Human Security in the Dominican Republic

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About This Program 

Country: Dominican Republic  Duration: 8 days  Arrival City: Puerto Plata or Santiago de los Caballeros  Departure City: Puerto Plata or Santiago de los Caballeros  Cost: $1065.00 Insurance: Travel Medical Insurance Included in Trip 


The Dominican Republic is the second largest country in the Caribbean. The official language is Spanish. For generations, the main source of income in the Dominican Republic came from agricultural outputs such as coffee, sugar and tobacco but has slowly shifted to tourism. Though the economy has been growing since 1996, economic inequality remains a major problem. The government spends only 4 percent of GDP on education, which has led to only 30 percent of children finishing primary school. The education gap feeds economic instability and inequality. Over 20 percent of the population is living in extreme poverty with a third of Dominicans living on less than $1.25 a day. The rural poverty rate is about three times as high as the urban poverty rate. 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 lacks access to clean water and sanitary toilets. Healthcare is expensive and difficult to access, especially in rural areas.  

Program Highlights:

  • Learn about the history that has shaped the relationship between Dominican and Haitians of Hispaniola 
  • Interact with local community members through immersive activities and projects
  • Participate in the construction of a house, bathroom or community structure using sustainable methods and plastic bottles
  • Snorkel in Sosua and enjoy beautiful beaches
  • Challenge yourself with adventure 
  • Compare, contrast and identify challenges traditional communities face in the 21st century 
  • Explore topics such as international development, 7e community assessment model, health and environmental security
  • Spanish immersion 

Program Director

Walner Palvetus is an all star 7e Program staff member that has been working with us for nearly 5 years. Walner is passionate about young leadership and professionals. He has been teaching English in the Dominican Republic for several years and spearheaded the creation of his own school to help Dominican and Haitian youth learn English to better their opportunities. For several years, Walner has worked alongside our students, providing awesome mentorship and knowledge of the beautiful island of Hispaniola. He is excited to meet you and create an awesome international experience for you on our Dominican Republic Program! 

Program Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival in the Dominican Republic. Our Program Director will meet you at the airport. It is about an hour drive to the Indalo Lodge. Enjoy and relax on the beach.  Reflection & Discussion: Orientation and Introduction to 7 Elements. 

Day 2: First day of work in the community. Assisting with the construction of a Bottle House. Interact with community. Introduction to community ethics and sustainable international development. 
Reflection & Discussion: Learn about 7e’s community assessments model and 7e’s Human Security Model.

Day 3: Second day Bottle House construction. 
Reflection & Discussion:  Documentary on Poverty and group reflection discussion.

Day 4: Time to Relax! We are going on our first adventure day. 
Dudu Lagoon. Explore the caves and beauty of the lagoons. Have the opportunity to zip-line over clear, clean water. 
Reflection & Discussion: Visionary Leadership.

Day 6: Participate in locally run medical brigade or vitamin distribution with local doctor and 7 Elements team. 
 Reflection & Discussion: Social Justice.

Day 7: Snorkeling in Sosua and see the wildlife off the coast of Dominican Republic. Enjoy the sun and view from a boat. Farewell Party!
Reflection & Discussion: Poverty Activity and group discussion.

Day8:  Your departure day. Your Program Director will take you to the airport and make sure you get on your flight safely. Have a good flight! 

* Note: Final itinerary subject to adjustment in line with external factors and situational dynamics such as local weather, timing transportation, and ongoing input from community leaders.