Throughout the program we’ll embark on a range of adventures and visit many small towns and villages along the way. Over the weekend we’ll visit villages on the shores of Lake Atitlan as well as the Maya market town of Chichicastenango. You’ll also meet organic coffee growers, weavers and artisans. The last two days of the program will be spent exploring the charming colonial town of Antigua.

* Pricing for group hostel-style accommodations (3 to 6 people in a room). Double Occupancy supplement $200 | Single Occupancy supplement $500

+1 619 758 3030 | info@discovercorps.com | www.discovercorps.com


Lodging Home Base Lodging The NPCA Volunteer Corps lives at an exclusive, dedicated Home Base in the town of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Our Home Base is a large typical house in town, walking distance from many local amenities. Only NPCA volunteers will stay here. Meals are eaten in our dining area. Beer and wine are available for purchase and can be enjoyed in our garden. Quetzaltenango is approximately three and a half hours from Guatemala City. Therefore, we will spend a night in a hotel in Antigua upon arrival and also before departure.

 

 

Our Home Base is a large house in a modern part of Xela. Travelers have the option of living in group-occupancy rooms (4 to 6 per room), or double or single occupancy rooms. All participants use shared bathrooms located in the hallway adjacent to the room or within the group-occupancy rooms. Food will be hearty, healthy and locally grown food consisting of meats, beans, rice, vegetables, and fruit. Wireless internet is available on the grounds as well as unlimited purified drinking water.

Hotel Lodging

 

Program Fee

In Antigua and Panajachel we will spend nights in hotels. Hotels are 3-star hotels and are safe and clean. Rooms are double occupancy, unless the traveler has enrolled in the program and paid the single occupancy rate.

Program fee includes all in-country expenses including lodging, meals, transportation, all scheduled activities and entrance fees, community service materials, all excursions, backup medical insurance, and experienced program leaders. Tuition does not include the following: international airfare, internet usage at internet café, $3 airport tax upon departure, souvenirs, snacks, laundry, phone calls, or medical expenses.

OPTIONAL: Post-Trip Extension To Tikal (3 Nights) Travelers have the option of visiting the archaeological site of Tikal. It is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centers of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This magnificent Maya city dates back to the 4th Century BC. Travelers who opt to join this trip will be picked up at their hotel in Antigua on the last day of their program and flown to the town of Flores (in northern Guatemala), where we’ll spend the night. We’ll wake up early the next day to catch a magnificent sunrise at the Tikal ruins, followed by a guided tour of the entire archaeological site. The next day, we’ll explore some of the lesser known ruins. Besides Tikal, there are other archaeological wonders that few tourists visit. The jungles of the Peten are the second largest in the hemisphere, and for centuries they easily hid the remains of a vast Mayan civilization. In the evening, we’ll fly back to Guatemala City and spend our final night in the impressive Barcelo Hotel, just minutes from the airport. The next morning travelers will head back to the airport for their flight home.

+1 619 758 3030 | info@discovercorps.com | www.discovercorps.com


Program Schedule Disclaimer: Actual order of activities will vary by program session. The day-to-day itinerary detailed below is typical for what you can expect to experience, but not set in stone as work and activities vary depending upon the needs of our local community partners, various celebrations and customs, as well as the weather. This itinerary is designed to give you an example of what a day-to-day schedule would look like and provide a clear idea of the program experience. It may be changed during the summer as staff sees fit and on the ground circumstances and opportunities change our course.

Day 1: Participants will arrive at La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City (Airport Code: GUA) where our staff will meet you at the airport and we will travel as a group to the colonial town of Antigua. Day 2: In the morning, we will meet with a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer or a former Peace Corps staff member living in Antigua. They will brief us on development issues in Guatemala and talk about their experiences with Peace Corps Guatemala as well as the work of other non-governmental organizations (NGOs). From there, we’ll begin our journey to Quetzaltenango. On the way, we will stop to meet a group of Mayan women who will teach us the ancient customs of the Mayan wedding ceremony and meaning behind the colorful textiles that they weave. After their interactive presentation, you will have the opportunity to make tortillas and see how coffee was traditionally roasted. During our three and a half hour journey through the mountains on the Inter-American highway we’ll stop for lunch, and then continue the winding road north to our Home Base in Xela. After getting settled into the Home Base we’ll have dinner together and get to know each other more and have time to rest and acclimate to our new elevation, 7,655 feet above sea level.

