THE DREAM PROJECT
The Dominican Republic Education And Mentoring Project
VOLUNTEER 2007-2008 HANDBOOK
POLICIES, PROCEDURES, REGULATIONS AND FORMS
UPDATED JANUARY, 2008
TABLE OF CONTENTS
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S INTRODUCTION.................................................3
Mission & Vision………………………………………………………...... 4
History of the DREAM Project…………………………………………..... 5
Structure of the DREAM Project………………………………………...... 6
DREAM VOLUNTEER PROGRAM
Purpose of the Volunteer Program……………………………………..…...9
REGUALTIONS: VOLUNTEER LIFE AND CONDUCT
Volunteer Standards of Conduct……………………………………………11-16
Other DREAM Rules and Regulations…………………………………….. 17
DREAM Taboos & Reasons of Immediate Dismissal……………………... 18
School Schedule & DREAM Calendar…………………………………….. 19
2007-2008 Calendar of Events……………………………………………...20
POLICIES REGARDING DREAM VOLUNTEERS
Vacation, Personal & Sick Days…………………………………………… 21
Stipend Policy……………………………………………………………… 22
Term of Service…………………………………………………................ 23
Requirements of DREAM Volunteers……………………………………... 23
Other DREAM Policies……………………………………………………. 25
DREAM Office Procedures………………………………………………... 27
SAFETY AND SECURITY PROCEDURES
Safety and Security FAQs………………………………………………….. 28
Safety Tips…………………………………………………………………. 29
General Emergency Procedures……………………………………………. 30
Earthquakes, civil strife, and other disasters………………………………..32
Accomplishments of the DREAM Project (Jan 2004-Jan 2007)……………35
Who Makes up the DREAM Project (Biographies)……………………….. 38-45
APPENDIX III: DREAM STAFF & EMERGENCY CONTACT…………… 46-47
APPENDIX III FORMS
Standard of Conduct/Reason for Dismissal……………………………....... 48
Release of Liability………………………………………………………… 49
Health Form……………………………………………………………….. 50-51
The Dominican Republic Education And Mentoring Project
THE DREAM PROJECT
Dear Volunteers and Trainees,
Welcome to the Dominican Republic Education And Mentoring Project. DREAM is
grateful for your interest in the children of the Dominican Republic and we look forward
to your participation in our community. The purpose of this handbook is to explain the
mission of our volunteer program and to provide information that may help you to adjust
to your new environment.
The DREAM Project, a 501c-3 nonprofit organization, works to provide a higher
standard of education for the underprivileged children of the Dominican Republic. Our
Volunteer Program gives students, teachers, and qualified individuals the opportunity to
work directly in DREAM sponsored schools.
DREAM volunteers work with children born into poverty and provide quality education
for Dominican teachers, who are also victims of the same poor educational system. In
order to appreciate what we do here, you must consider the “cycle of poverty” and the
indifference that characterize the experiences of poor children. This includes lack of
education, lack of resources, lack of access to jobs or job training and lack of family
support. It is our goal to break this cycle of poverty that has been continuously passed on
to the next generation.
By simply introducing a book into a classroom or organizing a small soccer game,
volunteers improve the quality of education and help provide new opportunities for the
children. DREAM volunteers lead by example and work with the community to create a
sustainable support system for the children.
DREAM schools and communities also create lasting impressions on our volunteers. Our
program allows our volunteers to be immersed in our communities by forging
intercultural understandings and forming personal relationships with students and
community members alike. The experience often encourages and instills in our
volunteers a commitment to service that can last a lifetime.
On behalf of all of the members of the DREAM Project, I would like welcome you to the
Patricia Thorndike Suriel
MISSION OF THE DREAM PROJECT
The Dominican Republic Education And Mentoring (DREAM) Project, a US 501c3
nonprofit organization, provides equal access to quality education for children born into
poverty in rural areas and small communities of the Dominican Republic by combining
volunteerism, international awareness, and community involvement into a sustainable
We fulfill our Mission by:
Building classrooms, computer labs, libraries, science labs, and sport recreation
Providing Dominican and international volunteers to teach in classrooms,
libraries, and laboratories
Organizing and operating summer camps, youth groups, preschools, and teacher
Securing books, school supplies, and educational materials for the classrooms
Working in partnership with the Dominican Government, the United Nations, the
U.S. Peace Corps, non-governmental organizations, universities, and high schools
throughout the world.
We are sustained through the generous contribution of time, talent, funds, materials and
supplies from individuals, foundations, and businesses.
VISION OF THE DREAM PROJECT
It is our vision that all children of the Dominican Republic will receive the basic right to
an education, develop their minds and learn to their full potential.
Our vision starts with schools having roofs that do not leak, reliable electricity,
functioning bathrooms, books in their libraries, desks in their classrooms, microscopes
for their science classes and certified teachers leading instruction.
Yet, our vision does not end with structures or materials; our vision is to see our entire
student body graduate from eighth grade. DREAM hopes to achieve this vision by
offering the support needed to empower the children to break the cycle of poverty.
DREAM‟s vision is to revolutionize the education system so that the children are given
the building blocks they need in order to help themselves and realize their own dreams.
Our vision is that children are given a fair start.
Finally, it is our vision that we will change lives and people‟s destinies. Because we exist,
the world will be a better place for the children and families of the North Coast and North
Slope of the Cordillera Central in the Dominican Republic.
HISTORY OF THE DREAM PROJECT
The DREAM Project began its current work in 2003, yet our story goes back over a
decade. The stage was set with the founding of Iguana Mama, a small mountain bike and
adventure tourism company. From 1993 to 2002, Iguana Mama made and lived up to a
bold statement during a time when ecotourism was a foreign concept in the Dominican
Republic and when most Americans did not know where the Dominican Republic was
“Iguana Mama was formed with the vision of becoming a national pride and asset.
Unlike most tour operators, 20% of our income goes towards local schools and parks.
We hope that the example we set will encourage others to help preserve our beautiful
country. Our multilingual employees are local residents who are dedicated to helping
preserve and protect our countryside and culture. Iguana Mama is actively involved in
the education of the local children.”
A very small mountain biking company was able to bring real change to the community
of Cabarete and the surrounding province of Puerto Plata on the North Coast. Teaming up
with American philanthropists, Michel Zaleski and Judy Greenberg, three libraries were
built in local schools and bathrooms were built to replace the lone latrine serving 400
kids. While tourists brought books and school supplies and received 25% discounts on
tours, a volunteer program was established at Dartmouth College to bring volunteers to
work with the local children in the libraries for three-month service periods.
Ecotourism started to boom very quickly and Iguana Mama‟s story attracted every major
periodical including the New York Times, the London Times, National Geographic,
Outside & Bicycling and various adventure magazines. Iguana Mama won the hearts and
trust of the local community.
The owner of Iguana Mama, Patricia Thorndike Suriel, sold the company in 2002 and
joined efforts with visionary clients, Michel Zaleski and Judy Greenberg, to undertake the
next phase of their work and create a nonprofit organization, the DREAM (Dominican
Republic Education and Mentoring) Project. Patricia now serves as Executive Director
of the DREAM Project. Judy first served as DREAM President and still remains on the
Executive Board while Michel now serves as President. In 2003, the U.S. Embassy in
Santo Domingo recognized Patricia Thorndike Suriel with the Distinguished American
Citizen Award for her “tireless efforts on behalf of the Dominican people.”
*Please check our website www.dominicandream.org for timelines on specific
For a list of DREAM Accomplishments, please refer to Appendix I and II.
STRUCTURE OF THE DREAM PROJECT
The DREAM Project remains a small close network with only four paid staff; yet, our
network includes hundreds of people. The DREAM Project operates due to the
generosity of our supporters and many volunteers. DREAM is arranged in various tiers in
order to maximize utilization of our many resources.
Honorary Chair: An exemplary accomplished individual who encompasses DREAM‟s
values and spirit and serves as the official DREAM Mentor. The Honorary Chair is
conferred the honorary title due to his or her achievements and contributions to the
Executive Board: The Executive Board is an active group of persons vested with the
management of the business and affairs of the NGO. Several board members split their
time between New York and the DR and all are kept abreast of programs and activities
conducted by DREAM. The Executive Board meets biannually to vote on all financial
decisions and future plans for DREAM.
President: The President of the DREAM Project dually serves as the President of the
organization and the Executive Board. The President presides over the Executive Board
and provides direction for the organization by overseeing financial and executive
decisions. The Executive Board elects the President based on experience, qualifications
Advisory Board: The Advisory Board is a group of persons that have officially endorsed
the DREAM Project and are asked to work on specific projects or give advice from time
to time. Some Advisory Board Members are more active than others, but all have
endorsed our mission. Advisory Board Members are selected based on their specialized
skills and interest in the DREAM Project.
Executive Director: The Executive Director is the chief executive/operating officer of
the DREAM Project. The Executive Director is responsible for developing all program
plans and budgets, directing all DREAM staff and overseeing all operations and
fieldwork. The Executive Director reports to the DREAM President and is appointed by
the Executive Board.
Director of Dominican Operations: The Director of Dominican Operations oversees the
office operations and networking conducted in the Dominican Republic. The Director of
Operations is the DREAM liaison for all agreements with the Dominican government as
well as the Public Relations Representative for fund development in the Dominican
Republic. The Director of Dominican Operations works directly with the Executive
Director to solicit partners and support from the local community, manage financial
obligations, and oversee public image. The Director of Dominican Operations is hired by
the Executive Director and approved by the Executive Board.
Director of US Operations: The Director of US Operations oversees the office
operations and networking conducted in the United States. The Director of US
Operations works directly with the Executive Director to recruit volunteer staff and as
well as oversee the application process for all volunteers. The Director of US Operations
is the DREAM liaison for all US partners and is in charge of coordinating service
learning trips, soliciting grants for DREAM programs, assisting with community outreach
fundraisers and supply drives and answering all general inquiries. The Director of US
Operations is hired by the Executive Director and approved by the Executive Board.
Program Director: The Program Director is the person in charge of operating all
DREAM programs implemented in the Dominican Republic, with a special focus on
Dominican Teacher Training. The Program Director works directly with the Executive
Director to help ensure International Step by Step Methodology goals are being
implemented and child-centered activities are being introduced into the classrooms. The
Program Director is hired by the Executive Director and approved by the Executive
Volunteer Coordinator: The Volunteer Coordinator is in charge of training and
overseeing all international volunteer staff as well as Dominican teachers working in
DREAM programs. The Volunteer Coordinator is responsible for evaluating volunteer
programs and providing all necessary in-country support. The Volunteer Coordinator
works directly with the Program Director and Coordinator to develop volunteer
programs. The Volunteer Coordinator is hired by the Executive Director and is approved
by the Executive Board.
Program Coordinator: The Program Coordinator is the person in charge of daily
operations and logistics of programs. The Program Coordinator monitors and evaluates
all DREAM Programs and works directly with the Executive Director to develop
program goals and plans. The Program Coordinator coordinates several subprograms
involved in DREAM operations. The Program Coordinator is hired by the Executive
Director and approved by the Executive Board.
Office Manager (DR): The Office Manager is the person in charge of managing the
Cabarete DREAM office. The Office Manager is in charge of greeting all visitors,
coordinating all DREAM staff and volunteer schedules, scheduling meetings and site
tours, recording all DREAM staff hours, managing payroll, updating all files and
maintaining the DREAM database. The Office Manager is hired by the Executive
Director and is approved by the Executive Board.
