BeachCorps President David Searby was invited to join a distinguished panel of experts in sustainable tourism on August 28, 2017 hosted by FUNGLODE and its sister organization in the USA the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development. Other panelists included Joel Santos, President of the National Association of Hotels and Restaurants (ASONAHORES, the country's largest hospitality industry confederation); Jake Kheel, Vice President of the Grupo Puntacana Foundation; Elizabeth Tovar, President of the incentive travel firm Turenlaces; Francisco Carreras, private entrepreneur and cruise consultant for the Dominican Government, and Jonathan Delance, coordinator of the Coastal Biodiversity and Tourism project for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Like the other panelists on Sustainable Tourism at the event , BeachCorps was optimistic that the Dominican Republic will make the necessary changes to its tourism development to promote sustainability and empower communities.
Links to Articles on FUNGLODE Event:
Diario Digital DR: "El turismo sostenible y responsable atrae turistas de calidad" (Sustainable Tourism Attracts Quality Tourists).
#Sustainability #SustainableTourism #DominicanRepublic
On August 29, 2017, BeachCorps President David Searby appeared on Tendencias TV and Radio to launch the "Recycling for Education" program. Searby described the BeachCorps partnership with the premiere recycling and sustainability firm in the Eastern Dominican Republic, Ecoservices Dominicana, to create over the next year a program to help increase the amount of school supplies destined for giving underserved communities in exchange for kids and communities helping out by turning in some plastic bottles, cardboard, and Tetra pak for recycling.
Tendencias also presented this Youtube video that shows the enthusiasm of Dominican communities for this project. The first organization showed is the Fundación Caña, Melao y Azucar (the Cane, Molasses and Sugar Foundation) and is centered in the town of San Pedro de Macoris, the capital city of Dominican baseball. The second organization is even more informal and is centered on the community of Monte Verde (Green Mountain), a community that also has the nickname of Mata Mosquitos (Mosquito Killer).
Searby said that by the summer of 2018 BeachCorps hopes to have full-fledged BeachCorps volunteer vacation programs ready where volunteers can come to local communities and celebrate the donation of more and better school supplies in exchange for recycling and creating cleaner communities.
Searby said that the program will tackle four different issues at once:
1. Promoting recycling: BeachCorps will educate kids about the importance of recycling and particularly the harm plastic trash in particular does to the environment and even to storm and flood water drainage.
2. Combatting the "Trash Culture": BeachCorps will help the kids understand why they must be the generation that starts to change the culture of just tossing trash on the ground.
3. Supporting Education: BeachCorps wants to make sure that this program increases the amount and quality of school supplies for kids that need them. The program will increase the payment for recycled bottles well beyond the market price, creating a powerful tool for buying school supplies.
4. Supporting Empowerment and Combatting the Dependency Culture: by giving kids the opportunity to pay for a greater number of school supplies, BeachCorps will show them the value of working towards their own education and give them the pride of earning their school supplies as opposed to getting it for free. Searby also said that a culture of dependency is not just a problem of the poor, since the rich contribute to it because the rich love to give easy gifts to the poor for nothing while avoiding addressing messy, structural problems.
#Empowerment #Recycling #VolunteerVacation #Voluntourism #PuntaCana #DominicanRepublic #DependencyCulture #Education #SchoolSupplies
On Wednesday, July 26, 2017 BeachCorps President David Searby spoke on Tendencias Radio about the July 22, 2017 project in El Cajuil Dominican Republic, which raised $US 500 for the great nonprofit Rescatame. Rescatame helps dogs and cats in the Punta Cana region, particularly by engaging and helping underserved communities so that they are better able to take care of their own pets.
Link to Youtube of Interview (Spanish): https://youtu.be/92cVJkPhqJU
On April 5, 2017, BeachCorps President David Searby was a guest on "La Revuelta de la Mañana" ("The Morning Revolt"), a nationally syndicated TV and radio show of journalist Fernando Placeres in the Dominican Republic (TV Interview here and Radio interview here on Youtube with pictures). Searby described plans to work with the Punta Cana Foundation, the nonprofit arm of the Punta Cana Group, on a pilot project for service travel. Like many BeachCorps projects, the partnership with the Punta Cana Foundation is geared towards creating scholarships for students who excel in school and also are active in volunteer activities in their community. The Punta Cana Foundation was the first nonprofit to recognize and support BeachCorps in developing a new kind of service travel that uses great vacations to empower worthy causes via people-to-people engagement. Searby also said that BeachCorps is lucky to have the support of the nation's largest excursion provider, Runners Adventures, which has a long history of supporting local communities.
Searby also described plans with other excellent nonprofit partners, including: Dogs and Cats of the Dominican Republic (DCDR) and Rescatame, two nonprofits that are teaming up to promote better care and spaying/neutering for stray dogs and cats in the Dominican Republic; the Episcopal Church development work of the Dominican Development Group; Fundacion MIr, a nonprofit in the La Romana area that provides quality education for hundreds of underserved kids; and the huge potential for projects with the various Rotary clubs in the country. Finally, Searby also described a successful project on Valentine's Day with the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (the US arm of the respected Dominican development nonprofit FUNGLODE) and FECOTUR, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting better waste management and recycling practices in the country.
On February 20, 2017, BeachCorps President David Searby had the pleasure of discussing the BeachCorps model of voluntourism with the host of "Tendencias," Francisco Tavarez. Thanks to Francisco for being such an informative and interesting host! It was the first time BeachCorps appeared on Dominican TV. Searby thanked the partners of a great event on Valentine's Day, the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (sister organization of FUNGLODE), FECOTUR (the Foundation for Responsible Ecotourism. Searby also thanked the construction company Best in Pro, which donated a recycling center to the school. Chic, Royalton, and Memories hotels in Punta Cana donated hundreds of Valentine's cupcakes because it can't all be work and study!
BeachCorps happy that Bavaro News wrote about the successful BeachCorps partnership with GFDD and FECOTUR to educate children about recycling and the environment with "A Valentine for the Environment." Click below and go to pg. 27. Image of story below.
YouTube Speech: "The Importance of Sustainable Tourism for the Development of the Dominican Republic" By BeachCorps President David Searby on August 31, 2016 at the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development.
Posted on November 30, 2015 by affairsblog GFDD Global Round Table Guest Blogger: David Searby, Founder of BeachCorps. With International Volunteer Day on December 5th, it’s important to recognize the growing $2 billion global market for volunteer vacations, often called “voluntourism” by both supporters and detractors. Existing volunteer vacations in the Dominican Republic range from church groups, individuals and families who arrange their own travel and volunteer work, to loosely organized trips offering a place to sleep and volunteer work, to “one-stop shop” volunteer travel providers who book travel, accommodations, all transportation, excursions, and volunteer work. Some of the organized trips are dubious in terms of their benefits for sustainable development. Reputable firms include the nonprofit International Student Volunteers and the for-profit Education First. While these firms do great work, their high costs and lesser appeal to older clients may limit their popularity and thus their impact. (CLICK FOR MORE).