Day 4: We will continue working on our community service project during the first half of the day. In the afternoon we travel to the oldest church in Central America, Iglesia de Salcaja, to learn about the time of colonization in this part of the world. While in the town of Salcaja, we will also visit the workshop of Don Enio Perez, a master weaver who will show us how traditional Guatemalan traje is woven. You’ll even have a chance to try your hand on a traditional loom. After dinner at the Home Base, Arturo Gonzalez, a former guerrilla who fought against the military during the civil war, will share his personal experience with us about living through the genocide of Maya people. Today, he works to promote human rights in the country. This discussion will provide a contrast for our subsequent visit with a former army general who fought on the side of the military. Day 5: We will return to the school where we’ve been volunteering to keep making progress on our project. In the afternoon we’ll meet with someone familiar with the work of the Peace Corps in the region to learn about the different programs that are being implemented in the villages surrounding Xela. After dinner at the Home Base, travelers can join a Latin dance class to learn some salsa and merengue or simply relax.

Day 3: We will begin our community service project at the local school in the morning, working from approximately 8:00 to noon. We will have a meeting with the students and teachers to discuss our project and learn more about their school. In the afternoon, we’ll take a guided walking tour of the colonial center of Xela in order to learn more about the community in which we’re living. You’ll also have some free time at the Central Park where you will absorb the local flavor and watch the flow of daily life that passes through the park. In the evening, travelers have the choice of watching a movie at the Home Base about the plight of the Mayan people or sitting in our garden patio and socializing over a cocktail.

+1 619 758 3030 | info@discovercorps.com | www.discovercorps.com


this open air market on Sundays. It’s truly a sight to behold. After the market, we will return to the Home Base in Xela for dinner. This evening’s guest will be Jose Castillo, a former official in the Guatemalan army who will share his perspective on the civil war and the prospects for the country’s future. Day 10: We’ll spend the whole day out in a rural community today doing a World Map project with members of the community, coordinated by a volunteer or Returned Peace Corps Volunteer serving in that village. The project will be a way for us to share with local people and leave behind a useful educational tool as well as a lasting reminder of our friendship and solidarity with the community. Around mid-day we’ll break for lunch and eat with local volunteers and members of the community. After a full day in the community, we’ll return to the Home Base for a hearty dinner. 14-Day Program Only: Day 6: We will continue our service work at the village school. We will spend the afternoon visiting Laguna Chicabal, a lake that is sacred to the Mayan people. The lake has formed in the crater of the Chicabal Volcano. Here we’ll learn about Maya cosmology and meet a traditional shaman who will explain to us the meaning behind their ancient religious ceremony. For those who want to delve deeper into Maya cosmology, they can watch a documentary at the Home Base called “Cracking the Maya Code.” Day 7: Today we will wrap up our primary community service project and say farewell to the teachers and students at the school where we’ve been working. In the afternoon, we’ll take a cultural tour of the village of San Andres de Xecul. The tour is part of a community-based tourism project facilitated by a Peace Corps volunteer who is working to preserve the town’s cultural heritage while also generating income in a sustainable and equitable way for the villagers. The town is teeming with examples of religious syncretism – we’ll visit one of the most colorful cathedrals in the hemisphere and also participate in a Maya ceremony just around the corner. We’ll visit a shrine to San Simon where locals come pray with colorful candles and offer cigars and alcohol in return for blessings or safe passage to the United States. Day 8: Today we’ll drive to Lake Atitlan, the sacred lake of the Mayans and one of the ten most beautiful lakes in the world. We will spend the day enjoying activities around the lake. We’ll take a boat ride out to one of the Maya villages on the other side of the lake to go for a hike while surrounded by the incredible scenery. We’ll spend the night in a hotel in Panajachel. Day 9: We’ll leave Lake Atitlan early in the morning to travel to Chichicastenango, the site of the largest Mayan craft market in the hemisphere. Artisans from all over the country come to

