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602-375-2900

info@outreach360.org

7954 W. Fetlock Trail

Peoria, AZ 85383

Outreach360 is a  registered 501(c)(3). EIN: 58-2197227

2019 Outreach360. All Rights Reserved.

Our Volunteer Guide to the
Dominican Republic
Outreach360's Internship Program

Thank you for your interest in becoming an Outreach360 Caminos Volunteer Intern! It’s truly an incredible experience; you will gain so much from the work you will be doing with the students in our programs and from the relationships you will foster with other volunteers. Many of our Caminos Interns have developed life-long friendships with the people they met while volunteering with Outreach360.

It can also be a very difficult and challenging position. Outreach360 facilities are simple and rustic, the weather can be extremely warm, and you will likely work with little to no breaks other than the short periods of free time we schedule day-to-day. As an international volunteer in a small town, it will be like living in a fishbowl, which is why we have high expectations for our volunteers to follow local norms, some of which will be quite different from what you are used to. 

That being said, every challenge will be worth this life-changing experience that most of our Caminos Interns describe as a pivotal point in their academic, professional, and personal lives. Below is some additional information that will help you prepare for your long-term volunteer experience with Outreach360.

Program Overview

We call Outreach360's internship the Caminos Program. In Spanish, camino means path or

road, and in our Caminos Program, volunteer interns play a crucial role in providing a path out

of poverty for our students. Caminos Interns fulfill a critical role as teachers and coaches for

our educational programs. Caminos Interns give our students the educational opportunities

they need to escape the limitations of poverty and to live a life that they choose for themselves. In addition to teaching at the Learning Centers, Caminos Interns also support the Outreach360 Volunteer Program and have the opportunity to take on leadership roles working with the on-site staff to support short-term volunteer teams.

As a Caminos Intern, you will...
  • Gain international teaching experience

  • Learn about sustainable development through education

  • Experience personal growth

  • Develop global awareness

  • Enhance your Spanish competency

  • Strengthen your leadership skills

  • Experience cultures through vibrant cultural interaction

  • Make a difference in the lives of children living in poverty

  • Have fun!

It's a mission, not a job

​Outreach360 believes education is the best sustainable solution to poverty and we operate innovative educational programs at our Learning Centers, in local schools, and in community learning camps that meet real needs in the communities we serve.  Our programs are capacity-building and provide children with functional skills, competencies, and abilities that allow them to overcome the challenges of poverty and achieve a greater standard of living for themselves and their families.  We work together with local community members, including neighborhood associations, local school officials, and parents, to implement our educational programs. Our Caminos Interns are an integral part of these programs, their sustainability, and their capacity to make a lasting impact in the community. Our Caminos Interns are part of an elite group of individuals who commit to long-term service in a developing country.

Roles & Responsibilities

During your internship, you will be asked to:

  • Teach on a daily basis at our Learning Centers, in local public schools and/or in local neighborhood camps. You will be responsible for lesson planning and/or supporting short-term volunteers in developing their lessons.

  • Mentor and support short-term volunteers in their teaching roles and help facilitate positive teaching and volunteer experiences for them.

  • Take on various Team Leading and Program Leading roles; we will give you leadership training and support to enable you to facilitate other volunteers’ experiences.

    • Prepare for and welcome new volunteers.

    • Facilitate and support new volunteers in orientation and program orientation.

    • Give city tours, culture, education, safety, and history talks.

    • Facilitate cultural experiences for short-term volunteers.

    • Support staff in managing resources.

  • Attend meetings.

  • Participate in the Caminos Leadership Development Program

  • Other possible roles include write blog posts for the Outreach360 website, creating content for social media, and promoting the Caminos Program to your own network/community.

 

During your time here short-term volunteers will be looking to you for direction and guidance. Your actions and words will have a large influence not only on them but also the community and we ask that you conduct yourself accordingly.

We ask that you are flexible and open to feedback. Our corporate culture values a commitment to continuous learning and growth; you will receive coaching and mentoring during your time here.

This is not a 9am-5pm volunteer experience. We have a consuming mission with the students we serve, the volunteers who join us and all who come in contact with Outreach360. We are passionate about the educational opportunities we are providing to the local children, and it requires great sacrifice on the part of leaders and Caminos Interns. We hope that you will learn and grow during your time here! We know you will give a lot of yourself and that we believe that you'll get out at least as much as you put into this experience.

Guidelines & Expectations
  • Free time:

    • We do our best to provide free time for our Caminos Interns, where they can rest and recover. There will be some weeks where, depending on what's going on, free time will just not be possible and there will be other weeks where the complete opposite is true.