Receptionist (DR): The Receptionist is the person in charge of daily operations of the
Cabarete DREAM office. The Receptionist records all financial transactions, logs all
donations received, maintains an organizational system for all records and ensures
functionality of all office equipment. The Receptionist is in charge of ensuring that all
office transactions run smoothly. The receptionist is hired by the Director of Dominican
Operations and approved by the Executive Director.
Operational Volunteers: The DREAM Project is sustained through the time, talents and
the generosity of others. DREAM has many volunteers who donate their time throughout
the year to perform integral tasks in NGO operation such as legal consulting, accounting,
fundraising, translating, editing, etc.
Program Volunteers: Program Volunteers make up the core staff of the DREAM
Project and fulfill a variety of job descriptions. Our volunteers fulfill the roles of
schoolteachers, mentors, youth group leaders, and camp counselors. The program
volunteers implement our programs and make our mission possible.
Please refer to Appendix III for biographies of our DREAM board and staff.
A COMPLETE STAFF DIRECTORY WITH EMERGENCY CONTACT
INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND ON THE LAST PAGE OF THIS MANUAL.
DREAM VOLUNTEER PROGRAM
PURPOSE OF THE DREAM VOLUNTEER PROGRAM
Our primary goal is for the communities in which we work to benefit from our volunteer
program. Volunteers are often highly trained and skilled individuals who The DREAM
Project otherwise could not afford to hire in the Dominican Republic. They bring fresh
ideas and perspectives that help meet the challenges of our daily operations.
Ideally, the program will bring out the best in a volunteer. They have the opportunity to
develop and to share their talents while serving others. It will also challenge and expand
volunteers‟ limits to endure stress and to cope with the unknown and the unexpected.
For the volunteers the program offers a wide range of experiences from unique
friendships and life enriching cross-cultural encounters to work experiences rarely
available in highly industrialized countries. Volunteers have the opportunity to work in
the areas of education and community development. The idea of having volunteers is to
support and train our Dominican teachers, not to take their place, and to give more
individualized attention to the children.
Volunteers bring with them a desire to give of themselves and to serve to the best of their
abilities. Volunteers are able to dedicate 100 % of their time and energy to the children.
Such a spirit is contagious and reemphasizes for the teaching staff the importance of our
work. Finally, the importance of volunteering in general- one person CAN make a
The DREAM Project‟s work is subdivided into two main areas of focus: the public
private alliance and community education empowerment.
The public-private alliance encompasses our work with public schools as well as our
partnerships with the government and other NGOs. Under Community Education
Empowerment, DREAM works with privately-owned schools as well as various
community groups and organizations in order to educate and empower these communities
so that they may reach their own goals.
The focus behind all of our programs under the DREAM umbrella is sustainability. By
providing education to these communities we can allow them to take ownership and give
them the opportunity to help themselves.
The DREAM Project has nine pilot projects and numerous programs at these sites. The
programs offered cover the following areas:
Qualified volunteers work in conjunction with George Soros‟ Open Society Institute
(OSI) and the “Step by Step” Program (http://www.issa.nl/) to help conduct teacher
training workshops. Volunteers help to reform the current education system by
introducing child-centered teaching methods and supporting community and family
involvement in preschool and primary school.
Library Reading Programs
Volunteers work in school libraries to offer one-on-one tutoring and reading assistance
for students (K-8). Volunteers offer reading assistance 5 days a week, test pilot reading
programs and observe and monitor progress of each student.
Model Preschool Classrooms
Qualified teacher-certified volunteers provide instruction for preschool-aged children.
Volunteers run curriculum and programs that follow the Montessori principles of peace
education and are focused on interactive learning methodology. Volunteers run
classrooms to serve as DREAM models for quality education.
Volunteers work in school computer labs to train students and teachers in basic computer
skills. Volunteers also train parent committees in lab operations and internet café
management skills in order to provide computer access to the community and a self-
Youth Groups & Student Councils
Volunteers organize and lead youth groups and student councils in activities that help
instill community pride, encourage responsibility and develop leadership, vocational and
life skills within the children. Areas of focus include: environmental awareness, Science
and English education, sports and recreation instruction, and sex education.
Volunteers help to implement and lead an intensive five-week summer program designed
to provide a quality educational program, experiential learning and a general support
system for disadvantaged and at-risk youth. Activities include: tutoring, team building
challenges, art projects, sports education, music and dance instruction, science and nature
experiments, excursions and educational games.
Volunteers assist groups of Haitian and Dominican women dedicated to improving the
lives of their families and communities. Volunteers assist women interested in creating
businesses (such as arts and crafts market) that will provide sustainable incomes for their
families. Volunteers also offer classes in life skills such as parenting classes and English
classes to help these women reach their goals.
Parent Teacher Associations
Volunteers help organize parent teacher associations and help the communities in which
they work take ownership of their school. Volunteers work to educate the community
and increase parental involvement in the schools in order to work towards the goal of
self-sustaining schools. Volunteers assist with petitions, grant writing and fundraising
that further the parents‟ goals.
REGULATIONS: VOLUNTEER LIFE AND CONDUCT
VOLUNTEER STANDARDS OF CONDUCT
Distinct responsibilities come with being a volunteer of a nonprofit organization. In your
position, you have accepted an obligation to act in the best interest of the organization
as a whole. Volunteers are in the Dominican Republic to serve the children and their
interest should be put ahead of individual desires.
Please read the following very carefully. All volunteers are expected to adhere to the
policies, goals and principles of the organization as well as set an example for the
community. During your service to our organization and community, we hope you will
keep the Standards of Conduct in mind at all times:
Treat your Students with Respect
DREAM volunteers are expected to base all relationships on openness, honesty, mutual
trust and respect, and avoid behavior that constitutes any form of abuse whether it is
emotional, physical, sexual or bullying.
Volunteers are not expected to take discipline into their own hands. However, volunteers
are expected to use rewards in order to modify behavior, not punishment. When other
consequences must follow inappropriate behavior - such as removal from the computer
lab for bad language or „no recess‟ for throwing rocks - the consequence must relate to
the behavior and must be explained in terms the child understands. Verbal abuse such as
yelling or name-calling is not permitted. All types of physical discipline are strictly
prohibited and are grounds for immediate dismissal. You are expected to respect the
right and desire of children to be treated as individuals and live in an environment free of
fear and harassment.
DREAM volunteers are required to adhere to Congressional acts regarding
treatment of minors, whether they are students or not.
Congress passed the PROTECT Act of 2003 to provide resources necessary to protect
children from those who victimize them. The PROTECT Act strengthens law
enforcement‟s ability to prevent, investigate, prosecute and punish crimes committed
against children. The Act recognizes children up to the age of 18 as minors, even if in
the host country the age is lower.
Significant attention and resources have been invested to identify, investigate, and punish
offenders who travel or live abroad and prey on children. The Executive Director is
required to immediately report any incidents or allegations of a DREAM volunteer or
staff member engaging in sexual activity with a minor to Embassy officials. DREAM
volunteers are required to report any related incident or awareness of activity or
infraction by DREAM volunteers or staff to the Executive Director.
“Sex with minors overseas by any American is a felony under federal law, punishable by
up to 30 years in prison.” Each volunteer must think very carefully and be circumspect
about how he or she interacts with minors in their community and elsewhere in the
country both professionally and socially.
Respect Local Culture
As a DREAM volunteer, you have the status of an invited guest, and thus should be
sensitive to the habits, tastes and taboos of your hosts. Every society has rules by which
its members are regulated and their behavior is judged. As a visitor in the DR, bear in
mind that your behavior will be observed and noted, whether you are on the job, traveling
on a bus or just walking down the street.
Your personal appearance, what you say, the way you say it, what you buy, the way you
handle financial obligations and the way you carry yourself sends messages to others. As
a DREAM volunteer personal habits such as extravagant spending, fancy dining, late
nights out and even dating patterns cease to become personal, but rather become part of
something bigger: as a DREAM Ambassador, your actions become a reflection of the
DREAM Project as a whole. Behavior damaging to the DREAM Project or the image of
the DREAM Project may result in disciplinary action including consideration for
DREAM volunteers are expected to be respectful of local customs and traditions.
Volunteers must also familiarize themselves with and adhere to all local laws,
particularly those that directly affect the community, such as illicit drug use and
Approach Responsibilities with Professionalism
As a DREAM volunteer you are expected to maintain a professional image at all times.
You are expected to attend school all day, every school day. A DREAM volunteer who
plans to leave his/her site for a major part of the day or 24 hours (over night) must,
without exception, call the DREAM office and notify the administrator at your school
site. Notifying another volunteer is not an option. Failure to adhere to this policy is
grounds for dismissal.
DREAM volunteers should inform the office manager, volunteer coordinator, director of
the school and teacher you are directly working with and leave a message as to the reason
for absence, exactly where you are going and how long you will be out of your site. In
the event that the volunteer is sick or an unexpected emergency arises, the volunteer will
only be responsible for notifying the office manager, but if the absence is an otherwise
planned event everyone must be informed in advance. This policy was developed with
the safety and security of our volunteers in mind.
DREAM volunteers are also fully accountable to notify the DREAM office regarding
their whereabouts if traveling for an extended vacation period. The office manager will
maintain a computer log to record this information in case there is an emergency in the
DR or in the US. Vacations should also be posted on the DREAM Google calendar so
everyone can access it.
DREAM volunteers are also expected to serve as role models to the teachers and students
by arriving on time. Volunteers are required to attend all school board meetings and
DREAM meetings and participate in all after school events. Volunteers are responsible
for informing the office of school events, activities and meetings and turning in volunteer
hours to the office on a monthly basis.
Maintain Professional Appearance
“El pasajero se conoce por la maleta...
Un roto significa abandono, un remiendo humildad”
The passenger is known by his/her luggage…
A rip means carelessness; a patch means humbleness
-- Dominican saying
In Dominican Culture, great importance is usually attached to neatness and proper dress,
particularly in professional fields. DREAM volunteers are also expected to dress in
appropriate attire at all times. The guidelines for DREAM volunteers were created to help
our volunteers be sensitive to Dominican cultural values (which often differ from the
values of tourists residing in the community). In the DR, professional men and women
dress more formally than Americans, especially in the work field. This is true in cities
and the campo. If you look and dress professionally, you will be treated with more
The DREAM Project strongly believes that your cultural sensitivity to the dress issue will
greatly enhance your ability to work productively and interact socially with the people of
the Dominican Republic. We neither expect nor want our volunteers to invest large sums
of money in clothing. Looking neat, clean and professional will enhance your image and
reflect on the DREAM Project.
DREAM uniform is required on school site at all times (please refer to the pre-departure
manual). Clothing that is not acceptable at DREAM functions include: revealing articles,
such as half tops or short skirts, sloppy attire, such as sport shorts and ripped t-shirts, and
any clothing with inappropriate words or logos. Be respectful, i.e. only dress for the
beach when you‟re going to the beach.
Treat Colleagues with Respect
Volunteers should give colleagues the benefit of the doubt. All volunteers are doing their
best to help build a quality program for our children. Conflicts should focus on issues,
not personalities or individuals.
Interpersonal conflicts should be kept private and dealt with in a professional manner.
