There’s no doubt about it. The Dominican Republic was lucky not to get a full blast from Hurricane Irma. There was some damage on the North Coast and people did lose their homes. But it wasn’t the devastation that we’ve seen elsewhere in the Caribbean or the USA. BeachCorps has contributed to help the victims (we believe direct cash donations to reputable organizations like the Red Cross are the best) and urge you to consider doing so. On September 13, the nonprofit volunteer organization of the tourism industry Tourism Cares brought together 12 travel industry associations to develop and support the Destination Disaster Recovery Fund, with the hopes of becoming the primary resource for travel and tourism-related recovery efforts for hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Beyond that, let’s take a step back and ask: how does BeachCorps deal with hurricanes? First, it’s important to realize that while the risk is real the Dominican Republic has over time been relatively less affected by hurricanes and serious storms over the years owing to its geographic placement, compared to other Caribbean countries and even the southeastern USA. The hurricane seasons lasts from June through September each year. Only 11 hurricanes have reached the country in the past 80 years, as the country is naturally protected by Puerto Rico to the east, and the Mona Channel in between the two islands, where temperature variations create a pressure system that (usually) pushes storms towards the sea, as was the case with Irma. No Dominican Republic city appears in this list of the top 50 cities in the Atlantic and Caribbean to be affected by hurricanes and severe storms.
Despite the rarity of severe storms, all areas in the Dominican Republic have seen storm damage at some point. Hotels catering to foreigners are well-versed in hurricane preparedness. On the off chance you happen to be caught in a hurricane in the Dominican Republic while on a BeachCorps vacation, most hotels will provide adequate instructions and have plans and facilities in place. Moreover, since hurricanes that affect the Dominican Republic tend to form along the west coast of Africa, hurricanes are not likely to sneak up on unsuspecting travelers; there is plenty of opportunity to be warned and evacuate, or not come in the first place. BeachCorps will of course warn you if we are aware of any danger and will not put people in harm's way.
In terms of the nonprofit causes that BeachCorps supports, we have a hurricane plan in place. If a hurricane or other disaster affects your travel plans, BeachCorps will refund your excursion payments 100%. The tax deductible donation you will have made will stay with the nonprofit that you were going to support. So you can rest assured that your donation will go directly to hurricane relief exactly when the country needs it, because each nonprofit that BeachCorps supports will have a contractual obligation to have a disaster relief plan in place and to produce expense reports, just like any BeachCorps project.
For example, BeachCorps hopes to support the wonderful Dominican Dream Project, whose work supporting education for underserved communities is focused on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic. Before Irma hit, the Dream Project announced it had a plan and then after Irma had passed sent a message out to supporters afterwards confirming its intent to follow through on providing hurricane relief.
That’s the kind of effectiveness, transparency, and accountability that BeachCorps will ask for in ALL of our partners!
Despite occasional stormy weather, the Dominican Republic will forever be a special and exquisitely beautiful place in the Caribbean as described by the nation’s poet laureate, Pedro Mir:
“There is a country in the world”
A country in the world
In the same path as the sun,
A native of the night
In an improbable archipelago
of Sugar and rum...
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#Hurricane #Irma #HurricaneIrma #HurricaneRelief #DominicanRepublic #HurricaneRisk
1. Be a Hands On Part of a Company that Will Change the World.
Can a great vacation support a great cause? YES! Until now, no one has ever attempted to use volunteers taking traditional fun vacations to support worthy nonprofit causes. BeachCorps is changing that. We are proving that the best and perhaps ONLY way that unskilled, short-term volunteers can make a real, positive difference is with their time for people-to-people engagement, their funding, and their 500 Facebook friends to testify in favor for a great cause. Once we prove that this model succeeds in the Dominican Republic, we will take the model around the world. Join us and change the world “A Little Grain of Sand” at a time!
