Dominican Republic Experience
Organization profile published 1982

Year Published:  1982
Resource Type:  Organization
Cx Number:  CX2535

The Dominican Republic Experience was initiated in 1980 and is sponsored by Youth Corps (a Christian youth organization with a focus on social justice) and by the Scarboro Foreign Mission Society ( a Canadian missionary society which sponsors missioner programs in Latin America). A key component of the program is a five-week awareness experience during the summer of each year. The approximately 20 participants that are accepted each year spend five weeks living with the people of the Dominican Republic.
The direct object of this project is to provide committed Christian Canadians with an opportunity to experience the day-to-day living realities of the Dominican people and thus to grow in awareness of the injustices faced by Third World peoples. The objective of the experience is "not" to enable the participants to "help" the Dominican people in any way (i.e. do a project with/for them). The intention is rather one of learning more about oneself from the Dominican people. Through relating directly with the Dominican people it is hoped that participants will develop a deeper sense of social justice and what this implies for attitudes and lifestyles back in Canada. An important goal of the experience is to enable the participants to become agents for social change in Canada, it is hoped that the Dominican Republic Experience will enable the participants to become more aware of relationships of domination in Canada, how these affect people in Canada, and in the Third World, and how to work for justice in such a context.
Preparation for the experience begins months in advance. The program involves intensive study of Spanish and
a monthly orientation program, as well as one retreat prior to the actual trip. Within the Dominican Republic itself
the experience has three main sections: (a) living with a resource person who can speak English and Spanish ( missionaries, community workers, etc.); (b) living with a family; and (c) studying an issue from within (multinationals, militarism,tourism, the Church, etc). Between these sections the whole group is also involved in reflection times, listening to speakers, etc.
Upon returning to Canada a de-briefing period is spent working on methods of following up the experience with
work in Canada.

This organization no longer exists.
This abstract was published in the Connexions Digest in 1982.

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