Volunteers should keep in mind the small nature of their communities and the ease in
which rumors (true or false) can spread. If you would not feel comfortable with half of
the town knowing your problems then you should not feel comfortable talking about
them in a public setting, whether you think anyone is listening or not.
Courtesy goes a long way toward building harmony and cooperation. In order to maintain
your professionalism, we also advise against entering into sexually intimate relationships
with DREAM staff, volunteers or school staff.
Maintain Focus and Dedication
DREAM volunteers are expected to remain 100% dedicated to the children during school
hours. Showing up to work fatigued or hung over, taking naps during school hours, or
listening to music on headphones while working with the children are not acceptable.
MP3 and CD players are prohibited on school grounds.
Cell phone use during school hours is prohibited and all cell phones should be turned off
on site. Emergencies in which a student or volunteer is in need of medical care or in
immediate danger are the only exceptions to this policy. Volunteers can make other calls
personal or work related during their lunch break. In the unlikely case of an emergency,
volunteers who are located in the campo may keep their phones on vibrate. Volunteers
may only accept calls from DREAM affiliated numbers during school hours.
DREAM volunteers that are accepted into the program should remember their number
one reason for being in the country is to give attention to children who otherwise might
not receive it and assist the communities in which they serve. The children are very
intuitive and the DREAM volunteers must work to serve as positive role models at all
Project a Positive Self Image
When working at school sites, volunteers should project an image of health, cleanliness
and efficiency of a balanced lifestyle. Displaying signs of a negative attitude and using
inappropriate language around the children is prohibited.
The DREAM Project is aware of the many temptations and distractions that DREAM
volunteers face living in a tourist community. DREAM also understands the need to go
out every once in a while for rest and relaxation; however, excessive partying or
repetitively staying out late (past 11:00 pm) on school nights raises concerns about
The DREAM Project expects its volunteers to be well rested and prepared for school days
and special DREAM events. Excessive use of alcohol may result in behavior that affects
the volunteer‟s performance, effectiveness, safety, and/or credibility. Loud, boisterous,
unbecoming behavior of a volunteer that is a guest in a foreign land is not acceptable.
Inappropriate behavior or poor work performance will be grounds for dismissal.
Volunteers are expected to set the example and keep a positive attitude, and be as
optimistic, patient, creative and as flexible as possible.
DREAM volunteers are expected to live modestly by the standards of the people they
serve, without compromising health or safety. DREAM volunteers must live within their
living allowance and not incur unnecessary debt. DREAM also expects volunteers to
manage their budget and pay all of their debts. The DREAM Project does not lend
money. Inability to live within your means indicates poor cross-cultural adaptation.
Support the Final Decision of the Organization
Volunteers are required to remain informed. Volunteers are expected to take an active
interest and educate themselves about the organization by checking the website and
DREAM Google calendar frequently for updates and newsletters. Volunteers should talk
with other volunteers about events at their sites and stay in weekly contact with and direct
any concerns or issues to the attention of the Program Coordinator or the Program
People in the Dominican Republic as well as people outside the DR have a right to know
what DREAM Project is doing; in fact, the DREAM Project wants to share our vision
with people worldwide. DREAM volunteers are free to discuss their role in DREAM
with the press and other parties; however, distinct responsibilities go with that
DREAM volunteers are responsible for doing their best to ensure the information
provided is accurate, cannot be misinterpreted and is not critical of the Dominicans or
local customs. Thoughtful and accurate views and insights can contribute substantially
to bringing to a better understanding of the Dominican Republic. Volunteers should
remember to frame their perspective in terms of how long they have lived in the country
(i.e. an interview conducted in the last three weeks of service is sure to be different than
an interview conducted in the first three weeks of service). Volunteers should notify the
DREAM office before such discussions take place.
If a volunteer chooses to write articles for publication during their affiliation with the
DREAM Project, they are required to submit them to the Executive Director for a simple
fact check before being published.
DREAM volunteers may, from time to time, have access to confidential and private
information on the work, assets and activities of DREAM Project and our partners, as
well as the personal lives of our program children and other volunteers. Every volunteer
of DREAM is in a position of trust and must respect the confidential or private nature of
information acquired through this position.
Volunteers are prohibited from disclosing in any manner whatsoever confidential or
private information to any third party (non-employee or non-board member) unless
required by law. This obligation applies both during and after the volunteer term;
however, volunteers must report abuse of the children involved in our programs or
malicious intentions directed against our programs directly to a staff member.
Keep a Positive Outlook
Volunteers should be altruistic and volunteer to help another volunteer or group.
DREAM staff and volunteers all need to be willing to help each other for the overall good
of our children and programs. There may be times that you become frustrated with the
schools, the DREAM Project, or the difficulties encountered in the DR: create solutions!
Look for ways to improve the schools and work with the organization instead of pointing
OTHER DREAM RULES AND REGULATIONS
Prohibition on Personal Gain
DREAM volunteers may not accept payment for anything that they have written or
photographed. Articles, manuals, teaching materials and other work-related products
developed during service for the DREAM Project are considered part of the public
domain and may not be copyrighted nor used for personal gain.
From the moment of arrival until the moment of departure volunteers will be asked one
question - “moto taxi?” While the plethora of „motoconchos‟ (motorcycle taxis) may
seem convenient, DREAM officially advises volunteers to avoid motorcycles
whenever possible. A volunteer is endangering their life by accepting a ride on a
motorcycle and assuming responsibility for any harm that can come from them. There
are countless accidents and there are other public transport options available. If a
volunteer must take a motorcycle, it is a DREAM policy that he/she wears a helmet.
Violation of this policy is cause for dismissal.
Volunteers and trainees are free to exercise their personal religious beliefs, but they may
not engage in religious proselytizing. Volunteers who are not clear as to what activities
constitutes religious proselytizing should consult the Executive Director. Violation of this
restriction could have serious adverse consequences on the organization and may be
grounds for dismissal.
A trainee or volunteer who wishes to marry and continue in the DREAM Project must
obtain written approval from the Executive Director prior to the marriage. This is the
case whether the intended spouse is another DREAM volunteer, a Dominican or a citizen
of another country.
The DREAM Project respects the private lives of the volunteers but has learned from
experience that marriage during service affects the volunteer‟s ability to serve and is
disruptive to the program as a whole. DREAM accepts volunteers under the status that
they apply under (single, married, or engaged) and makes arrangements and placements
based on this information.
In deciding whether or not volunteers may marry during term of service, the DREAM
Project will consider such questions as whether job and housing changes would be
necessary to accommodate the couple after marriage and whether the marriage will
adversely affect the volunteer‟s ability to perform his or her assignment.
In addition to official written DREAM policies, rules and regulations there are many
things that the DREAM Project does not condone and may take into consideration when
deciding upon disciplinary action:
1. Visiting another country (i.e. Haiti) without obtaining written authorization
2. Driving while intoxicated (the DR may not have a drinking and driving rule, but
3. Dating members of the community that are DREAM affiliated (i.e. parents of
students, teachers, head of PTA, etc.)
4. Participating in political activities (we are here for children‟s education)
5. Doing anything inappropriate with a minor (would it be acceptable at home?)
6. Engaging in reckless behavior that endangers yourself or any other volunteer
(compulsive gambling, unsafe sex, excessive drinking are all reckless behaviors!)
7. Doing anything that casts a bad light on the DREAM image
8. Participating in gossip that is damaging to a volunteer‟s reputation or otherwise
slandering; spreading myths about the DREAM Project
9. Making disparaging/insensitive remarks about the DR, the people, the culture, etc.
10. Defying confidentiality policy and guidelines
REASONS FOR IMMEDIATE DISMISSAL
Smoking or drinking alcohol on school grounds. Consumption of alcohol in
the presence of students (on school grounds or off) or inviting student to smoke or
drink, regardless of age, is prohibited and is cause for dismissal.
Being off site without notifying the DREAM office. This is the sole
responsibility of the DREAM volunteer. Whether the volunteer is sick or on a
school field trip, they must notify the office. Unexcused absences are grounds for
Forming inappropriate relationship with students. Dating or any kind of
romantic involvement or otherwise inappropriate relationship between a volunteer
and a student of any age or a minor (under 18) will lead to immediate dismissal.
Engaging in any form of illicit behavior. Use of illegal drugs, inducing others
to use illegal drugs, solicitation of prostitutes and other unlawful activities will
lead to immediate dismissal.
Riding a motorcycle without a helmet. Unless there is an emergency- there is
no excuse. Volunteers will not be given more than one warning regarding this
Taking vacation without written authorization. (Please see vacation policy and
calendar for authorized vacation days)
Failing to fulfill obligations. Poor work performance, lack of adherence to
DREAM rules regarding conduct, engaging in behavior deemed inappropriate or
inability to maintain healthy relationships with other volunteers and/or staff are
reasons for dismissal.
Please refer to Appendix IV for the volunteer contract regarding these regulations.
DREAM- DOMINICAN OPERATIONS
Each year the government produces a calendar for the academic year. As part of the
diagnostic, volunteers should obtain a school calendar with scheduled days off, teachers
meetings, etc. In general, school hours are divided into two sessions: morning and
afternoon. Unlike the United States, children do not attend a full day of school in the
The morning session begins at 8:00 am and ends at 12:00. At lunch there is a break and
the children and teachers often go home. Afternoon session commences at 2:00 and runs
until 5:00. In the Dominican Republic, the school schedule is often very unreliable;
school is cancelled at last minute for reasons ranging from rain to a last minute
mandatory teacher meeting. In the event that school is cancelled, DREAM expects its
volunteers to set the example for the teachers and still report to work. If work is needed,
volunteers can report to the office. If they work off site on those days, they must inform
Volunteers are asked to follow the DREAM vacation schedule, which is different
from the school calendar. DREAM expects volunteers to be opening libraries,
preparing curriculum, organizing fundraisers and conducting other DREAM
related activities on DREAM designated workdays even if school is closed. There is
always a lot of work to be done, whether it is planning a school fundraiser or offering
private tutoring lessons to children when school is cancelled. Good work ethic is
contagious and will set the model for the community.
DREAM 2007-2008 CALENDAR OF EVENTS
In addition to having most weekends off, DREAM volunteers have 24 approved vacation
days corresponding to the following schedule:
Christmas Break December 15th- Jan 2nd * (Volunteer is expected to be at
school on 14th and report for meetings on January, 2nd since
school will still be out)
Duarte Day Monday January 28th * (This date may change due when
school selects to officially commemorate.)
Independence Day Thursday February 28th * (This date might also change due to
Semana Santa Thursday and Friday March 20th-21st
2007-2007 CALENDAR OF EVENTS
What follows is a list of official holidays that are celebrated in the Dominican Republic.
There are various other special days that school may close. It is advised that volunteers
ask their administrator for a school calendar, since it will differ at every site. Please note
official “DREAM holidays” are bolded and highlighted in RED. Please note, there are
many dates, where school is closed but volunteers are expected to work.