Day 11: We’ll return to the village again today to finish up any remaining work and say our farewells. We’ll return to the Home Base for lunch and for an afternoon reception to say farewell to the volunteers, community members, RPCVs, and other friends we’ve made in Xela. We’ll pack our bags in the evening in preparation for our return to Antigua the next day. Day 12: We depart early in the morning for Antigua. Along the way we will have lunch and visit the ancient Mayan ruins of lximche, the old capital of the Mayan Kaq’chiqel kingdom. At the ruins we will have a short presentation on “Maya Culture” and our Mayan guide, who is a local anthropologist, will share stories about this site. We’ll have free time in the early evening for exploring Antigua and shopping in its beautiful stores. Day 13: Tour of Antigua with Elisabeth Bell, a local American historian living in Antigua. We’ll take a leisurely walk around this town that has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The tour focuses on the city’s history, cultural trends and restoration efforts. We visit the City Hall Palace, Palace of the Captain’s General, the Cathedral with its majestic ruins, Antigua’s unique cultural lifestyle, Maya archeology through the spiritual stone of jade, and the best museums in town at Paseo de los Museos. In the afternoon, we’ll visit one of the most innovative organic coffee farms in Guatemala. Our knowledgeable guide will walk us through all the steps in the coffee production process. Once we have learned about how coffee is produced, we’ll be able to sample different types of coffee. In the evening, we’ll have a farewell dinner at one of the delectable restaurants in Antigua. Day 14: After breakfast and goodbyes, we will travel to the airport to begin our journey home. Travelers who opt for the post-trip extension to Tikal will be picked up at the hotel and taken to the airport in Guatemala City to fly to the jungle town of Flores.

+1 619 758 3030 | info@discovercorps.com | www.discovercorps.com


Post-Trip Extension

Tikal Day 14: We head to the airport in Guatemala City to catch our flight to Flores, a town situated on an island in Lake Petén Itza, in the department of Petén, Guatemala, known for its thick jungles and Mayan history. We’ll check into our hotel in Flores and have some time to rest and get used to the jungle heat. For those wishing to get out and explore, we can easily arrange for you to set out to enjoy the lake via kayak or try your luck catching some fish. Even just perusing the town and enjoying an ice cold smoothie while kicking back and enjoying the majestic lake view will make for an enjoyable afternoon. Day 15: This day will start out very early with a shuttle waiting for us at 5:30 a.m. Why so early you ask? The trip from Flores to the ruins is about an hour in the shuttle and it is worthwhile to arrive early to see the sun rising amongst the ruins while taking in all the early morning jungle sounds. In addition, your chance of spotting wildlife from parrots to toucans to howler monkeys is much better before the heat of the day. At Tikal your local guide will escort you through the jungle to see some of the most impressive ruins. You’ll learn about the fascinating history of the Maya that called Tikal their home thousands of years ago and there will be plenty of spectacular photo opportunities and chances to personally explore the ruins. It will be a day you’ll be talking about for years to come. After the morning exploring the ruins, we’ll enjoy a hearty traditional Guatemalan BBQ, called churrasco, on site at Tikal and then you’ll be given the chance to either explore more of the ruins on your own or check out the museum at Tikal. After a full day, we’ll have the shuttle waiting to whisk you back to the hotel for time to relax or take a dip in the lake before dinner. Day 16: The day starts with an 8 a.m. departure to the rarely visited, yet very impressive ruins of Yaxha and Topoxte. You’ll get a real treat exploring the Yaxha ruins, the third largest archeological site in Guatemala (after Tikal and El Mirador). There are a number of large structures that are located relatively close together and your guide will paint the picture of how life of the Maya functioned more than 15 centuries ago. You’ll see the Temple of the Red Hands, the ball count, and the pyramid of sacrifices, amongst many others. After the Yaxha tour, you’ll be whisked away by boat to the seasonal island of Topoxte, situated in Lake Yaxha. The island was used for three millennia as a royal cemetery. As recently as six centuries ago, a mysterious and little known group of Mayan

built miniature structures on the island, of which you´ll be able to see firsthand. In addition, the wildlife and birdlife in the area is spectacular. You´re almost sure to hear the roar of the howler monkey and see the playful spider monkeys dancing in the treetops. Lunch is included in the tour. We’ll then depart for the airport to fly back to Guatemala City where you’ll be staying in the impressive Barceló hotel, just minutes from the airport. Day 17: We’ll depart the hotel early in the morning to catch our flights home.

