Bridges to the Dominican Republic
Impressions, photos, and a final report for each trip can be reached by clicking on the dates below.
In 1997 BRIDGES began taking groups of college students during school breaks to do two weeks of community service in the remote mountains of the Dominican Republic. We are planning to take our thirty-second group in January 2012.
The tangible goals of our trips are to assist rural communities to build or improve their homes, schools, roads, and means of income. Where construction is involved, people from the community, together with their skilled leaders, volunteer their expertise and services. Our students teach English, math, arts and crafts, etc. in the public school. We also distribute clothing and medicines to various communities. The underlying goal of BRIDGES is to build understanding between our college students and their Dominican hosts. Our students live, in pairs, with selected farming families, experiencing everyday life, generally without benefit of electricity, flush toilets, paved roads, etc.
During the semester, our students will do fund raising in order to have sufficient money for building materials and expenses. We estimate that we will need approximately $6,000. Checks should be made out to the "Dominican Republic Project."
The target area for this project is a hamlet called "La Cuchilla." The nearest village is "Juncalito." The closest town is "Janico." La Cuchilla is about a three hour ride south from "Santiago," the second largest city in the Dominican Republic. This site was selected because it is well known to Rev. Ronald Stanley, O.P., a campus minister at Dominican College, who has been traveling to this community annually for over thirty years.
Fr. Ron will assist our volunteers to prepare themselves for this Third World experience and orient them to the culture and life style they will encounter. Upon arriving in the Dominican Republic, the students will spend a day and a half in Santiago to acclimate them and continue their orientation, before continuing up into the mountains. Fr. Ron will accompany the students throughout their stay in the Dominican Republic.
For further information about BRIDGES to the Dominican Republic, please email Fr. Ron here.
For Fr. Ron's reflections on BRIDGES, please see MAKE REAL FRIENDS WITH THE POOR