- College Teams
- High School Teams
- Short-Term Individuals
- Long-Term Individuals
General Volunteer Information
When Can I Volunteer?
Short-Term Volunteer Programs (1 - 7 weeks)
For short-term volunteers (1 - 7 weeks), Outreach360 offers a program year-round starting on any Saturday and ending on a Saturday.
Long-Term Volunteer Internships (Caminos)
Caminos volunteers can join us during the Summer for 8 or 12 weeks, during the Fall for 16 weeks, or during the Spring for 20 weeks. There are speciﬁc start and stop times for the Caminos program. This is to ensure that Caminos volunteers have consistent training and development opportunities, enjoy the camaraderie that comes from doing a consistent program with other Caminos volunteers,
and most effectively meet Outreach360 volunteer needs. Please review our
Caminos page for updated trip dates.
What are my registration options?
If you are affiliated with a team that has registered on our website to volunteer, you will want to choose the option to "join a team." Doing so will credit you with any scholarship that the team qualifies for. All communication will go through your team leader.
Start a Team/Family: We encourage groups to join us as the more volunteers we have, the more children we can work with. When you "start a team" you will be designated as the team leader and all communication with Outreach360 will go through you. You should choose to "start a team" if you have a group of people who will travel on the same dates and on the same flights. For teams of 10 or more, we offer a group scholarship. Also, children under the age of 18 traveling with a parent will be credited with a special child scholarship. View Scholarship below.
Join a Team:
We have many opportunities for individuals of all ages and backgrounds to join us. You will select this option if you are not affiliated with a specific team. We will be in direct communication with you and know that you will be joining other individuals and teams when you arrive on site - you will feel a part of a team!
Register as an Individual:
Is there a program donation or cost?
We are both a volunteer and fund-raising organization; our volunteers commit to help raise funds for the programs we sponsor based on the length of their stay. We encourage volunteers not to pay any of their program donations, but instead raise funds through the sponsorship of family and friends. When you sign up, you will receive an on-line fundraising page that will allow you to easily send out informative emails to family and friends, inviting them to sponsor you through donations on-line, or checks sent through the mail. View our fund-raising guide
for more information.
This table shows the minimum program donation per person:
- One Week: $800
- Two Weeks: $1,200
- Three Weeks: $1,500
- Four Weeks: $1,800
- Five Weeks: $2,100
- Six Weeks: $2,400
- Seven Weeks: $2,600
- Eight Weeks: $2,800
*An additional $125/week ($500/month) for longer than 8 weeks.
**Donations made to Outreach360 are tax deductible and are thus non-refundable. Funds raised above the minimum program donation are credited toward Outreach360 programs.
Scholarships and other credit
Outreach360 offers several scholarships or program donation credits for those individuals and teams that meet certain criteria.
Early Sign-Up Scholarships
We encourage you to sign up for the trip as soon as you can. It enables us to do better planning for your experience, helps to ensure you are well prepared for the trip, and improves your fund-raising effectiveness. If you sign-up and have your $100 deposit donation into our office by the early sign-up deadline, you will be credited an additional $100 toward your program donation. The following is a chart of the early sign-up deadlines:
|Volunteer Period ||Program Start Dates||Early Sign-up Deadline|
|April/May 2013||Apr 1 - May 31||Feb 1, 2013|
|Summer 2013||Jun 1 - Aug 31||April 1, 2013|
|Fall 2013||Sept 1 - Nov 30||July 1, 2013|
|Winter 2013/2014||Dec 1 - Jan 31||Oct 1, 2013|
|Spring 2014||Feb 1 - March 31||Dec 1, 2013|
|April/May 2014||Apr 1 - May 31||Feb 1, 2014|
|Summer 2014||Jun 1 - Aug 31||April 1, 2014|
We encourage groups to join us as the more volunteers we have, the more children we can work with. There are also economies of scale in serving a group, and we pass those savings on. A group of 10 or more will be credited $100/person. For example, a one week program donation for a group of 10 or more who sign up by the early sign-up deadline is $600/person ($800 Program Fee - $100 Group Scholarship - $100 Early Sign-up Scholarship = $600). Children receiving a child scholarship do not count toward the minimum group size of 10.
Team Leader Scholarships
For every 10 non-child program donations paid, the 11th program donation is waived as a team leader scholarship. In return, the team leader is expected to manage his/her team's finances, input the team's flight information into 360 Connect, and keep the team roster up to date.
Outreach360 is a great experience to share as a family. This scholarship is meant to reduce the fund-raising requirements for any individual family. Each child under the age of 18 traveling with his or her parent will be responsible for a minimum program donation of $300/week. Note: this scholarship cannot be combined with other scholarships.
How can I prepare for this experience or learn more about the program?
Our Volunteer Information Guide
is the best way to learn about the details of our program. The guide is separated in to two sections. One section for specifically traveling to Nicaragua and one for travel to the Dominican Republic. You will not be prepared without reading through each section
. An Outreach360 staff member will be available to you from the time you register to the time you depart for your volunteer experience and in country you will be led by a great group of leaders; view staff profiles here.
We will have a full program orientation at your volunteer location when you arrive and you will have a chance to visit our Learning Center and spend time planning for your classes. Please feel free to use this person to answer any questions you might have. You may also contact us through our website with any questions: Contact Us. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!
What are the primary steps to get started?
