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Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Educational Services, International, International Migration & Refugee Issues, Residential Care & Adult Day Programs

Mission: The mission of Project Esperanza is to create positive change in the city of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic and in the New River Valley of Virginia. We do this by uniting the two communities in mutual support while providing innovative educational and social efforts in both. In the Dominican Republic we work with the Haitian refugee population through providing a home for boys and supporting several grassroot schools. In the U.S. we run an after-school program and engage our community in social awareness and involvement.

Results: Since 2007 we have maintained two grassroots schools as well as a group home and school for kids from the streets. This past year (2012) we have worked hard to improve our international volunteer program and small business endeavors in order to create sustainability for our schools and group home over the long run.

Target demographics: Haitian immigrant youth and adults in the Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic area.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 700

Geographic areas served: Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Programs: Home and School for Haitian street kids living and working in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic 2 Grassroots Schools which educate Haitian immigrant children who face many difficulties attending school otherwise. International Volunteer program which leads hundreds of expats to serve in the area and receive great insight into the societal problems and successful solutions. Small business endeavors that employ locals who were without work otherwise and raise to support our other service programs.

Community Stories

62 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My week volunteering with Project Esperanza was one of the best weeks that I have had. I made memories that I will cherish for a lifetime. I learned so much about the country and the locals. Caitlin made sure that the volunteers had everything that we needed and was there to help if we needed it. She truly cares about the community. Project Esperanza is making a difference in the community. I would volunteer with Project Esperanza again in a heartbeat.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with Project Esperanza this past summer and loved every moment. It is clear that Caitlin is passionate about what the organization aims to do and will stop at nothing to ensure that the community is working along side with the organization. Additionally, I found the orientation fascinating and explained a lot more about why the organization exists. Project Esperanza is doing big things one step at a time, but this is how change should happen.

Irina P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It would be an understatement to say that Project Esperanza changed my life. My team from volunteer UCF were able to become part of the community in Puerto Plata. We were welcomed, housed, fed delicious Spanish-creole home cooking and became part of the community. We gained the kind of insight of the local problems and issues and contributed our time and good will to help both the students in need and their families. This is not about just being a charity case this is about speaking and actively engaging in the community. Project Esperanza helps others develop and grow, receive an education and provide a better future for other generations. I can't think of a more wholesome or sustainable humanitarian mission.

Sydney S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

During my week with Project Esperanza I met so many wonderful and passionate human beings. I learned a lot about international volunteering and the needs of a foreign community and just how much college students can contribute. My team was welcomed, housed, fed and to be honest became family with the people of Project Esperanza and I can't wait to return one day!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had an incredible time volunteering with Project Esperanza! Caitlin has an amazing bond with the community and she genuinely cares for the people of the Dominican Republic, native and Haitians alike. The volunteer house and community never made me feel unsafe and were in fact very welcoming and kind. The kids where amazing! We had so much fun playing and teaching physical education and nutrition at school and camp. If you aren't sure what you could do there, Caitlin had a number of jobs lined up as suggestions. I would highly recommend Project Esperanza to anyone who has a desire to serve.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had a great experience volunteering with Project Esperanza in July 2014. I was very impressed by PE's (and Caitlin's) involvement in the community. They very much work "within" the community vs. working "at" the community. There is an obvious respect for the organization, both from the local Haitians and the Dominicans. Caitlin is working on several grassroots projects that will help locals build a sustainable income.

I would encourage anyone with a desire to volunteer to consider Project Esperanza. If you aren't sure what you can do to help, Caitlin has a number of jobs already lined up where you can fill in quickly. If you have new ideas for projects that haven't been done yet, Caitlin is willing to consider those as well.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was a privilege to volunteer and have the opportunity to meet Caitlin and her amazing team. Project Esperanza is beyond impactful in the community they serve, despite working with little. I was very encouraged to see PE's efforts in working toward sustainability through multiple grass-roots projects, as donor funding can be volatile, both short and long term. Caitlin and staff are amazingly hard working, excellent stewards of resources, and they have an insightful long-term vision despite how overwhelming day to day operations can be. I can't wait to volunteer again in coming months and continually as needed, and if you haven't worked with them yet, you should!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a teenager, and so it was a bit of a risk for me to travel to a different country for 6 weeks and volunteer. I am happy to report that it was an amazing experience, and I would happily return for a second trip.
Caitlin does a really very impressive job managing her organization with relatively few resources, and everything that she does seems to come from the bottom of her heart.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had an opportunity to volunteer with Project Esperanza during my Spring Break 2014. I had a great time getting to know the locals and get to know what life is like in the bateys of Munoz. I felt like I could really connect with the people since I was living so close to them. Hearing their stories and seeing what their life was like strongly impacted me. I can see how this organization can benefit the community and imrove the lives of those who live in it.

I definitely feel like I made connections in the community that will last. I plan to return to the organization in the coming years to continue supporting the area and the people of Munoz and Padre Granero.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to visit DR this past spring 04/2014 while I was looking for a charity to volunteer. I came across Project Esperanza and was very impressed with Caitlin's work. I reached out to her and shared my interest to volunteer at the school. Since the first time we connected, she was very supportive and open to answer all of my inquires. I decided to volunteer for a few days while in the DR; it was a life changing experience, I enjoyed my time with the children of Project Esperanza. I admired Caitlin for everything she does for children and youth in need is truly admirable. Since then, I have been sharing information about this nonprofit with my friends and I've been supporting the program by donations when needed. Whenever I go, I am always sharing details, pictures or any relevant information about this great organization. I am truly blessed I found Caitlin's project and look forward to continue supporting the children of Project Esperanza.