Month Day Event
January Monday 1 New Year’s Day (office closed)
Sunday 6 King‟s Day*
*Monday 7 *Ephipanhy observed in school
Monday 21 Lady of Alta Gracia Day
Monday 28 Duarte Day (office open)
February Sunday 27 Domincan Independence Day*
*Monday 28 Independence Day observed (office
March Sunday March 16 Semana Santa (Holy Week)
Monday March 17 School Closed
Tuesday March 18t School Closed
Wednesday March 19 Ash Wednesday
Thursday March 20 Holy Thursday (office closed)
Friday March 21 Good Friday (office closed)
Saturday March 22 Holy Saturday
Sunday March 23 Easter Sunday
May Thursday 1 Labor Day (office closed)
June Sunday 15 Corpus Cristi Day
August Saturday 16 Restoration Day
September Wednesday 24 Lady of Mercedes Day
November Thursday 6 Constitution Day
December Tuesday 25 Christmas Day (office closed)
POLICIES REGARDING DREAM VOLUNTEERS
VACATION/PERSONAL DAYS POLICY
Personal and vacation days for volunteers should not exceed 4 weeks (28 days) during the
course of the term. If a volunteer observes all of the holidays listed above, 4 personal
days (2 days for Dartmouth terms) are allowed. Volunteers are expected to plan
personal days in relation to job demands. Guidelines are as follows:
Volunteer must submit a written request for a personal day 14 days in
advance. All personal days must be approved in writing by Volunteer
Coordinator and must be forwarded to the Office Manager.
Due to the volume of visitors, events and student groups, personal days may not
be taken in February or March unless planned and granted approval well in
If a volunteer is particularly interested in traveling extensively in the DR,
DREAM suggests that this is done before or after dates of service.
Travel to other countries during term of service may be prohibited for political,
health or safety reasons. DREAM Project may issue periodic advisories, which
prohibits travel due to safety reasons (E.G. when Peace Corps places a travel ban
on Haiti, DREAM prohibits volunteers from traveling to Haiti).
The first vacation period should not be taken before winter break.
Winter break provides the maximum of 20 calendar vacation days allowed at one
The Volunteer Coordinator can authorize up to 4 days of advance calendar leave
or entertain special requests upon presentation of a written request and
Notify the DREAM office within 24 hours of your return from vacation to let us
know that you are back in the country and onsite.
Notify DREAM immediately of any changes/extensions to your leave plans
Prior to taking personal days, DREAM volunteer must receive written approval
from Volunteer Coordinator. Submitting a request does not constitute
Sick days are not the same as personal days. DREAM understands that the volunteers
must adapt to a new culture, climate and food. These demands can be draining, both
mentally and physically, and can make people more susceptible to illness. For this reason,
DREAM allows 5 sick days (3 days for Dartmouth term) for unexpected illnesses that
may arise during service.
In the unlikely event that a volunteer needs more than 5 sick days, absences will be
deducted from personal days unless extraordinary circumstances are documented
and justification is provided.
DREAM asks volunteers to educate themselves about all the possible risks by consulting
a travel medicine physician before departure. Many illnesses can be prevented. DREAM
asks volunteers to monitor their nutrition closely and make an effort to eat balanced
meals, take vitamins and drink a lot of liquids. Not drinking suffucient amounts of liquids
leaves a person vulnerable to exhaustion. DREAM also encourages plenty of rest since it
is essential for good health. Both mental and physical health is affected when a person
does not sleep enough or does not take time to relax. In addition, please take extra
precautions when consuming fish and poultry products. Past volunteers have contracted
salmonella (bacteria found in undercooked meat that causes food poisoning) and
ciguatera (a form of fish poisoning trasmitted through Caribbean reef fish), both of
which lead to severe gastrointestinal and other health problems. Therefore, DREAM
strongly advises that volunteers refrain from eating potentially undercooked poultry or
fresh fish. As ciguatera is highly resistant to heat, even throughly cooked fish is at risk.
In the case of a serious illness, the Volunteer Coordinator will meet with the volunteer to
discuss what is best for the volunteer and for DREAM. In cases such as these, it might be
best for volunteer to return home to receive treatment and end their service term with
DREAM. Please refer to Release of Liability & Health Form in Appendix IV.
Friends and relatives are welcome for short visits as long as the volunteer continues to
carry out their usual work responsibilities. Volunteers need to advise DREAM if they
expect visitors and follow the procedure if requesting a personal day. Volunteers are
expected to be at-site unless a personal day is pre-approved (a visitor in town does
not mean a day off from work). Please advise your friends and relatives well in
advance of the most convenient times for visits and notify the Volunteer Coordinator and
Office Manager of your plans. Volunteers are also expected to request permission
from the Volunteer Coordinator and notify the Office Manager if they plan to bring
guests on school grounds. In order to respect the privacy of our children, DREAM needs
to know who is in and out of school grounds; unexpected visit can be disruptive to the
children as well as the volunteers.
Due to the nature of work and the fact that there is so much to do, we do not follow the
usual “40-hour-work” week. For the majority of weekends, the DREAM Project does not
require the volunteer to work or be on site; however, special events may arise in which
volunteers are expected to attend. As mentioned previously we ask our volunteers to
keep busy, even on those rainy days. DREAM volunteers are the core behind most of our
school programs and are therefore asked to help DREAM plan and run several additional
after school programs for the community. Whether it is a Monday night adult English
class, a Wednesday night teacher training workshop or a Thursday night youth group
tutorial, DREAM volunteers are usually working after school hours and even off school
DREAM understands there are a lot of expectations and responsibilities placed on our
volunteers. There will always be more to do or another great idea to implement, which is
why DREAM tailors work schedules to best utilize the volunteer‟s time. DREAM wants
dedicated volunteers who are busy improving the quality of education in our schools, not
fatigued volunteers, who are spread too thin. In a case of a “burnout” volunteers are
encouraged to talk to the Program Director to rework a realistic schedule.
For DREAM volunteers that are on the stipend plan (please note this may not apply to
volunteers on a DREAM fellowship- refer to fellowship contract), the DREAM Project
provides each DREAM volunteer with an adequate monthly stipend with which to live
modestly. Each DREAM volunteer must budget appropriately and live within the living
stipend provided. Living stipends are meant to allow DREAM volunteers to live
modestly and cover the following expenses: housing, utilities, food, transportation, and
incidental expenses such as laundry, cell phone, and internet. If a DREAM volunteer
terminates service early, the pro-rated amount of the stipend for the days following
separation must be returned to the DREAM Project. The DREAM Project does not
adjust living allowances depending on the amount paid for housing if volunteer
chooses to leave initial placement.
All volunteers will receive a weeklong introduction into DREAM‟s philosophy, general
behavioral norms and expectations upon arriving. Training is mandatory. If you
cannot attend you must have special permission from the DREAM Project. A
schedule will be provided upon arrival.
TERM OF SERVICE
The DREAM Project generally only accepts fulltime volunteers who will commit to serve
for one school year or longer. Exceptions can be made at the discretion of the Executive
Director for volunteers with special skills or talents or for specific positions. Volunteers
are expected to fulfill their time commitment.
REQUIREMENTS OF DREAM VOLUNTEERS
Volunteers will conduct a diagnostic within their community/school during the first three
weeks of service. The Diagnostic Report should be handed into the DREAM office on
scheduled deadline presented at orientation. Volunteer will schedule a time to present
their diagnostic with their communities, youth groups, teachers, etc. to share ideas and
goals. Diagnostics should be referred to throughout the year as a way of tracking progress
on goals. Diagnostics will be revisited in the beginning of January and revised as
After three months of service, DREAM volunteers are asked to write a mini-proposal
describing the program, listing the accomplishments, perceived benefits and the current
needs in the programs they are running (i.e. a grant proposal for books for the library
program or lunches for a preschool program, etc.). The Program Director will meet with
volunteers individually to discuss ideas. DREAM volunteers are encouraged to raise
money in the name of the DREAM project for their programs. A form for the grant
proposal will be provided in November.
DREAM also requires volunteers to submit a monthly report on progress to the DREAM
Program Director, Program Coordinator and Executive Director. This is the appropriate
forum to address problems or frustrations as well as boast about accomplishments.
DREAM wants to know what is going on in our programs and volunteers provide the best
eyes. The reports are used as tools to produce positive and dynamic feedback and make
any necessary changes for the betterment of our programs.
Where will I be placed? What will my accommodations be like?
Volunteers who opt for a private residence in Cabarete will be placed at Residencia
Dominicana http://www.residenciadominicana.com/english/index-e.htm, or in a local
room or apartment for rent. Residencia serves as a hotel, but there are also long term
studio-type rooms, which include a private bathroom, a mini-fridge and a stovetop.
Are home-stay placements available?
Yes, DREAM can place volunteers with local families. Volunteers who opt for a home-
stay (or are placed outside of Cabarete) should be comfortable experiencing the life of a
typical Dominican family. This means that comforts such as reliable electricity, hot
water or plumbing may not be available 24-hours a day. Volunteers must also be
comfortable living with a family, which means respecting the rules and culture of the host
family. This being said, home stays can truly be the best way to assimilate to the culture,
improve Spanish and truly experience the Dominican life.
Is there flexibility if I do not like my initial housing placement?
Volunteers are free to find other accommodations if their initial placement does not work
out after 2 months of service; however, DREAM is NOT responsible for arranging
accommodations past initial placement or adjusting stipends. The volunteer will be given
a stipend equal to costs of the initial placement and arrangements will be made
independently of DREAM. Volunteers must give 60 days notice prior to moving out
or they forfeit rent for that period due to arrangements DREAM has made with
landlord on behalf of the volunteers. Unless there are extenuating circumstances,
fellowship volunteers are expected to stay with their initial placement and any
moving requests must be discussed with the Volunteer Coordinator. Please note
that DREAM chooses initial housing based on safety, accessibility and a variety of other
considerations; hence, DREAM does not take responsibility for the housing after the
volunteer decides to leave initial placement. If you chose to move out of your initial
placement, please be sure to consult our housing information binder in the office, which
will provide some warnings and recommendations regarding specific rentals.
Housing Rules (Residencia)
1. Pets of any kind are prohibited
2. All overnight guests MUST be pre-registered. This is for safety reasons as well as
rules of Residencia (you must pay an additional fee if a friends stays overnight)
3. Cleanup after yourselves in common areas (there are other guests)
4. No loud music or parties after 10pm on weekdays or 12pm on weekends.
Volunteers are asked to be respectful of noise volume at all times (this includes
early morning too!)
5. Pool use is for residents only and volunteers MUST ask permission and receive
approval to bring guests. Glass Bottles are not allowed near the pool
6. Volunteer are prohibited from disclosing the room number of another volunteer to
any third party
7. Volunteers have the option of paying for laundry service, it is not free of charge
8. Do not throw toilet paper in the toilet bowl (due to poor plumbing in the DR- this
rule applies almost everywhere in the country!)
9. If there are any maintenance problems with housing (i.e. broken hall lights)
volunteers are asked to report the problem in writing via email to both the
manager of Residencia (firstname.lastname@example.org) as well as the
DREAM Volunteer Coordinator (email@example.com)
10. If there are any security issues, please contact Birgit and Monica immediately!
11. Volunteers are reminded that they represent DREAM even when they are at
home. In a small community, people tend to watch your behavior and are often
quick to judge- keep your reputation in mind!