+1 619 758 3030 | info@discovercorps.com | www.discovercorps.com


Volunteer to implement ecologically sustainable projects in rural areas Ride a catamaran in

Connect with Returned

the Caribbean and

Peace Corps Volunteers

explore pristine

and learn Ăžrsthand

beaches on the north

about their work in

coast

rural communities

Dominican Republic

Spend time

Hike through a chain

volunteering in a

of twenty-seven

Haitian batey on a

waterfalls

project to improve the health of the community

Meet leaders working

Explore the

on community

historical marvels

development

of colonial Santo

projects to alleviate

Domingo

rural and urban poverty

+1 619 758 3030 | info@discovercorps.com | www.discovercorps.com


DOMINICAN REPUBLIC The Dominican Republic is a Spanish-speaking country on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. The island maintains a vibrant culture encompassed by its traditional dances, folklore and love of baseball. You will become part of the fabric of this rural, impoverished community on the north coast and discover the spirit and strength that Dominicans exhibit in every aspect of life. You’ll also visit the colonial capital of Santo Domingo for a weekend. AT A GLANCE

SERVE

DISCOVER

EXPLORE

Program Dates October 27 – November 9, 2012 February 16 – March 1, 2013 May 18 – May 31, 2013

Program Dates October 27 – November 5, 2012 December 27, 2012 – January 5, 2013 February 16 – 25, 2013 May 18 – 27, 2013

Duration: Max. group size: Activity Level:

14 days 20 Moderate

Duration: Max. group size: Activity Level:

10 days 20 Moderate

Program Cost:

US$3,199 *

Program Cost:

US$2,399 *

We will volunteer in a rural community to build a school out of discarded plastic bottles which are being picked up by village locals. The completed building will become a school for the 250 village children that previously did not have one. In addition to that, we’ll work in a Haitian batey building clean-burning smokeless stoves to help improve the health of women and children. We’ll also spend a couple of days at an orphanage where we’ll help to expand their organic vegetable garden and build a greenhouse.

Travelers will explore topics in environmental sustainability, the most critical issue of the 21st century. Through the community service work and meetings with grassroots leaders, we’ll learn first hand about how the community is working to overcome its challenges. We’ll also witness how international organizations such as the Peace Corps and others have worked to facilitate sustainable development programs on the island.

We’ll explore the tropical countryside through long hikes out to a chain of hidden waterfalls and remote villages. We’ll ride a catamaran in the Caribbean, snorkel through crystal blue waters and coral reefs, hike and swim through 27 waterfalls, and sunbathe on pristine white sand beaches. In addition, we will explore urban life in the colonial capital, Santo Domingo. Throughout the journey, we’ll stop at places in the countryside to witness innovative solutions to complex challenges. You will also learn about the vibrant Dominican culture through music, dance, and food.

* Pricing for Double Occupancy. Single Occupancy supplement $300.

+1 619 758 3030 | info@discovercorps.com | www.discovercorps.com


Lodging Home Base Lodging Food will be hearty, healthy and locally grown organic food consisting of meats, beans, rice, vegetables, and fruit.

This program is based at an exclusive, dedicated Home Base on the north coast of the Dominican Republic, about 45 minutes from the town of Puerto Plata.

Wireless internet is available on the grounds as well as unlimited purified drinking water.

Our Home Base is a gorgeous beachfront cluster of chalets around a swimming pool. Our travelers are the only ones staying here, so there is a sense of community and family. Meals are eaten in our thatched roof dining area. Beer and wine are available for purchase and can be enjoyed on the beach, just a few feet away.

Hotel Lodging In Santo Domingo, we will spend nights in hotels. Hotels are 3-star hotels that are safe, clean and modest. Rooms are double occupancy, unless the traveler has enrolled in the program and paid the single occupancy rate.

Rooms are double occupancy, unless a participant specifically purchases a single occupancy room. Each bedroom has a private bathroom.

Program Fee Tuition includes all in-country expenses including lodging, meals, transportation, all activities and entrance fees, community service materials, all excursions, Wi-Fi internet access, backup medical insurance, and experienced program leaders. Tuition does not include the following: international airfare, $10 airport arrival tax, souvenirs, snacks, laundry, phone calls, or medical expenses.

 

+1 619 758 3030 | info@discovercorps.com | www.discovercorps.com


Program Schedule Disclaimer: Actual order of activities will vary by program session. The day-to-day itinerary detailed below is typical for what you can expect to experience, but not set in stone as work and activities vary depending upon the needs of our local community partners, various celebrations and customs, as well as the weather. This itinerary is designed to give you an example of what a day-to-day schedule would look like and provide a clear idea of the program experience. It may be changed during the summer as staff sees fit and on the ground circumstances and opportunities change our course.

