Become A Summer Camp Counselor
Volunteer with us (Short-term)
Yspaniola is a non-profit organization working to increase access to quality education for a marginalized community of Dominicans and Haitians in the Dominican Republic’s Cibao region. Working in Batey Libertad since 2005, we manage a University Scholarship Program that makes higher education attainable for young people in the batey and operate a learning center that works to address the academic and social development challenges faced by children aged 4 – 17. In addition, we promote global citizenship and advocacy by coordinating service-learning trips for international high school and college students to learn about the history of the island and serve the Batey Libertad community.
Yspaniola is seeking volunteers to support our 2020 Batey Libertad Summer Camp. Every summer, Yspaniola supports the Batey Libertad community as they organize a two-week camp catered to youth ages 4 – 16. During camp, youth participate in a number of different guided activities including art, sports, social studies, music, and interactive games, culminating in an all-camp celebration.
Camp volunteers will act as camp counselors or project leaders and work side by side with local volunteers and Yspaniola staff. They will be assigned to a specific age group or be responsible for leading a daily activity with local volunteers. In addition, they will support Yspaniola staff with camp logistics and general organization. During the entirety of their stay, camp counselors will live with a local family. The volunteer experience will also include a paid trip to the beach and other excursions around the island, as well as afternoon volunteer activities such as Spanish/Creole class, dance class, movie night, etc.
-Experience teaching or working with children
-Conversational Spanish and/or Creole skills (fluent speakers are preferred)
-Must be 17 or older
-Passionate about educational equity
-Comfortable living in new environments and interacting with diverse populations
-High-energy, enthusiastic, and flexible
-Lead a camp activity or class as a camp counselor
-Collaborate with local volunteers and Yspaniola staff
-Willing to stay for the duration of summer camp
-Willing to take on a leadership role in a small nonprofit setting
-Able to complete a two-week homestay in Batey Libertad
-Able to stand, walk, and be active for long periods of time
-Able to work in the hot and sunny local climate
The fee for participation is $1,500 and includes all in-country meals, homestays, in-country excursions, as well as airport pickup and drop-off to Santiago airport (STI, Aeropuerto Internacional del Cibao). Individuals can fundraise up to half of this amount ($750) through Yspaniola’s Crowdrise page if they do so by June 1. Volunteers will be expected to cover the cost of their own flights. Applications are due by April 10, 2020 at 5PM EST.
- Customized and comprehensive preschool evaluations
- Customized phonics evaluations
- The Reading A to Z System, which enables us to track student reading growth over time
What’s Summer Camp all about?
You’ll be working alongside dedicated counselors from the community, young adults just like you! You will assist in classroom management, arts and craft activities, co-teaching, and most importantly, keeping the kids engaged and enthusiastic each day! Along the way, you’ll build meaningful relationships with children, teachers, and parents alike.
☀︎ Brighter Futures
Schools in the Dominican Republic operate on a half day schedule. Yspaniola fills the gaps in educational opportunity by providing supplementary, small-group instruction when children are not in school. We continue this commitment to learning in the summer, when children are most at risk of regressing in their reading skills and cognitive development.
You’ll be living and breathing the energy of Batey Libertad, a dynamic community comprised of Dominicans, Haitians, and Dominicans of Haitian descent. For the duration of camp you will participate in a home stay with a local family and integrate into their daily life. In the process, you’ll learn about the unique cultures, people, and challenges that coexist in this vibrant place.
When Camp activities conclude for the day, you’ll have the opportunity to hone your Spanish skills, dabble in Haitian Creole classes, practice traditional dances like bachata and kompa, and participate in discussions with members of our Youth Committee! You’ll come away with a newfound understanding of community development and cross-cultural communication – all while having the time of your life!