Housing Rules (Home-stays)
Please refer to the housing rules of Residencia for the ones that are applicable- i.e. no
pets, security issues, etc. In addition, volunteers are asked to respect the rules of their
host families. Discuss family rules upon move-in (i.e. quiet times, meal times, Sunday
rituals, etc.). The one major difference for home stays is that NO OVER NIGHT
GUESTS ARE ALLOWED. Volunteers must be comfortable living with a family,
which means respecting the rules and culture of the host family and in the DR overnight
guests are generally not accepted. Even if you have a relative visiting, it is not a good
idea since chances are you will be putting your host family out. Please keep in mind
most houses do not have much space, but as part of Dominican culture they would feel
obligated to accommodate friends or family. This also extends to meals- if a host family
cooks for three additional people the volunteer is expected to contribute for this
POLICIES REGARDING DREAM VOLUNTEERS
DREAM expects volunteers to take responsibility and try to independently resolve
problems. Your project is your own. While DREAM will provide some guidance at your
site during weekly visits, we expect you to use your flexibility and motivation to make
your project successful. Flexibility may often mean adjusting your expectations of what
can be accomplished, or changing the way to get there. DREAM selects volunteers
because they are willing to try new things, work with people of different cultures, and
help improve the lives of children in need. First, draw from your own experience and
those of your fellow volunteers to solve a problem. If volunteers do need additional
assistance, they may schedule a private meeting with DREAM staff.
What DREAM does for volunteers:
1. Provides transportation from POP airport to volunteer‟s residence (upon arrival)
2. Introduces volunteer to Servi-Med doctors
3. Provides a one-week orientation (see orientation schedule for what is covered)
4. Provides training workshops and retreats excursions throughout the year
5. Introduces volunteers to each site and their staff members
6. Conducts volunteer meetings twice a month to discuss/pass on important
information which is relevant to the volunteer program
7. Provides basic educational materials (pencils, paper, etc.) to use within the
schools/centers. With written requests DREAM may be able to solicit more
donations (based on availability) for the volunteers.
8. Provides assistance and advice throughout the service learning experience
What DREAM does not do for volunteers:
1. Pick up from any location besides Puerto Plata Airport
2. Arrange housing if their first home does not work out for volunteer
3. Make reservations for volunteers or their friends and family (hotels, tours, etc.)
4. Provide any computer, fax, copy machine use within the DREAM office for
anything non-DREAM related
5. Serve as interpreters or translators on a regular basis
6. Provide personal transportation
7. Provide medical care
8. Use DREAM money to assist in any legal situations (jail, attorney fees, etc.)
9. Serve as a mediator/problem solver in case of disagreement or dispute between
the volunteer and a landlord of a living space rented by the volunteer and not by
10. Serve as a mediator/problem solver for any altercations that may happen between
the volunteer and other tourists/locals or establishments/organizations in the
11. Take responsibility for inappropriate behavior
COMMUNICATING BY MAIL
The DREAM Project‟s main office is currently located in the center of Cabarete in Patio
Plaza. The office is open 8:30 am until 4:30 in the evening. In case of emergencies,
family and friends can reach volunteers by calling our office: 809 571-0497
The DREAM Project
Name of Volunteer
Patio Plaza, Calle Principal
Cabarete, Puerto Plata
* A note about the postal system: it is unreliable! Never mail money or important
documents unless sending with a service that guarantees reliability such as FedEx. You
should be aware that regular mail can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks to arrive at its
destination and there is a chance that it will never be received at all.
DREAM OFFICE PROCEDURES
Computers & Printing
Unless performing office tasks or otherwise given special permission by DREAM staff,
volunteers are prohibited from using DREAM office computers and printers. DREAM
accounts for internet use in monthly stipends and asks volunteers to use local internet
cafes for DREAM work and/or personal use (please see the Cabarete Guide). DREAM
provides free wireless access to our volunteers on the patio outside the DREAM office. If
a volunteer needs a small work related document (10 page max) to be printed out, they
are asked to ask the DREAM receptionist. All DREAM related volunteer files should be
backed up on a CD. CDs can be found in the office.
Volunteers working in the DREAM office are restricted from checking personal emails or
performing non-related DREAM tasks during working hours.
There is a designated photocopy machine for volunteer DREAM related work in the front
of the office at the Receptionist‟s desk (please note: the other photo copy machine is not
available to volunteers). Volunteers are asked to leave copies with Receptionist, log
number of copies and record purpose of copies. Volunteers are reminded to use
recycled paper when possible.
Fax machines should be used for important correspondence only and not for social
communications. Volunteers should request permission before using the fax machine.
DREAM volunteers are prohibited from using office phones for personal calls. DREAM
provides volunteers with one cell phone and is not responsible for replacing phones if lost
or stolen (please note this may not apply to DREAM fellowship volunteers). DREAM
expects cell phones to be returned or reimbursed for lost/stolen (2000 RD) cell
phones at end of service.
SAFETY AND SECURITY PROCEDURES
SAFETY AND SECURITY FAQS
Is there a risk that valuables will be stolen?
Unfortunately, there is a link between poverty and crime; when working in a developing
country theft is always a risk. Therefore it is not advisable to bring anything down that is
irreplaceable, since there is always an inherent risk in traveling with such items. Past
volunteers have experienced incidents of theft and robbery, including stolen computers.
DREAM volunteers should only bring such property and cash with them as is
necessary to maintain the modest standard of living expected of DREAM volunteers.
Given the substantial risk of theft and difficulty safeguarding property overseas, DREAM
volunteers should not bring excess cash, or expensive valuable items. If volunteers wish
to bring valuables, DREAM suggests that everyone should take precautions in storing
belongings in a secure manner.
What do I do if a loss occurs?
Report it to the police immediately and obtain a police report with a full description
of the crime and what was taken. Obtaining a police report in the DR may require
persistence, but if a volunteer is planning on making an insurance claim then a police
report is required. Volunteers must also report the incident immediately to the
Director of Dominican Operations or other DREAM staff member. The DREAM
Project is not an insurer of personal property or cash and does not replace or reimburse
property or cash losses. It is suggested that volunteers seek personal property insurance
for valuable items. Volunteers are personally responsible for safeguarding their
personal property, DREAM property in volunteer’s possession, living stipends and
Important: Volunteers must immediately report to the DREAM Project all loss of
identity cards, passports, or other identification. Volunteers should also immediately
cancel credit card or ATM cards. Volunteers should carry the branch number of
their card since 800 numbers often do not work in the DR.
Are there any general safety concerns I should be worried about? Is there security
where I will be placed?
„Stay alert, be safe and think about decisions‟ are good guidelines no matter where you
live. There is a 24-hour security guard located at Residencia Dominicana and DREAM
always looks for safe neighborhoods and families when placing volunteers in home-stays.
This does not, however, mean that volunteers should not take precautions. DREAM
encourages DREAM volunteers to spend a portion of their settling-in stipend in locks and
other safety devices for their houses and have a neighbor keep an eye on their homes.
Where should I store my valuables?
The DREAM Project recommends opening a security box at a local bank or Residencia;
however, volunteers must understand that availability will depend on bank hours of
1. Successful community integration is the single most important strategy for
maintaining volunteer safety and security.
2. Know the “rules of the game” and the context (cultural, religious, sexual,
economic, etc) in the communities where the volunteers reside
3. Being safe requires vigilance on the volunteer‟s part
4. Never walk alone late at night. This is never a good idea no matter what city
you live in. Note: It is not advisable to walk alone or even in small groups on the
beach in unpopulated and unlit areas, especially if coming home from bars. If you
are walking in ProCab past 10 pm at night, DREAM requires all volunteers
to take a cab.
5. Open communication with DREAM staff is essential- if you are unsure- ASK!
6. Most incidents that occur are the same incidents that are discussed in
training (i.e. I was walking home alone on the beach when…). Read and
listen to the guidelines- they are in place for a reason.
7. You are the number one person responsible for your safety.
8. Perception is reality- if you are dressed up for a night out on the town chances are
you will be perceived as a vulnerable target (a.k.a. a rich tourist who has been
9. If there is ever a confusing situation or a situation in which it appears a fight
is about to break out—WALK AWAY. Volunteers who become involved in
one of these situations put themselves in danger of immediate harm. Even if they
are just trying to help out, they can end up being blamed or otherwise implicated.
Please do not play the role of problem solver-it is always best not to be involved!
10. Do not invite people you do not know back to your house. People can seem
very friendly and charming- remember not all burglars carry a knife; however,
there have been incidents of robbery in which the burglar was actually an invited
guest. Always keep in mind how long you have known someone and how well
you know him/her before extending an invitation.
Always call the DREAM Project to inform the office of your status. This applies
when you return from vacation, an emergency, when there is a civil disturbance,
after an earthquake, in short, any occurrence where your safety can be in question.
Emergency Coordinator: 809-757-7277
DREAM Emergency Coordinator is Jon Wunderlich, Director of Dominican Operations.
He should be the first contact person in case of an emergency (medical, natural disaster,
or any other emergency). Jon is in charge of surveying options in case of emergencies
and ensuring all volunteers are accounted for in emergency situations. In the unlikely
event that you cannot reach Jon, please go down the staff contact list (i.e. Program
Director, Program Coordinator) until you reach a DREAM staff member. If in doubt, call
other DREAM volunteers, parents, friends, etc. to inform them of your status.
Natural Disasters or Civil Emergencies
1. Prior to Disaster or Emergency: Often there is several days advance warning of
a disaster or civil emergency (i.e. advance warning of a hurricane, flooding, or a
national strike). The ED will work with the Director of Dominican Operations to
put an emergency plan into effect. A meeting will be called to establish
anticipated locations of volunteers during emergency and plans for staying in
touch. DREAM will do its best to come up with the safest plan of action and will
seek advice from organizations such as Red Cross and Peace Corps; however, no
plan is fool-proof and if any volunteer feels his/her safety is at risk and
uncomfortable with the situation he/she is free to leave the country. The
DREAM Project is not liable for any harm that may come to a volunteer
during a natural disaster or emergency situation.
2. Emergency Notification During and Immediately After Disaster: The
DREAM Project needs to know the health, safety, and well being of volunteers in
the disaster/emergency area as soon as possible. DREAM Project wants to ensure
the safety of our volunteers. DREAM wants to be prepared to respond to inquiries
from relatives and friends. DREAM prefers to have a central location for all
volunteers to gather during disasters, but if a volunteer finds themselves isolated
during the disaster, contact the DREAM staff immediately to give your status.
3. Emergency Relief: The Director of Dominican Operations will be responsible for
ensuring the status of all volunteers and will be on call for volunteers who need
DREAM Volunteer Requirements
1. Make sure the DREAM office has updated contact information
2. Make sure that the Director of Dominican Operations knows how to get in touch
with you and that you know how to get in touch with the Director of Dominican
3. In emergency situations, keep your cell phone on and charged at all times
4. Identify a neighbor or volunteer who will assume responsibility for notifying the
DREAM project in case you cannot.
5. Memorize the Director of Dominican Operations‟ phone number
6. Plan on how you will contact the DREAM project if phones are not working (Is
there a neighbor with a phone near? Grocery store? Etc.)
When the first report of a potential hurricane comes, DREAM volunteers always have
the option of leaving the country. If a volunteer decides to stay, DREAM advises the
volunteer to keep informed by radio and stay in contact with the DREAM office.
The hurricane season for the Caribbean is June through November. The DR was hit hard
by two hurricanes in the recent past: Hurricane George in 1998 and Hurricane David in
1976. In order to be better prepared we ask our volunteers to inform themselves on
emergency procedures taken from the Peace Corps Manual.
If it appears as if there will be a hurricane in 24 hours, volunteers should:
Contact DREAM office for information and instructions. If the office is closed
contact Director of Dominican Operations.