- Register to Volunteer
- Submit a $100/person deposit donation (all funds submitted to us are tax-deductible donation) within seven days of registering. This donation will confirm your spot, and will also be applied to your minimum program donation. You may qualify for an Early sign-up scholarship. To do so you must be registered with your deposit donation submitted by the early sign-up deadline above.
Note: if you are a part of a team, your team leader may be submitting your deposit donation.
- Review each section of the Volunteer Information Guide for your respective travel destination. You will not be prepared for your trip without doing so.
- No later than 30 days prior to your trip:
- Submit flight information. (see arrival/departure guidelines in Volunteer Information Guide).
- Submit remaining program donation
Each Outreach360 trip is unique and new. Even if you have been with us in the past, your next experience will probably be different. The focal point of our program is the work being done at our Learning Centers. We use a well defined curriculum to provide children with English and Literacy education. A typical morning schedule at our Learning Center may look like this (sample only - each week is a new/different dynamic):
8:45 AM – Depart for our Learning Center and set up
9-915 AM – Free reading in English and Spanish with our students
9:15-10 AM – English/Spanish Literacy class for the other group of students
10:10 AM – 10:55 AM – English/Spanish Literacy class for the other group of students
10:55 AM – Clean up, announcements and dismissal
11 AM – Debrief & return to Volunteer Center.
*In the afternoon we will depart at 2 PM and the schedule follows the same timing as our morning program.
**The week also includes a variety of activities for volunteers (both educational and recreational)
We are using Level 1 of “Backpack”, a professional English as a Foreign Language curriculum designed for children in primary school. This curriculum comes with a great teacher’s guide as well as additional resources including posters; audio CD; and picture cards. Each of our students in our Learning Center has their own copy of the Backpack Level 1 student book and workbook. You will be working alongside other volunteers to teach.
We are using the Scholastic Guided Reading Program in Spanish as a base to work with our students on their Spanish Literacy skills. It is not necessary to be fluent in Spanish to work effectively with our students with this program. We have had volunteers with intermediate Spanish skills who have done a great job with our students and expressed to us how much they learned from our students! This program is a varied collection of books that are categorized by the kind and level of challenge they offer students as they are learning to read. The program has 60 books divided into 12 levels. All of our children have been assessed and are working to move their way up the program. Each book in the program comes with a teacher’s guide with ideas for words to work on, expansion ideas as well as activities. Our students are keeping a reading log as well as making notes on new words learning and writing/illustrating mini book reports. Our students who are in grade 1 are just learning how to read in their primary school. For this group we are working on basic reading skills such as simple syllables and writing skills. Whenever possible we try to focus on small groups of students with one or two volunteers or even 1:1 in our Spanish literacy classes since we have students at so many different reading and writing levels.
Outreach360 was incorporated in 1994 as Orphanage Outreach. We changed our name in September of 2011 to better reflect our change of focus from orphanages to entire neighborhoods of disadvantaged children. We match real needs in the countries where we work with the unique resources our volunteers have to share. Since 1994, over 15,000 volunteers have joined us in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, including over 2000 last year alone.
Our mission is to enable children to live a life of choice - to be qualified when completing high school to be able to choose to pursue a college degree or meaningful employment. Our focus is on those children growing up in the impoverished neighborhoods where we work.
High school teams, college teams, families, and individuals join us each week of the year, from any Saturday to any Saturday. Our family program is growing; families enjoy the extensive support provided, our focus on safety and health, and the family friendly atmosphere.
If you haven't brought your family to a developing country before (and even if you have), you will appreciate the "turn key" approach we take. We will purchase the insurance, meet you at the airport, arrange the meals, housing, ground transportation, and projects. You'll still be busy, but it will be time well spent supporting your family and the direct service to the community; not managing basic logistics.
The safety and health of our volunteers is our number one priority. Since 1994, over 15,000 volunteers have joined us without anyone's personal safety being threatened. We use common sense guidelines, as well as implement specific measures to ensure your family stays safe. Our leaders live and work full time in the communities where you will be staying; we and you are part of the community. We specifically choose to work in rural communities, far from the crime of the larger cities and tourist areas.
Your health is a top priority of ours. You will be staying in Outreach360 facilities; we purposefully avoid more risky home stays. Your meals will be cooked by Outreach360 trained staff. We use purified bottled water for all cooking and drinking. Mosquito nets are provided when needed. Competent and professional medical clinics are located near your volunteer location; if you need to visit one, you will be accompanied by an Outreach360 staff member to help with the process including translation. We carry excellent medical insurance, including emergency medical evacuation coverage. All that said, it is very, very rare that an Outreach360 volunteer ever needs to visit a clinic. More info in the Volunteer Guide: Medical Precautions; Medical Insurance
We have our own facilities where your family will be eating and sleeping. We have modern toilets and showers. Your team will be living in simple but comfortable facilities. We have our own cooks, and most volunteers rave about the excellent food.
Professional In-Country Leadership:
Your team will be led by American and Canadian full time staff. We work hard to focus on the many in-country logistics necessary to make your trip a success, so that you are able to focus on your family.
Dominican Republic vs Nicaragua:
Our service program is very similar in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic; you'll be working with young children primarily teaching English and Spanish literacy. And your housing and facilities in both countries is very similar. After that, the programs are very different. In the Dominican Republic, you will be volunteering in a fishing town on the beautiful northwest coast; in Nicaragua, you will be volunteering high in the mountains in the Nicaragua coffee growing region. And the cultural experiences your family will have are very different as well. The ideal thing might be to join us in the Dominican Republic one year, and Nicaragua the next.