October 31, 2013
I had the privilege of spending a week volunteering with Project Esperanza last March with a group of students from my university. I was impressed by how punctual, approachable and helpful Caitlin was during the planning and organizing of our trip. She was organized, answered all of my questions and really went the extra mile to ensure we had a great and meaningful service trip. Upon arriving we were immediately greeted by smiles and open arms, as it seemed the majority of the community had come to welcome us. Our experience was truly unique as we were able to work in the school, the fair trade jewelry shop, and around the yard planting a garden and constructing a compost toilet and hand washing station. I loved ever minute of each day I worked with Project Esperanza and the week seemed to fly by. When we weren’t working we were able to play baseball and cards with the children, get our hair braided and eat amazing empanadas, as we were living, and able to engage, with the community. Being able to have so many interactions with the community really allowed us to see the impact we had in one week, and opened our eyes to what continuous volunteer work and sponsorships could do for this community. I wish we could have stayed longer because this really was an amazing trip and this organization is truly making a much-needed difference in the community. I have so much admiration and respect for Caitlin, as she has devoted her life to this mission. I remember on our last day being in the school and listening to some of the teachers and students talk. They thanked God for sending Caitlin to them and for the volunteers that came because of her work and vision. Leaving the Dominican Republic was such a bittersweet feeling. I felt good about volunteering, but my heart was breaking leaving the people we had grown close to over the week. Needless to say, I know my time with Project Esperanza is not over and I fully intend to go back. I have done many international service trips and I especially respect Project Esperanza because you know exactly what is needed and expected of you, and you know exactly where your money is going when you make a donation. Caitlin is an advocate for so many who need help and she truly has created something inspirational and incredible with Project Esperanza. I think this is a great organization and would absolutely recommend it to anyone who wants to do meaningful service work.
Would you volunteer for this group again?
For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?
Did the organization use your time wisely?
Would you recommend this group to a friend?
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?