The Academic Service Learning program in Public Health is made up to two full weeks designed to give you a multifaceted picture of the public health system in the Dominican Republic, and then put that new knowledge to use in a local community through service learning. You’ll be able to experience Dominican culture firsthand, by eating local foods, exploring beautiful tropical beaches, and building unique friendships with local teachers and kids.
The first week is composed of a series of workshops, classes, and field trips guided by local experts in public health, such as heads of local nonprofits, officials from the National Department of Public Health, and experienced service providers.
Through visits to both public and private, rural and urban health providers you’ll see firsthand the reality of the Dominican health system, and come to understand the challenges that a that are a reality in the developing world context.
The topics covered include:
• Dominican Culture and Subculture
• Dominican History and its Impact on Today
• Introduction to the Public Health System of the Dominican Republic
• Panel Discussion by Public Health Providers
• Stigma and Discrimination Surrounding HIV/AIDS
• Public Health Issues Facing Women in the Dominican Republic
• Tour of the Colonial Zone, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Your group can also choose to add in optional Spanish classes to your schedule.
In your second week, you’ll use what you learned the previous work and put it to work as part of a dynamic service project in a local Dominican community. You’ll work directly with a with the local people, providing in education and training in a topic such as nutrition, sexual health for women and youth, drug and alcohol awareness for youth leaders, clean water and sanitation or maternal health for women.
You'll also get your hands dirty through improving the physical health infrastructure by building latrines, clean water filters, or family gardens.
All the work that CSA volunteers and students take part in is a piece of a larger initiative, ensuring that that time you invest in the community will be sustainable and have a long-term impact.
And relaxation! You will have lots of lots of fun and adventure in your two weeks.
Dance classes, visits to the historical center, see a professional baseball game or throw a few pitches yourself, swim in a lazy river with local kids, horseback ride on a cacao plantation, or wander down a tropical island beach are all things you might get to do during your trip.
The Dominican Republic has much beauty, both cultural and natural, to explore. So come, eat a tree-ripe mango, cheer at a wild baseball game, and soak in the gorgeous sunshine!
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