  • Dress code:

    • It’s important that you follow the Outreach360 dress code, which has been designed to reflect the dress norms of people in respected positions in the countries where we serve. Our short-term volunteers will look to you as a standard for what they can and cannot get away with.

  • Living accommodations:

    • We will provide simple, clean, and reasonable living accommodations. There may be times when you are asked to live in non-ideal situations for a temporary period of time.

  • Work location:

    • Our focus is on our students, volunteers, and donors. You may develop a preference to work in one location and be asked to work in a different location. We encourage you to embrace the volunteer principle, "It's Not About You," and seek to serve where your skills are needed most.

  • Other interests:

    • Due to the workload and focus this internship requires, you do not have the option to have outside jobs. Any agreements you have for online classes should be discussed with and approved by an Outreach360 leader before arriving.

Living in a fishbowl
  • As is true when accepting any leadership position, your words and actions now represent you, the people you serve, and the organization you represent. You now need to consider how your words and actions will positively or negatively impact Outreach360, the countries where we work, the children we work with, and other leaders and volunteers.

  • Because we are working with many underage volunteers, and because the cultures where we work are quick to cast judgment on people drinking alcoholic beverages and hanging out at bars, bars and drinking are off limits for Outreach360 volunteers.

  • Communication with volunteers and potential volunteers, either in person or online, will not be disrespectful to Outreach360, the countries where we work, the people we serve, our volunteers or donors. Social media posts that would cause a person to think less of Outreach360 or cause a person to not want to volunteer with Outreach360 will not be tolerated.

  • Any concerns should be brought to those people who can actually make a difference – the person you are having an issue with or your Outreach360 leaders. Caminos Interns agree to not gossip, not intentionally exclude others, and to keep lines of communication open.

  • All public communication will be done in a professional manner.

Phone and Internet

Phone and internet service will be available on the weekend for Caminos Interns. Keep in mind that the internet can be unreliable in the small, rural towns where we work. Please strongly consider not making commitments to any other program, such as an online class while with us. Apart from the concern of you not having time to dedicate to it, the internet being down could cause you to miss a critical deadline. We ask that you embrace the local culture of living in the moment and focusing on in-person relationships.

Religious & Other Beliefs

Although we don’t need to agree with other people’s religious (or otherwise) beliefs, we will not disrespect them. If you are Christian, you will not disrespect the beliefs of non-Christians. If you are not Christian, you will not disrespect the beliefs of Christians. The same is true of all religions, lifestyles, and beliefs. You do not need to agree with others, but you won’t publicly pass judgment. No one should feel invalidated or his or her beliefs invalidated because of something you communicate. Conversations should not be avoided but should be done in a mature and respectful manner.

Romantic Relationships

Outreach360 is a great place to make friends and develop on-going relationships with others. The demands of the program, the small town environment, and the small size of your team make developing a new romantic relationship difficult and complicated. We ask that you not develop a relationship with locals in town, leaders, volunteers, or students in our program. Whom you spend time with and build relationships with, as well as how you interact with them, has an impact on the Outreach360 program. Caminos Interns are asked not to spend time one-on-one with children ever.

Family & Friend Visits

Family and friends are invited and strongly encouraged to volunteer with Outreach360 during your time with us. We ask that family and friends complete the same requirements as all other volunteers. We ask that they not visit you outside of the program as you will not be able to travel or have much time to spend with them and it can be a distraction to you and to our program. If your family/friends want to visit at the end of your volunteer time so that you can see more of the country with them please be aware of and respect our guideline to not stay in the volunteer area.

Termination of Outreach360 Service

 I agree that upon completing my time with Outreach360, I will not remain living near the Outreach360 service site or provide services that could be competing with Outreach360 services, without the express written consent of Outreach360. I will not visit the town where Outreach360 works outside of volunteering with Outreach360 for one year after my completion date.

Professionalism & Appearance

Caminos Interns have a high level of responsibility and influence in the local community. Locals put a high value on appearance as a barometer of a person’s reputation and professionalism. Therefore, all Outreach360 long-term volunteers and leaders are asked to maintain an even higher level of standards for personal appearance than our short-term volunteers. Our main goal is for our appearances to not be a distraction to the students when teaching, or a detriment to the work and reputation of Outreach360 when interacting with locals and short-term volunteers.

Caminos are seen in the community on the same high level as professional teachers. Local teachers in the community are well groomed and clean-shaven. Most education professionals dress very formally and take great pride in their appearance. Caminos Interns are asked to be neatly groomed and have good personal hygiene at all times.

