Dominican Republic is the second largest country in the Caribbean. The official language is Spanish. The main source of income in the Dominican Republic used to come from coffee, sugar and tobacco; however now it comes from tourism. About a third of the population lives in poverty and many live on less than $2.00 a day. Most of the poverty in the Dominican Republic is concentrated in the rural areas. The rural poverty rate is about three times as high as the urban poverty rate. Though the economy has been growing since 1996, economic inequality remains a major problem. Since the government does not provide more than 4 percent of GDP spending on education, only 30 percent of children finish primary school. In a system where education is the road to the middle class, creating economic barriers to education perpetuates a system of institutional inequality.
Half of the country does not have access to clean water, and over half of the country does not have sanitary toilets. Healthcare is expensive and hard to find in rural areas. Since the main industry of the Dominican Republic is tourism, rural areas are often overlooked when it comes to government investment. Though rural communities depend on the farming industry, the government has not done much to address the low agricultural productivity. Farmers often do not own enough land to manage subsistence farming, making income-generating agriculture impossible. Although there is technology available to increase crop production, rural farmers simply do not have access to these resources due to financial circumstances. Natural disasters, including hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, and mudslides, constantly threaten rural areas. Much of the rural infrastructure has collapsed due to natural disasters.

7 Elements works in Las Canas, a small fishing village on the north of coast of the Dominican Republic. This community relies on fishing and animal husbandry to provide income for their families.

About 7Elements

7e Service-Learning trips in the Dominican Rep., Peru, Haiti and Belize teach sustainability and human security while students work side-by-side with locals on multi-dimensional humanitarian and international development projects. Your work will change lives by energizing marginalized Latin American communities to build improved life conditions.

Open Enrollment Dates 2018

Hello all University students! 

7e has Open Enrollment dates for this summer.. check out our 2018 Trips Info Brochure for more info. See you this summer! 

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Indianapolis, IN, USA

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