2. BeachCorps has a Plan to Succeed.
BeachCorps has a plan to be the Expedia (TM) of volunteer vacations, allowing you to choose your hotel, your cause, and your activity. BeachCorps partners with great hotels and tourism experts in the Dominican Republic to support established, worthy nonprofit causes while ensuring volunteer activities support sustainable development. BeachCorps is the only volunteer vacation company of its kind in the world, since other volunteer vacations 1) don’t partner with great hotels, 2) don’t work with worthy, established and independent nonprofit causes, and 3) don’t ensure that a broad and flexible variety of rewarding activities are dedicated to the needs of the cause, not volunteers. Working with us will open up a whole new world of combining great vacations and great causes. BeachCorps has been working with great nonprofits for years because it takes time to develop trust and relationships to create projects that work. This is not the kind of business that potential competitors can duplicate overnight.
3. The Dominican Republic ROCKS!
If you work for BeachCorps, eventually you will get to travel and work in the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic is perfect for developing this new kind of tourism, with it beautiful beaches and hotels, proximity to the USA, abundant quality volunteer opportunities, and vibrant culture that welcomes tourists. BeachCorps will develop impact travel (sometimes called “voluntourism”) in the Dominican Republic the way ecotourism began in Costa Rica, creating a new tool for helping people everywhere. Business Insider ranked the Dominican Republic as the second best island in the Caribbean. It has both the BEST all-inclusive hotels and wonderful boutique and ecotourism destinations, plus some of the highest levels of biodiversity on the planet.
4. BeachCorps Empowers People and Fights a Culture of Dependency.
BeachCorps believes in the principles espoused by Robert Lupton in “Toxic Charity”: “Never do for the poor what they can do for themselves” and #2 “Limit one-way giving to emergencies” follow the same logic of local empowerment. The BeachCorps model focuses on empowerment and engagement and avoids activities that create a culture of dependency that is all too common in “voluntourism.” This culture of dependency is perpetuated whenever voluntourism perpetuates what is often referred to as "The White Savior Mentality." Two-way engagement, where locals learn about volunteers and vice-versa, reinforces empowerment by creating relationships of equals. In addition, BeachCorps will only work with worthy causes backed by sustainable, officially recognized 501c3 US charities that build upon local efforts, including the work of the poor. BeachCorps programs will work on creating local leaders who are the true “local heroes” of BeachCorps, along with the hero beneficiaries of these worthy causes.
5. BeachCorps Supports Cross-Sectoral Partnerships to Achieve More.
By working with BeachCorps, you will be part of a model that brings together multiple partners from the private sector, nonprofits, and even the government. Such multi-sectoral partnerships accomplish more because they are able to address sustainable development with a holistic approach. Our model ensures everyone does what they do best: the nonprofit(s) designs a safe and fun project and activities to empower their cause(s); the excursion provider ensures smooth and safe transportation and other support; the hotel supports the project and provides a great hotel experience--and BeachCorps advises and pulls the whole team together.
6. BeachCorps is a Thought Leader in Sustainability.
As the first ever volunteer vacation based on real, independent causes, BeachCorps is charting unknown waters. As such, if you work for BeachCorps you will be making discoveries and adding to the knowledge of BeachCorps and proving that yes, indeed, a great vacation can support a great cause. Come help us explore!
7. Get Your Creative Fireworks Going with BeachCorps
BeachCorps is redefining what it means to volunteer for a worthy cause. It’s not just painting a wall at a nonprofit for the 10th time. We are creating all kinds of innovative programs to allow people to connect as human beings and share cultural insights. If you work for BeachCorps, you will have a change to create and implement exciting new programs in sustainable tourism such as our "Recycling for Education" program that will provide school supplies to kids who promote recycling and trash pick up. IT'S MAGIC!
Want to work for BeachCorps? Find Out About Our Positions as Social Media Intern and Sustainable Tourism Digital Media Manager.
#HelpWanted #Sustainability #SustainableTourism #PuntaCana #DominicanRepublic #Nonprofit #Education #ToxicCharity #SustainableDevelopment
The BeachCorps Beach Bum!
The BeachCorps Beach Bum loves great vacations and great volunteer work!