The Director of Dominican Operations may suggest a secure location for
volunteers to meet. Your own house may not be the best place to be during a
storm. Alternatives could include cement buildings, military facilities, hotels, or
even out-of-town locations, etc.)
Assure your own safety, which is your number one concern, by planning on
where to ride out the storm. Do not decide what you are going to do at last
minute- public transport stops running and shelters fill up. You may risk
your life by leaving this decision to the last moment.
Secure your house and belongings as best as possible.
Your decision should be based on where you will be the safest. In 150+mph winds flying
sheets of zinc are extremely dangerous. Do not remain near a river (even if riverbed is
dry) during or after the hurricane because flash flooding often has a quick onset. It is the
volunteer‟s choice to go to the DREAM suggested location or stay at home.
Walls, doors & roofing
Whether you stay in your house or not, you should secure anything that is loose in your
yard or house. Remove items from walls, and move furniture and other items away from
doors and windows. Reinforce loose doors, windows, and roofing; flying objects in the
heavy winds such as glass, zinc, roofing, etc. can cause damage or injury.
If possible put masking tape on glass windows. If you are not going to stay in your
house, hammer doors and windows shut. If you should stay home during a storm close
all windows and doors on the windward side (direction wind is blowing), but keep a
window or door open on the leeward side. As the storm begins to pass the wind shifts to
the opposite direction, reverse the process.
Food, Water & Supplies
Have food ready that does not require further preparation and have sufficient drinkable
water, batteries, candles, bandages, money, radio, and canned or dried foods. Stay calm.
Be prepared to face emergency situations as they arise.
Hurricanes typically last a few hours in a given locale. There may be lingering rainfall.
Flooding after hurricane passes often causes substantial damage and catches people off
guard. After the hurricane passes be careful as you walk or travel on transportation.
Watch for debris, fallen electrical lines, flooding, etc.
The Dominican Republic lies on a fault line but no major earthquakes have occurred here
for quite some time. If an earthquake does occur, it is usually best to stay inside, away
from anything that might fall on you. Extinguish stoves, lanterns, and anything else that
might cause a fire.
If you have a sturdy bed, table, or doorframe, you may wish to stay underneath it. Once
the earthquake has occurred, be prepared for future shocks. If you are within a half-mile
of the ocean, it is important that you go further inland, as tidal waves are possible threats.
After the quake notify DREAM ASAP and look out for your personal survival. DREAM
will provide instructions after it passes.
There have been instances in the DR of local and nationwide civil disorders, ranging
from strikes to unrest. Unless you feel personally threatened, the best course is usually to
stay at your home and maintain a low profile. DREAM volunteers are free to leave the
country at any point in which they feel their personal safety is threatened.
Volunteers should maintain an adequate supply of food and water in your house to be
able to survive a week without going out.
Other disasters- floods, landslides, chemical toxins, etc. - are usually quite localized. If
you find yourself threatened by or involved in such a disaster, look out for your own
personal safety and contact the DREAM office when possible.
Please note in emergency and crisis situations the DREAM Project will make every
effort possible to find you and make sure you are okay. This is why it is crucial to
have your personal contact information updated and on record in the DREAM
The Dream Office (DR) 809-571-0497
The DREAM office (NY) 607-257-1981 / 607-533-4656
Jonathan Wunderlich 809-757-7277
Sarah Ross 809-601-4441
Monica Simonetti 809-868-6309
Kim Hults 809-984-9939
Yajaira Lopez 809-713-5064
Patricia Suriel US 607-533-4719 DR 809-571-0401*
(* These are her home numbers and are reserved for serious emergencies only)
DREAM volunteers are expected to be DREAM Ambassadors at all times, but especially
when potential donors visit your site. DREAM staff will try to notify DREAM
volunteers in advance (as much as possible) if important visitors or potential donors are
scheduled for a site tour, but volunteers should always be prepared to play the role of a
guide. The person who is most informed about a site is the volunteer and hence, the
volunteer is often the best person to sell the program to an interested party. DREAM
relies on donors to fund the programs that the volunteers run, so it is in everyone‟s best
interest if volunteers are friendly and accommodating.
Every now and then an unauthorized visitor (a.k.a. a visitor not associated with DREAM)
might stop by the site for a tour. In order to respect children‟s privacy, DREAM
volunteers are asked to explain the DREAM Project policy regarding children‟s privacy
and safety and politely refer the visitor to the DREAM office and record their information
on a donor information form to be turned into the office (who they were, contact
information, what they were interested in, etc.). The volunteer should report any
unannounced visitors to the Program Director.
Animal Rights and Other Issues
“In many places, children are neglected, but animals are cared for and pampered.
Animals are given special food and special things. I love dogs myself very much, but still
I cannot bear seeing a dog given the place of a child.” Mother Teresa
Volunteers are reminded that in visiting a developing country and entering a different
culture they may be exposed to numerous practices that can be personally offensive. In
the past, non-educational issues such as animal rights have occupied the time and concern
of our volunteers.
Volunteers are asked to keep cultural perspective in mind and realize that what may be
offensive in one culture is the way of life in another. This is not to say that there are not
many issues that need attention; however, the DREAM mission is education and our
volunteers are asked to prioritize and remain focused on our children. There is a huge
task in front of us and we cannot achieve our mission if we are spread too thin.
Before leaving DREAM, volunteers should have an exit interview with the
Volunteer Coordinator and Program Director.
The volunteers should provide the Volunteer Coordinator with a full evaluation
their project or program, recommendations and suggestions, and a brief
testimonial of their volunteer experience (to be gone over in detail)
The Volunteer Coordinator will provide the Executive Director with the departing
volunteer‟s address so that the volunteer may be placed on the appropriate
DREAM volunteer alumni mailing list.
DREAM volunteers interested in extending their service term should contact the
Executive Director. Scholarship funding and/or permanent positions may be
DREAM Accomplishments January 2004-2007
Programs & Community Education Empowerment
Served more than 2,000 students in ten schools and community centers affecting
the lives of over 10,000 people in nine different communities
Constructed seventeen classrooms, five libraries, six bathrooms, three equipped
computer laboratories, two community center buildings, one science laboratory,
one sports field and a 100-foot square foot pavilion
Successfully worked with professional architects to design new education center
as an in kind donation and completed construction of a 6000 square model foot
Solicited and distributed over $250,000 US worth of educational materials, books,
chairs and computers
Welcomed 20 fulltime yearlong volunteers, recruited over 300 part time
volunteers, and solicited over 50,000 volunteer hours for local communities
Administered over 2,000 eye exams and provided eyeglasses for all children
Recruited and developed ten service trips to work in five different communities in
Rio San Juan, Finca Alta Gracia, Batey Caraballo, Callejon de la Loma and Los
Successfully founded and implemented an annual summer camp program, which
has engaged over 400 at-risk youth in educational programs and brought over 100
international counselors to the community in three years.
Sponsored and led 15 educational excursions bringing 185 disadvantaged youth to
three cultural and anthropological museums, botanical gardens, mountain tops,
marine life parks, ocean shores and local fauna preserves
Implemented an Apprenticeship Program that placed over 30 youths in local
businesses to develop job skills
Organized a community of illiterate Haitian and Dominican women in Batey
Caraballo, near Montellano, with over 40 active members
Created a library at the Caraballo Batey and hired fulltime librarian
Opened a trilingual Montessori preschool at the Caraballo Batey allowing 60
children of sugar cane workers educational opportunity
Trained three Haitian and Dominican women in Montessori teaching methods
Organized an after-school program for over 50 teenagers in Batey Caraballo
Opened two preschool classes at the new DREAM Center with a total enrollment
of 60 students
Solicited and trained 10 DREAM Center Dominican staff members
Initiated a volunteer parent group consisting of 100 parent and community
Conducted two International Step by Step workshops with 40 Dominican
teachers, parents, and volunteers
Paired teacher-certified volunteers with Dominican teachers to develop model
classrooms and develop replicable curriculum at three public schools
Transformed an old house in Los Brazos into an adolescent cultural center
Transformed a school marshland into a vegetable garden, providing student
hands-on agricultural training and a sustainable income source for the school
Implemented a Sponsor a Class Program that has provided a higher standard of
education for 80 children in the community of Islabon
Taught music classes, including violin, and started an after school art program at
La Colonial Nueva
Initiated an after-school youth program for teenage students at Colonia Nueva
serving over 50 youth and assisted in creating a youth coalition in Los Brazos
consisting of 150 youth and community members
Trained two local youth in Grassroots Soccer (HIV/AIDS awareness)
Assisted in opening the Ruth Plaut Preschool for 30 children
Developed a preschool curriculum and daily plans
Designed an addendum to the School Curriculum emphasizing Health Awareness
and Hygiene Programs
Hosted Girl Scout camping weekend at Finca Alta Gracia for 80 national girl
scouts from around the country
Formed an historic public-private alliance with Open Society Institute‟s “Step by
Step” Program and the Dominican Secretary of Education
Joined with Dominican President Fernandez to create sustainable primary
education and achieve The Millennium Development Goals
Expanded resource base and expanded our Volunteer Fellowship Program by
working with several key foundations, universities, and organizations including
Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Cornell University and Columbia
University, the World Education Corps (WEC), Middlebury College and Oxford
Collaborated with graduate students from the Columbia University School of
International and Public Affairs to develop an evaluation of the DREAM Project
Attended and presented at the International Step by Step Conference in Bratislava
Successfully solicited two Peace Corps volunteers with the Caraballo Women‟s
Forged corporate partnerships with Latinos in Information Science And
Technology Association (LISTA), Visa International, Lehman Brothers and other
Developed a literacy assessment and metric system with Dr. Bernhard, Director of
the Masters Program Early Childhood Education at Ryerson University
Established a partnership with Batey Libertad Coalition and Grassroots Soccer to
expand sexual education and HIV/AIDS awareness curriculum
Formed a partnership with Dominican Girl Scout Association
Board of Directors and Advisory Board
Expanded our Executive Board to include New York State Assemblyman Adriano
Espaillat; Rose Rodriguez, senior advisor to New York Senator Hillary Clinton;
and Raymond Jay Dunn, Managing Director of Latin Healthcare Fund.
Welcomed Ibra Morales, President of Telemundo, to our Advisory Board
WHO MAKES UP THE DREAM PROJECT
Honorary Chair: Julia Alvarez
Julia, a native of the Dominican Republic, is a writer-in residence at Middlebury College.
Her books, found at www.alvarezjulia.com, include How the Garcia Girls Lost their
Accents, In the Time of the Butterflies, and In the Name of Salomé. In the Time of the
Butterflies was a finalist for the National Book Award and was made into a movie in
2001. Julia‟s husband, Bill, hails from the Midwest. He is an ophthalmologist by trade
but is also a gardener, chef, and cookbook author. Julia and Bill live in Vermont but
maintain close ties to her homeland through Alta Gracia, their organic coffee farm, which
was established to demonstrate the ideas and principles of sustainable living.
President: Michel Zaleski
Michel Zaleski is a founding member and current President of the DREAM Project. He is
an investor in companies and real estate, resides in New York City. He also has a home in
Cabarete and is one of the founders of the DREAM Project. Over the last 20 years, he has
served on the Board of Directors of 16 companies including six publicly traded
companies. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, an Overseer of
Dartmouth College's Thayer School of Engineering and a Trustee of an affiliate of the
Museum of Modern Art: P.S. 1 Institute of Contemporary Art. Michel is a graduate of
Dartmouth College and its engineering school and holds a Masters degree from MIT.
