Work and Travel in Dominican Republic
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC FOR TRAVELLERS
The Dominican Republic, not to be confused with Dominica, is the ultimate destination for the affordable Caribbean package holiday. But if you get out of the Punta Cana resort area on the east coast, you’ll be able to see a side of the country few ever see as you travel in the Dominican Republic.
But it doesn’t come cheap. So we’re going to show you some of the incredible volunteering opportunities in the Dominican Republic available right now.
Here’s the only travel guide to the Dominican Republic you need to read.
1. Teach English in the Dominican Republic
The native language of the Dominican Republic is Spanish. Yes, there are a lot of English speakers in cities like Puerto Plata and the capital of Santo Domingo, but outside of those areas you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who can speak more than a few words.
That’s why there’s an industry for English teaching in the Dominican Republic. You can work in schools or as a tutor on a private basis.
It’s best to have at least a TEFL qualification, though, as you’ll have far more opportunities for work in the Dominican Republic.
2. Work in a Hostel in the Dominican Republic
Hostels in the Dominican Republic are becoming more popular because an increasing number of backpackers are coming to the country on low-cost airlines.
You could find work in the Dominican Republic as a hostel worker. The job is simple and normally just requires you to spend a few hours per manning the reception desk or cleaning.
You’ll get a free bed and, in many cases, free food. It’s a great way to spend more time in a city and getting to know it on a deeper level.
3. Work in a Homestay in Rural Dominican Republic
Want to travel in the Dominican Republic but get away from the tourist areas?
A real challenge is to work on the farms in the country. These are homestay projects where you’ll be able to work on a farm, learn Spanish, and make real connections with local people.
The work can range from helping with construction to redecorating and helping out with the harvest. There’s no better way to work and travel in the Dominican Republic and to touch the lives of those you come into contact with.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Visa requirements for the Dominican Republic are like much of the Caribbean in that the vast majority of nationalities have no reason to visit a visa or worry about whether they’ll be rejected at the border.
A grand total of 107 countries are able to enter the Dominican Republic for 30 days without applying for a visa. These include all Westernised countries, Russia, and South Africa. Only Chinese citizens need to worry about getting a visa.
There’s a $10 USD visa fee attached, but if you pass through the land border with Haiti this is often not enforced. South Korean and Japanese citizens don’t have to pay this visa fee.
But what if you want to travel in the Dominican Republic for a longer period of time?
Longer stays can be requested on the border, but they will usually come with a fee attached. This can vary depending on the discretion of the border official.
For extended stays, we recommend that you take the time to visit a Dominican Republic embassy and apply for a long-term visa there.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
The Dominican Republic may be small, but there are a lot of differences in climate depending on where you are in the country. The wet season lasts from April to October, with the rest of the year being the dry season.
During spring, we recommend that you stick to the coastlines in the south or east. You’ll experience a minimal amount of rain here and many projects will be available.
These include environmental conservation projects and teaching English. If you’re unlucky enough to travel in the Dominican Republic in the middle of the rainy season, you still have options.
The summer season in the Dominican Republic is much the same as the spring. The rains continue, but they do finish earlier than in the north and western parts of the country.
You should refer back to the previous section for more information on both the projects and the areas of the country you can work in.
From October onwards, the temperatures rise and you can expect high temperatures across the island. There’s still rain in the north and central areas of the country, but it won’t stop you from experiencing what the country has to offer.
As far as volunteer opportunities in the Dominican Republic go, you can work in the tropical forests and mountains. This is where you’ll find conservation projects, but it’s also where you’ll discover a range of homestay projects on farms.
It’s an important transitional phase for farmers as it’s just after the rainy season. There’s a lot of work to do and your help will be greatly appreciated.
Winter is the main tourist season. Regardless of where you are in the country, you’ll find a huge number of volunteer opportunities in the Dominican Republic.
The most obvious chance to work in the Dominican Republic is in a hostel. Most of them experience a big uptake in the number of guests and need the staff to help them cope with the increase. These jobs are widely available and you can even grab them at short notice.
Another option is to work as a surfing or scuba diving instructor. These are in demand in the north of the country, close to Puerto Plata, and near to the resorts in Punta Cana.
If you have those skills, you’ll be in demand.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Unlike other Caribbean nations, the Dominican Republic receives a huge number of tourists every year. It also has a thriving expat population.
You’re not seen as anything to be curious about. Foreigners are always seen as tourists, so it will be very similar to working in a Western country.
But with so much to explore, you never know what to expect as you head into the villages.
Do you want to work and travel in the Dominican Republic?