Fundacion Mahatma Gandhi
Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic
January 7th-14th, 2014
"This trip does a great job incorporating the five pillars of ABE and the themes of Catholic Social Teaching. Our hosts, Jose and Annette, were quite frank in educating us about the challenges faced by their community (poverty, illiteracy, corruption) while also giving solutions on how to make a difference. Jose and Annette dedicate all of their time to the kids and community they serve, receive no material reward, but still continue to do it. The only they reward they receive is seeing the smiles on children's faces, and that's all they need. Each day we choose where we wanted to go of Jose's list and had fun coversing with the Dominicans while working, despite our lack of Spanish. Just to name a few, this year we painted houses and teeter tooters, cleaned and organized the library, shelved books, organized donations, created gardens, spent qualitty time with kids, and most importantly, bonded with the community. Different day, different beach- we enjoyed this aspect of the trip so much. This experience was definitely worth volunteering my Spring Break. This eye-opening expereince is one that should be required by CSB/SJU student because you learn so much more about yourself than you think you already know. Although we didn't want to leave, I believe we all made tremendous changes in both ourselves and the community."
Fundacion Mahatma Gandhi works to better the quality of life of the people with whom they work, using suitable resources, in an authentic environment of continuous learning.
They focus on the following areas:
- Quality of life
Indicators for "quality of life" are: education, housing, health, family life, gainful employment, human rights, security, recreation, the environment, civic and political involvement and spirituality.
- Of the people with whom we work
They won't be able to have an impact on everyone, nor attract or benefit each person in the community. However, each person that comes to know about them and who participates in their activities becomes an integral part of their mission.
- Using suitable resources
There's neither a magic formula that can be employed in every situation, nor a recipe that fits against all evils. For that reason they will look for the best available resources that fit specific needs, to the best of ability and within the range of our possibilities.
- In an authentic environment
We carry out our mission without false pretenses or empty promises, trusting the good faith, honesty and integrity of our board members, partners, sponsors, participants and beneficiaries.
- Of continuous learning
We seek to regenerate ourselves continuously, seeking out the best methods, processes and alternatives, adapting our functions to changing conditions and contexts.
What to Expect:
- Cost: Each ABE trip costs $325. International trips have the added cost of flights. In the past flights to the Dominican Republic have cost $608 (2012) and $847.50 (2013).
- Travel: The group will fly from Minneapolis to the Dominican Republic. A bus will pick the group up from the airport and bring them to Las Terrenas.
- Lodging: The group will either stay at Casa Paz, the volunteer house (La Villa Anderson), or an alternate guest house.
- Food: Meals are provided by the guest house and include some traditional local dishes.
- Work: Groups will have the opportunity to be involved in various programs. Programs could include: work with children between 6-15 years, small building projects, hold soccer or sports camps, do environmental education in the community, visit the elderly, learn more about issues in the community, assist with teaching girls about sports, English tutoring, work in classrooms, do theatre projects, or create your own projects.
- Dress: It is best to wear light cotton clothes. Women should dress so as to not attract too much attention, especially while working with kids or visiting homes and neighborhoods. Typicaly attire is gym shorts (appropriate length), t-shirts, and tennis shoes.
- Extra Fun: There are beaches within walking distance and the water is always good for swimming. They have some of the best beaches in the Caribbean. Make sure to bring a lot of sunscreen and to drink a lot of bottled water. There is also an opportunity for an excursion into the mountains of the Dominican Republic for a hike including spectacular views and waterfalls.
- Focus: Social Justice, Intentional Living, children, and poverty.
Please note: $100 due with acceptance of a position!
Any questions about this trip can be directed to Alternative Break Experiences at email@example.com
Special Points of Interest:
- Spanish immersion
- Cultural diversity
- Social justice
- Environmental Issues and Education
- Elderly care
- English Tutoring
From Past Participants:
"Everyone should be so lucky as to meet Jose (Fundacion Mahatma Gandhi's founder) at one point in their life. He is a fountain of wisdom and his messages-about our common humanity, the importance of selfless service to others, and how to lead a meaningful life-will resound in my head forever.
"Words are not able to describe this incredible week in Las Terrenas. Not only were my eyes opened to another culture and a way of living, but I also realized how much of a positive impact service can have on others, especially those in need."