Since 2005, Yspaniola has been hosting student trips to Batey Libertad and the Dominican Republic. Guided by experienced Yspaniola staff, undergraduate and high school students tour the country, visit the Haitian-Dominican border, meet with human rights activists, live with host families in Batey Libertad, and support our work through fundraising and service. These have included the creation of resources for our Learning Center, mural and library painting, reading hour, and cultural exchanges with community members. Our experiential-learning trips are centered on education and solidarity; We aim to show students from different parts of the world that their lives are intricately connected to people seemingly a world away.
Yspaniola provides each of its student trips with a pre-departure curriculum that consists of articles and books about Dominican history, Dominican-Haitian relations, international development, and volunteerism. This curriculum allows students to be aware of the historical and cultural significance of the sites they visit on Yspaniola trips, and to better contextualize what life is like in Batey Libertad.
In addition to traveling across the Dominican Republic, students also spend four to five days living with homestay families in Batey libertad, engaging with local youth, Learning Center students, and community leaders in discussions about community development, race, education, and human rights in the Dominican Republic.
Yspaniola supports four to six Service-Learning trips a year, and has worked with many university partners over the years, including trips from Yale University, Brown University, the University of Virginia, the University of Delaware, the University of Rhode Island, St. Johns University, and the Monterrey Institute of Technology and High Education in Mexico. In addition, Yspaniola has hosted a group of high school students from Lincoln Sudbury High School in Massachusetts whose itinerary is similar to the college student groups. Yspaniola has also hosted non-student groups such as a group of doctors, nurses, and community health care workers from Brookside Community Health Center who has come multiple times to learn more about Dominican health care practices, particularly in the city of Baní. In 2019, Yspaniola hosted our first ever Yale Alumni Service Corps (YASC) trip, with 50 participants!
In addition to our experiential-learning trips, Yspaniola hosts shorter visits with groups interested in visiting Batey Libertad and learning about the community and Yspaniola’s programs. While shorter (one to two days), these visits include similar engagement with community members and Learning Center students. Yspaniola has hosted many of these visitors, including groups from the Community College of New York and the Community for Learning in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
View and download our Experiential and Service-Learning Trips Brochure
If you are interested in leading a trip, requesting a sample itinerary or getting your university involved, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org