Day 1: You will arrive at the airport in Puerto Plata where you will be met by a member of our staff and be taken to the Home Base. After a welcome fiesta to give you a taste of Dominican culture and meet the community, our group will discuss the schedule for the week and give you an overview of the volunteer project. Day 2: Wake up to the sound of crashing waves and the gorgeous views of the ocean. You will be greeted with a hearty breakfast and have an orientation to the program, staff, and country. We’ll travel to a small town on the north coast where Peace Corps volunteers have worked with the community to implement development projects. Since it is Sunday, our focus will be on immersing ourselves in the rhythms of village life and learning first hand what challenges are facing communities. We’ll have a chance to play baseball, taste a home-cooked meal, and meet local community leaders. Days 3-4: During these two days we will visit a local orphanage where our group will work on an environmental education program. The centerpiece of the project is an organic vegetable garden. Travelers will help construct a greenhouse and expand the garden. The garden will serve as a classroom for teaching about nutrition and sustainable agriculture. Those who prefer doing construction can help build the greenhouse, while those who enjoy gardening can choose to work in the vegetable garden with the children. On one of the evenings we’ll be visited by some Returned Peace Corps Volunteers living in the Dominican Republic who will share with us their experiences on the island.

Day 7: Today, we’ll hike to a series of twenty seven waterfalls that are part of the Rio Damajagua. Nestled in the rolling hills of the Northern Corridor mountain range and behind the long stalks of sugar cane lies a treasure you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Mother Nature has crafted awe-inspiring pools, etched out of limestone that you can climb up and slide down. This natural wonder was developed into an eco-tourism attraction with the support of the Peace Corps – today, the waterfalls are professionally guided and funds go to support community development. Participants who prefer not to hike to the waterfall will have the option to spend the morning strolling the town of Cabarete and visiting the cute shops and boutiques. After the waterfall hike, everyone will re-group in Cabarete. In the afternoon, we’ll visit one of the most pristine beaches in the Caribbean. Day 8-10: Our group will take off early for our weekend away in the capital, Santo Domingo, the first stop on Columbus’ journey to the New World. Get ready for a weekend of culture and history as we trek across the cobblestone streets unraveling the city’s hidden treasures. We will explore the purported first cathedral of the Americas and other historical colonial sites such as Fort Ozama, a fort that was converted into a prison during the Trujillo dictatorship. During our time in Santo Domingo, we

Days 5-6: During these two days we venture into one of the Haitian bateys, or communities of farm workers who come from the other side of the island seeking a better life. We’ll learn about the plight of the Haitian people and volunteer to build clean burning stoves to improve the health of the women and children in the kitchens as well as reduce the amount of firewood needed to cook. In addition, we will work on a vegetable garden to improve the nutrition of the local children.

+1 619 758 3030 | info@discovercorps.com | www.discovercorps.com


will stay at the edge of the charming colonial district, where you will enjoy the beautiful historic architecture and unique shops and cafes. The colonial area of Santo Domingo has been named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. We’ll also get a glimpse of the development challenges facing urban slum areas. This will provide a contrast to the rural experience we have had on the north coast. During this trip we will meet with Returned Peace Corps Volunteers or former Peace Corps staff to hear their perspectives on the work of the Peace Corps and other non-governmental organizations working on the island. One of those NGOs is the Instituto Dominicano de Desarrollo Integral, Inc. (IDDI), one of the most progressive community development organizations. It has fifteen offices around the island and operates programs in health care, education, renewable energy, and income generation. On Day 10, we’ll drive back to our Home Base on the north coast. On the way, we’ll take a detour to visit Los Haitises National Park. This protected area boasts a variety of physical geographic zones that is home to a range of tropical flora and fauna. The reserve also contains many caves that have preserved petroglyphs and pictographs created by Tainos, the indigenous people of the island.

14-Day Program Only: Day 11-12: Today we will volunteer in a rural community to build a school out of discarded plastic bottles which are being picked up by village locals. The completed building will become a school for the 250 village children that previously did not have one. The facility will have compost toilets, an organic garden, and a biomass stove to cook lunches. You’ll work side-by-side with community members and other volunteers to improve the education of the children of this community. Day 13: Today we will ride a catamaran off the coast of Sosua beach; it will take us to hidden coves where we can snorkel and discover exotic fish and marine life and offer us a chance to relax and reflect on our experience. Following our ride we will spend some time at the beach where you’ll have an opportunity to do more snorkeling and exploring. We will have lunch at a local restaurant and sample some local fare. Today we also have the chance to travel to Mt. Isabel de Torres and ride the cable car to see stunning views of the northern bay. Day 14: After breakfast and final goodbyes, we’ll travel to Puerto Plata to board our flights home. The staff will help travelers check in for their flights and make sure they safely depart.