  • Hair – Both men and women with hair long enough to be pulled back will do so while teaching. It should be neatly pulled back in a ponytail. A neat braid or more formal up-do is acceptable for women. “Extreme” hairstyles, such as dreads, mohawks, ostentatiously dyed hair, etc. are not acceptable. 

  • Facial Hair – Facial hair s allowed for men but must be neatly trimmed at all times. Mustaches may not extend below the upper lip. (We realize that “neatly trimmed” is a subjective guideline and ask that you strive to be professional by local standards. Most local teachers are clean-shaven, but we realize many men like to grow beards while volunteering. Please be aware of your presentation and open to being asked to trim your beard.)

  • Tattoos – Any tattoos that can be covered should be covered while teaching.

  • Jewelry – Female Caminos Interns will limit their jewelry while teaching. Jewelry that could be distracting for the students should be avoided, such as dangly earrings, many bracelets, many rings, etc. A small nose piercing with a simple stud is permitted for females. Other facial piercings or visible body piercings are not permitted. 

  • Clothes – Your clothes should be in good condition, meaning no holes, no large stains, not overly worn or “ragged.” Jeans should be in good condition (no tears or rips, even for fashion) and should not be excessively tight. Please be aware of bringing any clothes that are too revealing.  Clothes that are too tight, such as spandex or leggings are never permitted.

  • Sunglasses and hats or bandanas may not be worn while teaching. Women can wear an appropriate hairband, especially if it gives the appearance of dressing up and helps keep hair out of the face.

We ask that you remember that at all times while you are in-country you are representing Outreach360. It is possible that some detail has been overlooked or not enumerated here. If you have any concerns or questions please feel free to bring them to your supervisor at any time. If your supervisor asks you to make an adjustment, please understand that it is not personal. Your attitude and performance, even outside of appearance, are direct reflections on the Outreach360 program. You are expected to demonstrate professionalism and good judgment at all times.

Reasons to Become an Outreach360 Caminos Intern

You should consider joining Outreach360 if you are interested in…

  • making a meaningful difference in the lives of children

  • Empowering children to transform their lives and communities through education

  • Gaining international teaching experience in underserved communities with limited education systems

  • Being challenged to apply your skills and talents in creating effective lesson plans

  • Serving and living in a developing country

  • Living simply

  • Making personal sacrifices for the benefit of Outreach360 students

  • Gaining intercultural competency 

  • Learning and practicing sustainable development

  • The importance of global awareness and community

  • Inspiring other volunteers to become passionate about service work

  • Educating North American families, high school, middle school, and college students about another culture

  • Leading short-term volunteer service-learning experiences

Reasons NOT to Become an Outreach360 Caminos Intern

If any of the following statements apply to you or are your primary motivation for applying for Outreach360's Internship Program, we urge you not to apply or to seriously reconsider and discuss it further with an Outreach360 leader.

I want to be on my own and be free to do whatever I like. We work in extremely small towns where reputation is very important. This limits many aspects of our lives and some personal freedoms, such as a very conservative dress code, no going to bars, no drinking/smoking, limited ability to build local relationships outside of a professional environment, and staying in groups of two or more when outside of the volunteer center.

I want to explore the country. We mostly stay in the communities that we serve. You will not have the freedom to travel around the country on your own while in-country. We do offer several opportunities throughout the summer to travel with the group.

I cannot live without being constantly connected to social media and/or friends and family back home. There is limited access to the internet and phone. We work really hard to live in the moment and be a technology-free zone for our students and short-term volunteers. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for the internet and phones to go out unexpectedly.

I am an extremely picky eater. While most people love the food here, we do have a repetitive menu and do not have short order cooks. The kitchen is not open for personal use. We do, however, work hard to accommodate specific dietary needs.

I want to use this experience to learn Spanish. Your Spanish will undoubtedly improve while here, however, you will spend much of your day interacting with English speaking volunteers and students in our English immersion classrooms. 

My main/only interest in this program is to live overseas/gain international experience. While a desire to live overseas and get international experience may be part of your motivation, it should not be a priority over our organization and the Outreach360 mission. This program is an incredible international experience, however, it is vital that you assess if you are a good fit for our organization and vice versa.

I want to have a cultural immersion experience. While you will become an expert on the local culture and get to experience most aspects of it, you will not be living in the community with a family and speaking Spanish 24/7. Much of your focus and time will be spent around our international staff and volunteers.

I am focused on pursuing a romantic relationship now. There is little time/opportunity for this to be a priority in your life when in-country. Relationships back home often are a distraction and detrimental to your time/focus here. Relationships with a local in the community are not permitted for those on a one-year commitment or less.