Executive Board Member: Larry Beaulaurier
Mr. Beaulaurier is best known for his success as a fundraiser and manager of the
Financial Development, Alumni, Publications and public relations aspects of Whitman
College, which he served as Vice President. In his 32 years in management of those
activities with staff and alumni volunteers, the College attracted more than $120,000,000
in gifts and grants, which resulted in the best-financed college in the Pacific Northwest.
Mr. Beaulaurier graduated Gonzaga University with a degree in Economics. Since the
early 1990s he has served as a consultant to several institutions in the US and abroad.
He served two terms on the National Council for the Advancement and Support of
Education (CASE). In recent years he has consulted for 2 US institutions of higher
learning and education overseas; successfully fundraising in Sao Paulo, Brazil for
Associacao Escola Graduada De Sao Paulo and in Debrecen Hungary under International
Executive Service Corps of Stamford, CN, for Debreceni Agrartudomanyi Egyetem. He
presently serves on the boards of the Northwest China Council and the Walla Walla
Historical Society and Museum.
Executive Board Member: Deborah Harmon Bouknight
Deborah Harmon Bouknight was born in Rochester, NY. As a young adult she moved to
Washington DC and taught in Fairfax County Public Schools for eight years, developing
a life-long interest in educational issues. Over the years, Debby has supported a number
of school related charities as a volunteer and donor, including serving as chairman of the
restructuring committee of a DC public elementary school. Debby is married to Lon
Bouknight, who was chairman of Steptoe & Johnson, a highly regarded law firm based in
Washington, DC. Debby moved to Los Angeles, California in 2005 when her husband
accepted a position as executive vice president and general counsel of Edison
Executive Board Member: Raymond “Jay” Dunn
Raymond (Jay) Dunn is co-founder and Managing Director of the Latin Healthcare Fund
(LHF), a US-based investment group that invests in private healthcare companies in Latin
America. LHF has over US$50 million invested, principally in Brazil, Chile, and Mexico.
Prior to founding LHF, Mr. Dunn was Senior Investment Officer at the Global
Environment Fund where he managed the investment program for Latin America. He has
also served on company Boards in Argentina, Chile, Peru and Colombia.
Mr. Dunn currently serves on the Boards of Farmacias Ahumada S.A., the largest
pharmacy chain in Latin America, and Integramedica S.A. - both in Chile. He also serves
on the Board of Rostro de Cristo, an educational and missionary organization based in
Duran, Ecuador that offers short-term retreats and yearlong volunteer service
opportunities. Finally, Mr. Dunn is founder and Director of the Latin American
Healthcare Credit Initiative (LAHCI), which provides long-term capital (equity or low-
cost loans), to medical clinics and health-related projects in Latin America for the
purchase of equipment and medicine.
Mr. Dunn holds an MA (with distinction) in Latin American Studies and International
Economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies
(SAIS) and a BA (magna cum laude) from Middlebury College.
Executive Board Member: Adriano Espaillat
Adriano Espaillat, in 1996, became the first Dominican-American elected to a State
House in the United States. He represents the 72nd Assembly District in Upper
Manhattan. He was recently appointed by New York State Assembly Speaker Silver to
Chair the New York State Task Force on New Americans.
Espaillat has an outstanding record as a community activist and supporter of issues that
affect the disadvantaged, working people, families, and that protect economic
development and neighborhood revitalization. He believes that an effective leader must
have the compassion to feel for our problems and the leadership to provide viable
solutions. He is a graduate of Queens College and has completed postgraduate work in
Public Administration at New York University.
Executive Board Member: Judy Greenberg
Judy Greenberg is a founding member of the DREAM Project. Judy is a licensed
psychologist living in Brattleboro, Vermont. She has traveled extensively in Central and
South America. Her work includes consulting to the Farm and Wilderness Camps in
Plymouth, Vermont about the mental health of children and adolescents. She is also the
clinical consultant to Vermont Academy, a boarding secondary school. Currently, she is a
staff therapist at Marlboro College in Marlboro, Vermont.
Executive Board Member: Fabio J. Guzman
Fabio J. Guzman is the managing partner of the Guzman Ariza law firm and active
contributor to educational philanthropy throughout the Dominican Republic. Originally
from San Francisco de Macoris, Mr. Guzman resides in Santiago. He is a Trustee of
Universidad Catolica Nordestana and has created various scholarship programs to help
needy students attend different Universities. Mr. Guzman did his secondary studies at St.
Andrew's College in Ontario, Canada and his university studies at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) in the US where he received a BS in 1973. After some
years working in the private sector, Mr. Guzman graduated at the top of his class at the
Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra. Mr. Guzman was a professor of Civil Law and
Dean of the Faculty at the Universidad Catolica Nordestana Law Faculty from 1981 until
1991. In 1987, he was elected Judge of the Disciplinary Committee of the College of
Dominican Attorneys. He is the author of a book on civil procedure (El Procedimiento en
Defecto en Materia Civil y Comercial).
Executive Board Member: William S. Friedman
William S. Friedman is President and Chief Executive Officer of Tarragon Realty
Investors, Inc. tarragonrealty.com. (NASDAQ:TARR) and has more than 30 years of
experience in the real estate and financial services industries. Since assuming full
responsibility for Tarragon in 1992, total assets and share price have grown more than
Mr. Friedman is a graduate of Brandeis University and Columbia University School of
Law. From 1965 to 1967 he and his wife, Lucy, were Peace Corps volunteers in the
Dominican Republic. Mr. Friedman has lectured on real estate development and finance
to graduate students at Columbia University's School of Architecture and Urban Affairs,
Pace University and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business.
Executive Board Member: Rose E. Rodriguez
Rose E. Rodriguez is Senior Advisor and Director of Constituent Affairs to Senator
Hillary Rodham Clinton. As Director of the Office of Constituent Affairs she manages
the day-to-day operations for responding to constituents seeking government assistance
from the Senator. She also advises the Senator on community outreach, particularly
within the Hispanic community.
Growing up as a young Puerto Rican Woman in the South Bronx, Ms. Rodriguez
witnessed firsthand a community in disarray surrounded by poverty, drugs, and crime, the
homeless, dilapidated buildings and unsanitary living conditions. It was this upbringing
that inspired Ms. Rodriguez to pursue a road of public service with the vision of
improving the "quality of life" of her hometown community.
Ms. Rodriguez has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, especially
within the Hispanic community. She holds a bachelor's degree from Fordham University
in business administration and finance, a law degree from Fordham University School of
Law and a master's degree in Political Management from Baruch College.
Executive Director: Patricia Thorndike Suriel
Patricia Thorndike Suriel, one of the founders of the DREAM Project, is a native of
Rochester, New York. She has 20 years of successful experience as manager and owner
of two small businesses in the tourism industry in the U.S. and the Dominican Republic.
She is a certified pre-school director with 12 years of experience teaching and directing
preschool programs in Colorado's Rocky Mountains.
Tricia was General Manager of Kinderhut, a children's ski school in Breckenridge,
Colorado. She later purchased this company with two other partners and in 1993 she sold
her share of Kinderhut and moved to the Dominican Republic. She chose to make the
Dominican Republic her home after years of traveling -- mostly by bike, to 44 countries
on 6 continents. The allure of this gracious island nation and its opportunities for
multicultural living led her to establish Iguana Mama, a mountain biking and adventure
tour company in the North Coast town of Cabarete. Iguana Mama grew quickly to
achieve world-class adventure tour company status. Its tours and projects have been
highlighted in articles in the New York Times, London Times, National Geographic
Adventure, TV documentaries, and hundreds of other media outlets.
Bilingual in English and Spanish, Tricia also established strong ties to the local
community and began her work in community service. At the same time, she began
promoting international awareness of the DR by inviting and working with dozens of
journalists from many countries. She sold Iguana Mama in the spring of 2002, continuing
as a consultant for the new owners. With homes in Cabarete and Ithaca, New York, Tricia
and her family remain firmly planted in both cultures and communities.
Advisory Board Member: Robert Baca
Robert, a 2004 Dartmouth College Alumnus and former DREAM volunteer and Program
Coordinator, was awarded a post-graduate Lombard Fellowship in order to work with
DREAM. Originally from Los Angeles, California his service experiences have taken
him to the DR and Nicaragua. He currently is a second year law student at the University
of Chicago Law School.
Advisory Board Member: S. Ted Foster
Ted Foster is the Director of Puerto Plata International Airport for Vancouver Airport
Services, managing partners of Aerodom. Previously, Ted worked eleven years with
Ogden Aviation, purchased by Menzies Aviation posted as Vice President Latin
America/Caribbean based in Miami and managed operations in Rio, Sao Paulo, Lima,
Caracas, St. Marten, Miami and Panama. Ted started the Puerto Plata operation in 1995
and Santo Domingo in 2005 and in 2005 after retiring from Menzies to become Director
of Puerto Plata International Airport.
Advisory Board Member: Tim Hall (Honorary Canadian Consul)
Tim Hall represents Canada on the north coast as Canadian Honorary Consul.
He is a native of Montreal living in Puerto Plata since 1983. He is a founding partner of
Puerto Plata's weekly El Faro newspaper, publishes The POP Report online, owns and
operates a popular restaurant in Puerto Plata.
Advisory Board Member: Sheila Harmon
Sheila Harmon has wide experience in education, as an elementary and high school
teacher, a reading clinician at Hofstra University, and director of Language Arts at a
private school. In addition, Shelia has taught as an adjunct professor at Adelphi
University and Long Island University at the graduate level. She holds certification in the
areas of reading, learning disabilities, and administration. She has worked as a consultant,
training teachers in numerous districts in New York State. During several visits to the
Dominican Republic, Sheila and Ed have brought a tremendous amount of educational
supplies for the schools and will be instrumental in initiating a new pilot reading program
Advisory Board Member: Bill Kirkman
Bill Kirkman is the developer and owner of Sea Horse Ranch, a Founding Ambassador of
DREAM, and serves as the North Coast U.S. Consular Agent. Bill came to the
Dominican Republic to work for Citibank.
Advisory Board Member: Kevin P. Manning
Kevin P. Manning is the current President of the American Chamber of Commerce. He
is the Advisor to the President of AES Dominicana, assists AES management in the
recent reformation of their electrical generation and distribution investments, a project in
the Dominican Republic with a budget exceeding US$800 million. A leader in corporate
social responsibility, Mr. Manning received the 2002 Distinguished American Citizen
Award from the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo in recognition of his efforts on behalf
of the Dominican people. Active in educational support and school sponsorship
programs, Mr. Manning currently serves on the Board of the Instituto Cultural
Domincano-Americano and is Vice President of the American Chamber of Commerce in
Santo Domingo. Mr. Manning received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in
accounting and finance from Manhattan College, New York in 1957.
Advisory Board Member: Robert Martel (Business Consultant)
Mr. Martell joined the Board in May 2004. He serves as a Business Consultant to the
DREAM Project. As a community homeowner and philanthropist, Mr. Martell has been
instrumental in recruiting new donors. Along with his work with DREAM, he has also
built a community church in El Choco. Mr. Martell has owned the Garden Factory, one of
the largest garden stores on the east coast, in Rochester, New York since 1974.
