Our Volunteer Guide to the
Outreach360 takes a turn-key approach to international volunteering, meaning we have all the details covered so you can focus on what matters: the service. That being said, your travel to and from the countries we serve in are on you, but we have some information and tips to make that part of your trip easier on you too:
Tourist Cards, Visas, & Passports
You will need a valid passport to enter the Dominican Republic. So, find or apply for your passport now! Keep in mind that it can take up to eight weeks to get your passport after submitting your application. We suggest making two copies of your passport; put one copy in your suitcase separate from your original, and leave one copy at home with a friend or family member. If somehow you were to lose your identification in-country, having access to a copy would help the process greatly.
Any person who can legally travel or reside in the United States, Canada and the European Union (including Great Britain) does not need a visa to visit the Dominican Republic for tourist purposes and can enter the Dominican Republic with confirming documentation and a valid passport. Additional Info.
Prior to May 2018, it was necessary to purchase a $10 Tourist Card at the airport; that is now included in your airline ticket price. (Please be prepared to pay the $10 in case things change. There is no charge to exit the country unless you stay longer than 30 days; in that case, plan to pay a $50 exit fee.)
We request that you fly in and out of the Santiago (STI) airport. It is the closest airport to Monte Cristi and therefore costs less for us to travel between our location and the airport. For that reason, we may charge you for ground transportation if you fly into an airport other than Santiago. Several major airlines fly into Santiago from North America, usually with convenient schedules and competitive prices. The approximate driving time between the Dominican Republic's three major airports and Monte Cristi are:
Santiago: 2.5 hours
Puerto Plata: 3.5 hours
Santo Domingo: 5-6 hours
Dates & Times
We strongly request that you book your tickets on flights scheduled to arrive and depart the Santiago airport on Saturday between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. This schedule provides for the best volunteer experience, is optimum for organizing ground transportation and other logistics, and in turn, helps us minimize costs.
If you are scheduled to arrive before 8:00 a.m. Saturday, we will require an additional $50/person/night and we will ask that you cover the cost of ground transportation. Similarly, if you arrive after 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, we will ask that you cover the cost of ground transportation. Please know that there is not a continuous shuttle that runs between the airport and our facilities; we arrange transportation specifically for your arrival.
If you are scheduled to depart on Sunday or later, we will require an additional $50/person/night and we will ask that you cover the cost of ground transportation. Similarly, if you depart before 8:00 a.m. Saturday we will request that you cover the cost of ground transportation.
Please notify us before purchasing your tickets if your arrival and/or departure are scheduled outside of the 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. window on Saturday to ensure that sleeping space and ground transportation is indeed available.
Cost of Ground Transportation
Below is the cost of ground transportation between the airport and our facilities. These are the costs you might incur if you arrive or depart outside of our requested window of time to or from the Santiago airport or if you purchase tickets flying in or out of the Santo Domingo or Puerto Plata airports. Note: these costs are one-way and not round-trip:
Taxi - $100 (up to five passengers)
Bus - $300 (up to twenty passengers)
Puerto Plata Airport
Taxi - $200 (up to five passengers)
Bus - $400 (up to twenty passengers)
Santo Domingo Airport
Taxi - $300 (up to five passengers)
Bus - $600 (up to twenty passengers)
Please note that Outreach360 will arrange all ground transportation. For safety and liability reasons volunteers are not permitted to arrange their own transportation between the Outreach360 site and the airport.
If you arrive late or depart early, and prefer to stay in a hotel for an improved rest, we recommend this hotel near the airport.
All meals while traveling, including meals at the airport in Santiago, both while arriving and departing, are the responsibility of the volunteer. All meals in Monte Cristi are included in your minimum program donation.
Groups and Group Leaders
Ground transportation is provided for your team when it is scheduled to arrive and depart on the same flights, in and out of Santiago, on the Saturdays of your trip between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. If any members of your team choose not to arrive or travel with the group, they may be responsible for their own ground transportation costs. Note: we do not provide a continuous shuttle on Saturdays between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Transportation is coordinated to accommodate specific arriving and departing flights.
All ticketing arrangements and funding are made directly between you and the airlines. Funds that come to Outreach360 cannot then be sent back to you for purchasing flights. Your airline ticket, however, is tax-deductible (for U.S. taxpayers) if the primary purpose of your trip is charitable work. Your ticket is your receipt; you will not receive a tax receipt from Outreach360 for your ticket.
Please do not purchase your ticket until you are confident you will have the minimum program donation in our office 30 days prior to your trip. You will also need to submit your flight information to Outreach360 at least 30 days prior to the trip to ensure a timely pick-up and drop off at the Santiago airport. Email that information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arriving at the Airport
When you land in the Dominican Republic, exit the plane. You will then pick up your luggage, go through customs (they might inspect your luggage), and then go outside. Do not wait for a big group to congregate before going through customs; just grab your luggage and head out. Note: Please bring only suitcases, not boxes. Customs will often let you through without inspecting your suitcases, but boxes are always inspected. If your luggage does not arrive, please make sure to report it to the airline inside the terminal, and get a claim slip from them. Baggage handlers will be around asking to help you with your luggage. They can be quite assertive. We suggest, unless you really need help, to refuse their assistance unless you are willing to pay a tip of $1-2 per bag.
An Outreach360 leader will be waiting for you outside the terminal. We'll be wearing a bright Outreach360 t-shirt for you to spot us. We’ll collect in a group until all the volunteers are there. Please bring a water bottle with you, both for the trip and for your use at the volunteer site. Also, bring enough snacks to sustain you during your travel day and the bus trip to Outreach360 facilities. Please tell your family not to expect a call home until 24 hours after your arrival. You will be able to exchange money after you arrive at your volunteer site.
If flights are full and the airlines offer you a travel voucher to take a later flight (even the next day) and you are willing to donate your voucher to Outreach360, you are encouraged to accept the voucher. Call us and let us know the new flight you will be arriving on in the D.R. We will meet you at the airport on your new flight. Do not accept a flight into an airport other than the Santiago airport. Your travel vouchers are valuable, especially if part of your group gets bumped. Those funds can mean a great deal to the program. If you are not willing to donate your voucher, please do not accept the voucher.
If you miss a flight and are not on the flight you are supposed to arrive to the Dominican Republic on, please communicate by calling our number in Arizona: (602) 375-2900. Please leave a message, let us know your status, and when you will be arriving to the Dominican Republic (date/airport/flight #/arrival time). We will plan to be at the airport when you arrive. Remember, please call our number in Arizona and leave a message if your travel does not happen as planned.
If the airline loses your luggage, you will need to report it by the luggage area. The airline attendants will speak English. The address (for all locations) is:
Calle Sanchez #68
*Remember to get a claim slip from the airline.