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Working and volunteering

Volunteering

Many NGOs operating in the DR are primarily community networks attempting to develop sustainable ecotourism. Formal volunteering programs may be hard to come by, but if you speak good Spanish and don’t mind some elbow grease (or office work), you may be of some use to them. A few more established organizations that accept volunteers:

CEDAF This nationwide NGO helps local farmers develop sustainable ways to use the land.

Fundación Taigüey This is a network of small NGOs, several of which focus on ecotourism.

Grupo Jaragua The largest and oldest NGO in the southwest. Based in Santo Domingo, it concentrates on biodiversity and conservation through microfinancing to assist locals with bee farming etc.

Mariposa Foundation Dedicated to empowering and educating girls living in and around Cabarete through a 'holistic' program that involves English-language classes, health and wellness seminars, athletics and family involvement. Minimum three month commitment, generally teaching in varying capacities. Located near Kite Beach.

Punta Cana Ecological Foundation One of the pioneers of sustainable development in the DR; projects targeted at coral reef restoration and preserving the natural environment in the Punta Cana area.

REDOTOR Promotes alternative and sustainable tourism projects.

SOEPA Sociedad Ecologica de Paraíso, founded in 1995, is dedicated to the preservation and protection of the environment and natural resources in the area around Paraíso; its biggest project is maintenance and development at Cachóte.

Work

It can be difficult for a foreigner to find work in the Dominican Republic, as opportunities are limited unless you have special skills and speak Spanish. Otherwise, your only options will likely be teaching English, doing something in the tourism industry or working at a call center. Salaries are very low, so don't expect to have much extra spending money.

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