Advisory Board Member: Ibra Morales
Ibra Morales‟ television industry experience spans the course of over three decades. He
joined Telemundo in July 2002, as President of Telemundo Television Stations at the
Telemundo headquarters in Hialeah, Florida. Ibra also served as Senior Vice President of
Sales for Hearst-Argyle during the merger of Hearst Broadcaster and Argyle Television.
He was integral in this role in merging the two cultures to maximize revenues and
transition the newly formed organization into a new broadcast company.
Advisory Board Member: Elizabeth Thorndike (Ph.D., Nonprofit Consultant)
Liz Thorndike has worked for over 30 years in the nonprofit environmental community
and in public policy appointments under three New York governors. She founded the
Center for Environmental Information in Rochester, NY and served as executive director
for 18 years. She served as a commissioner of the NYS Adirondack Park Agency for over
15 years, chairing the Park Policy and Planning committee which had oversight of the
Agency's responsibilities for local planning, public lands, zoning map amendments, and
long range park policy. Liz Thorndike also served for 10 years as a member of Governor
Mario Cuomo's bi-partisan Environmental Advisory Board. She is currently a member of
the board of directors of the NYS Energy Research and Development Authority
(NYSERDA) and president of the Adirondack Research Consortium.
Advisory Board Member: Michele Wucker (World Policy Institute)
Michele Wucker is author of Lockout: Why America Keeps Getting Immigration Wrong
When Our Prosperity Depends on Getting It Right (Public Affairs, May 2006) and Why
the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola (Hill & Wang,
1999/2000). Ms. Wucker lectures frequently about immigration, international economics
Formerly Latin America bureau chief for International Financing Review, she has written
for many U.S. and international publications including The American Prospect, America
Economia, Folha de Sao Paulo (Brazil), Guardian Unlimited (UK), Harper‟s,
Internationale Politik (Germany), Newsday, The New York Times Book Review, The
Scotsman (UK), Valor Economico (Brazil), The Washington Post, The Wall Street
Journal, and World Policy Journal. Ms. Wucker has been a source for major U.S. and
international media including The New York Times, Boston Globe, Reuters, CNN,
CNBC, C-Span Book TV, ABC News, National Public Radio and Public Radio
International. She is a graduate of Rice University and of Columbia University's School
of International and Public Affairs.
As a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute of The New School, she specializes in
Immigration and Immigrant Civic Participation; Noncitizen Voting Rights; Migrant
Worker Remittances; Immigration and National Security; Economic Impact of
Immigration Policy; Citizenship; Overseas Voting Rights; Latin American Economies,
Politics, and Culture, especially Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Argentina; International
Debt Crisis; and Globalization.
Director of Dominican Operations: Jonathan Wunderlich
Jon has been living overseas for the last ten years working as a Teacher and Business
Consultant while giving seminars on Intercultural Communication, Business
Negotiations, and Business Presentations. Jon was a professor at UCES in Argentina and
teacher for the British Consul. A graduate of Ithaca College with degrees in Literature
and Writing, Jon has lived in Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, and Germany. Originally a
DREAM volunteer, he began working with DREAM fulltime in June 2004.
Program Director: Sarah Ross
A graduate of Michigan State University with a Masters in Curriculum and Teaching,
Sarah worked three years working in Wyoming, Michigan teaching English as a Second
Language to 6th -11th graders. Before this she worked at PUCMM University in Santiago,
Dominican Republic as the Program Coordinator of CIEE: Council on International
Educational Exchange. Sarah has worked for the DREAM Project for three years and has
a strong passion for children.
Volunteer Coordinator: Monica Simonetti
Before coming to DREAM, Monica worked as both a translator and an outreach support
counselor for the United Nations in the World Food Program. In this position she
educated HIV positive woman regarding their, as well as their children's, health and
nutrition. Monica lived in Santo Domingo for two years before moving to Cabarete.
Upon moving to Cabarete, Monica volunteered with DREAM supporting a first grade
classroom at the Colonia Nueva School and stayed on to become DREAM Volunteer
Program Coordinator: Kim Hults
After graduating from Middlebury College in 2006 with a B.A. in Spanish & American
Civiliation, Kim came down to volunteer for DREAM full-time through the support of
the World Leadership Corps. Kim spent one year working at the Colonia Nueva and
DREAM Center sites, and was so inspired and fulfilled by her work with the community
that she decided to stay on for another year. This year, Kim returns as a staff member,
and will be working largely with visiting student groups and full-time volunteers.
Receptionist: Yajaira Lopez
Yajaira Lopez, the DREAM Project Office Receptionist, was born and grew up in the
neighboring town of Sabaneta, located on the North Coast. Yajaira joined DREAM in the
fall of 2005. Yajaira currently graduated high school and will attend university night
classes this fall while continuing to work for the DREAM Project to support her
U.S. Office Manager: Emily MacDowell
Emily MacDowell, a native of Vermont, graduated from Ithaca College in 2006
with a B.A. in writing and anthropology. She has studied abroad in Merida,
Mexico, studied anthropology in Hawaii, interned at the Smithsonian's Museum
of the American Indian, and spent a semester in Washington DC interning in
the research department of National Geographic Magazine. She is also a
freelance writer for Finger Lakes Productions International, and is the
part-time coordinator of the nonprofit Children of Rural Africa. She has
been with the DREAM Project since December of 2007.
DREAM STAFF EMERGENCY CONTACT
The Dream Office
DR: Plaza el Patio, Tienda J US: PO Box 4136
Cabarete, Puerto Plata Ithaca, NY 14852
Tel: 809-571-0497; Fax 809-571-9551 Tel: 607-257-1981; Fax 607-257-1937
Director of Dominican Operations
Coconut Grove # 23
Vista del Caribe
Plaza el Patio
Apartment # 2, Cabarete
Callejon de la Loma, Cabarete
Villa Progreso (At the entrance of “The Semillero”)
Sabaneta de Yasica
Home: (809) 739-0336 or 739-0387
Cell phone: (809) 713-5064
Callejón de la Escuela (near Puerto Cabarete)
U.S. Office Manager
The DREAM Project
P.O. Box 4136
Ithaca, NY 14852
Executive Director* (Please note the ED splits her time between NY & Cabarete)
US: 30 Lakeshore Rd DR: 28 Bahia De Arena
Lansing, NY 14882 Calle Principal
607-533-4719 Cabarete, Puerto Plata
*Please note as these are the Executive Director‟s personal residences, they should be
reserved for emergencies only.
APPENDIX IV FORMS
STANDARDS OF CONDUCT/REASONS FOR DISMISSAL
I have read the above Standard of Conduct and Reasons for Dismissal and understand the
importance of adopting these guidelines in my personal and professional life while
residing and volunteering in communities where DREAM Project operates programs.
Regardless of actual volunteer hours, I understand that I am a fulltime ambassador for
DREAM Project and I understand the responsibility of representing DREAM in a
positive manner both inside and outside of school. I understand that prior to the end of
my volunteer term, I am subject to suspension by the program coordinator and removal
by the Executive Director for violation of DREAM Project‟s policies and principles.
Please note on this form any potential conflicts of interest, or any other comments you
wish to make on the policies addressed in this document, before signing and returning to
the Program or Executive Director.
Volunteer Name (Please Print) Volunteer Signature
Date DREAM Director Signature
In traveling to a developing nations many things can go wrong; therefore DREAM
requires that all volunteers read through and sign the contract below to release DREAM
of any liabity in the event an accident would occur.
Release of Liability and Assumption of all Risks Agreement
Contract between DREAM Project and ___________________
(NAME of VOLUNTEER)
Contract Date: start: ______________ end: ________________
I understand that the DREAM Project is an USA-based non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization, and that by
becoming a volunteer I will serve as an ambassador for the DREAM Project.
I am aware that travel and volunteering to work in a developing country like the Dominican Republic,
whether in civilized or remote areas and whether the travel to or from is by plane, auto, boat, bus, or other
transport, or on foot, bicycle, horseback, raft, or other means, contains inherent risks of illness, injury or
death, which may be caused by negligence of others. I also acknowledge that I may be beset by physical or
emotional exertion or stress for which I am unprepared, that I may consume unfamiliar or upsetting foods
or beverages, or experience forces of nature and/or other agencies known or unknown. I acknowledge that
part of the enjoyment and excitement of travel and volunteering is derived from the risks incurred by
activity beyond the accepted safety of my everyday life, and that the enjoyment and excitement derived
from these inherent risks is part of the reason for my participation. I recognize that these risks may be
present before, during and after the trip in which I am participating under the arrangements of the
Dominican Republic Education & Mentoring Project, Inc. (the “DREAM Project”) and its associates. I am
aware that medical services or facilities may not be readily available during some or all of the time of the
trip, and I clearly understand that the DREAM Project and its operators will have no liability regarding the
adequacy of any medical care, equipment, supplies or evacuation arrangements that may be provided.
I also understand that the DREAM Project reserves the right to refuse any person it judges to be incapable of
meeting the rigors and requirements of participating in the activities of the trip. In consideration of the right to
participate in the volunteering activities arranged for me by the DREAM Project, I do hereby assume all risks
of bodily injury, ill ness, death, emotional trauma, property damage, or theft, and release the DREAM Project
and its agents and associates from all actions, claims or demands for damages resulting from my participation
in the trip. This "Release of Liability and Assumption of all Risks Agreement" is entered into on behalf of all
members of my family, including any Minors accompanying me. It is also binding upon my heirs,
administrators, executors, legal representatives and assigns. I have been given the advice to consult with my
own lawyer regarding this Release of Liability and Assumption of all Risks Agreement, and I have been
given the opportunity to do so. I have carefully read this agreement and fully understand its contents. I am
aware that it is a release of liability and a contract between the DREAM Project and me, and I sign it of my
own free will.
(Print Full Name) (Signature of volunteer)
Date: (Signature for DREAM)
In case of an emergency, DREAM volunteers are responsible for providing their own insurance.
It is a policy of the DREAM Project that all volunteers are insured during the term of their
commitment. Please include the following form to the DREAM Project with your application.
All information you provide is confidential is not shared with other volunteers.
Name: ________________________________ Date: __________________
Home Phone: Email: ________________________
Birth Date: Age: ______________
Level of Spanish/Spanish Experience:
Parent or Guardian‟s Name: _________________________________________
Home Phone: Work Phone: Cell Phone:
TWO EMERGENCY CONTACTS
Phone Number: __________________________________________________
Phone number: ____________________________________________________
List all medications that you are taking now: ___________________________________
Have you had any major illnesses or surgeries in the past five years?
If yes please give the dates and please explain.
Do you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse, mental illness, or eating disorders?___________
If yes please give the dates and please explain.
Is there anything else that might affect your ability to live and work in a developing country?
Please keep in mind that medical facilities are inferior to those you may be used to and may not
be able to provide you with regularly needed services.
Please list any dietary, insect or, medical concerns:
Please provide a copy of the health insurance card to the DREAM Project along with a copy of
passport, (or drivers license), and birth certificate. (Please attach to form)
I (Print Name)________________________________ affirm that I am in good sound health and
in case of accident or illness I am covered by *(Health Insurance
Provider). I certify that my health insurance provides international coverage for outpatient and
inpatient medical care; (coverage for emergency care only does not meet this requirement);
covers pre-existing conditions; and will remain in force as long as I am volunteering or working
for the DREAM Project.
*If you have not yet purchased your international health insurance, please state –to be provided- . Health
Insurance information must be provided, at the latest, during the first day of Orientation.