The Dominican Republic
On location in the DR
Overwhelmed by tropical mountains and white sand beaches, the Dominican Republic is a beautiful country making up the eastern two-thirds of the island Hispaniola. Haiti occupies the other third of this Caribbean island about 600 miles southeast of Florida. During much of its history the Dominican Republic has been ruled by dictators and by other countries. However, the free elections of the last four decades have contributed to the recent economic growth of the country. Farming is the main industry on this mountainous island. Coffee and cacao (used to make chocolate) grow in the mountains while sugar cane, bananas, tobacco, and avocados grow on the plains. Columbus landed on Hispaniola in 1492 and Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, is not only the first European city founded in the Western Hemisphere, but it is also home to the oldest university, the University of Santo Domingo. Spanish culture still plays a large role in the Dominican Republic along with a strong African influence, provided chiefly from Haiti.
During your time in the DR, you will deeply immerse yourself in the culture. You’ll meet Dominicans and learn about their lives through the friendships you make in your ministry sites and language school and through your life in the community. The SI staff, made up of Dominicans and Americans, will guide you in navigating the various and exciting aspects of engaging in the cultures of the area.
Santiago is the country’s second largest city and is the central region’s metropolis. Having recently gone through an era of rapid growth and development, Santiago experiences the difficulties of many other fast growing cities, such as irregular electricity supply, insufficient potable water, and the displacement of the poor. SI started full time ministry in Santiago in 2015 and continues to build relationships in the community and develop various occupational ministry sites to meet both physical and spiritual needs.
During orientation and ministry site weeks, Global Bridge students live at SI’s base which is located near Santiago.
Jarabacoa is located approximately two hours northwest of the capital city of Santo Domingo and 45 minutes from the airport in Santiago. Jarabacoa is a lush, beautiful community located in the Cordillera Central mountain range and has a tropical rainforest climate. SI started ministry in Jarabacoa in 2000 and continues to find ways to serve the community and share the love of Jesus!
Global Bridge students live with host families in Jarabacoa during language school weeks.
Students take a variety of trips to cultural and historical centers as well as many natural wonders of this beautiful Central American country. Excursions are subject to change, but typically include:
- Colonial City in the capital, Santo Domingo
- 27 waterfalls in Puerto Plata
- Historical Landmarks
- Beaches, hikes, camping, snorkeling, white water rafting and more