+1 619 758 3030 | info@discovercorps.com | www.discovercorps.com


Commemorate the values of the holiday season by volunteering together as a family

Share the holiday

Ride a catamaran in

spirit with children at

the Caribbean and

a local orphanage

explore pristine beaches on the north coast

Dominican Republic HOLIDAY PROGRAM

Connect with

Hike through a chain of

Returned Peace

twenty-seven waterfalls

Corps Volunteers and learn ďŹ rsthand about their work in rural communities

Meet leaders working

Volunteer as a

on community

family, alongside

development

local people and

projects to alleviate

create memories

rural and urban

that will last a

poverty

+1 619 758 3030 | info@discovercorps.com | www.discovercorps.com

lifetime


DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Holiday Program Celebrate the holidays with your family on the island of Hispaniola, home to the countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic for a volunteer vacation that your family will talk about for years to come! The island maintains a vibrant culture encompassed by its traditional dances, folklore and love of baseball. You will become part of the fabric of this rural, impoverished community on the north coast and discover the spirit and strength that Dominicans exhibit in every aspect of life. You’ll also visit the colonial capital of Santo Domingo for a weekend. AT A GLANCE

SERVE

DISCOVER

Program Dates Dec 27, 2012 – Jan 5, 2013

Duration: Max. group size: Activity Level:

10 days 20 Moderate

Program Cost:

US$2,199 *

We will volunteer in a rural community to build a school out of discarded plastic bottles which are being picked up by village locals. The completed building will become a school for the 250 village children that previously did not have one. We’ll also spend a couple of days at an orphanage where we’ll help to expand their organic vegetable garden and build a greenhouse.

Travelers will explore topics in environmental sustainability, the most critical issue of the 21 st century. Through the community service work and meetings with grassroots leaders, we’ll learn first hand about how the community is working to overcome its challenges. We’ll also witness how international organizations such as the Peace Corps and others have worked to facilitate sustainable development programs on the island.

We’ll explore the tropical countryside through long hikes out to a chain of hidden waterfalls and remote villages. We’ll ride a catamaran in the Caribbean, snorkel through crystal blue waters and coral reefs, hike and swim through 27 waterfalls, and sunbathe on pristine white sand beaches. In addition,

EXPLORE

we will explore urban life in the colonial capital, Santo Domingo. Throughout the journey, we’ll stop at places in the countryside to witness innovative solutions to complex challenges. You will also learn about the vibrant Dominican culture through music, dance, and food.

* Pricing for Double Occupancy. Single Occupancy supplement $300.

+1 619 758 3030 | info@discovercorps.com | www.discovercorps.com


Lodging Home Base Lodging Each bedroom has a private bathroom. Wireless internet is available on the grounds as well as unlimited purified drinking water.Hotel Lodging

This program is based at an exclusive, dedicated Home Base on the north coast of the Dominican Republic, about 45 minutes from the town of Puerto Plata.

In Santo Domingo, we will spend nights in hotels. Hotels are 3-star hotels that are safe, clean and modest. Rooms are double occupancy, unless the traveler has enrolled in the program and paid the single occupancy rate.

Our Home Base is a gorgeous beachfront cluster of chalets around a swimming pool. Our travelers are the only ones staying here, so there is a sense of community and family. Meals are eaten in our thatched roof dining area. Beer and wine are available for purchase and can be enjoyed on the beach, just a few feet away. Rooms are double occupancy, unless a participant specifically purchases a single occupancy room.

Program Fee

Age Policy

Tuition includes all in-country expenses including lodging, meals, transportation, all activities and entrance fees, community service materials, all excursions, Wi-Fi internet access, backup medical insurance, and experienced program leaders.

This program is open to families, couples and single people. Because this program occurs during a time when many children are on vacation from school it can accommodate younger people. The minimum age for this program is 13 years of age, when accompanied by a parent. Children are expected to participate in all regularly scheduled activities.

Tuition does not include the following: international airfare, $10 airport arrival tax, souvenirs, snacks, laundry, phone calls, or medical expenses.

 

+1 619 758 3030 | info@discovercorps.com | www.discovercorps.com


Discover Corps Brochure - 2012-13