Since 2005, Yspaniola has been sponsoring student trips to Batey Libertad and the Dominican Republic. Guided by experienced Yspaniola staff, undergraduate students tour the country, explore the Haitian-Dominican border, meet with human rights activists, live with host families in Batey Libertad, and support our work through service projects. These have included the creation of resources for our Learning Center, mural and library painting, reading hour and homework help with students, and cultural exchanges with community members. Our Service-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 six units 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 Service-Learning 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 the Youth Committee, 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, 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. This year, for the first time, Yspaniola will be hosting a Yale Alumni Service Corps (YASC) trip.
In addition to these Service-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 a sample itinerary
for our Service-Learning trips.
If you are interested in leading a trip or getting your university involved, please contact us at email@example.com