Why Choose CSA
Studying and volunteering abroad can be one of the most meaningful experiences of your life. Whether you’ve been abroad multiple times before or this is your very first time, it’s important to choose an organization that you can trust. CSA stands apart for several reasons:
CSA has been in operation since 2004. The years of experience we have in working with both international teams and the local community means we know what makes up a successful trip- one that truly benefits the local people, and uses the skills and abilities of the volunteers.
We have received thousands of volunteers from multiple US and Canadian universities and organizations. The testimonies of the people who have spent time as part of CSA’s programs attest to the personal attention of staff, the quality of our educational
programs, and the life-change experienced. Send us a message through the ‘contact’ section of our website, and we would be happy to put you in touch directly with someone who has taken part in a CSA program so you can hear their personal experience.
Focus on the Community
The foundational reason for the existence of CSA is to support and empower local Dominican communities. All of our activities and programs are designed around this mission. What that means is you will never take part in a ‘make-work’ volunteer activity. Rather, your participation in the local community is part of a larger initiative that is designed to bring about meaningful and sustainable positive change.
In each project, CSA works with local, community-based partners, supporting them in their vision and goals. It is our belief that externally imposed programs have little long-term effect, and so we
equipped to guide their communities. CSA volunteers and students come alongside these dynamic leaders, putting to use their skills and abilities to provide trainings and resources.
In addition, CSA maintains a base office in-country in Santo Domingo. This means that we are in constant contact with all our projects, ensuring there on-going impact and success.
Focus on Safety
Please know that the safety of all our students and volunteers is our foremost priority. We take great care to ensure that all the food, accommodations and transportation is of high quality and with reputable providers. We have on-going relationships with each of these providers and they are well-accustomed to the specialized needs of international groups. In addition, we have fully-developed and written emergency procedures in case of medical emergency, natural disaster or other unforeseen emergency situation specific for each of our project sites.
Giving Back to the Local Economy
A large number of hotels, resorts, and tour operators are foreign owned, meaning that a large percentage of the profits do not stay in the local community. However, CSA takes great care in the selection of all housing, transportation, food, and recreational excursions during your trip to only choose that are locally owned and operated. In this way, every single dollar of your program tuition goes directly back to the Dominican people and local economy.