Throughout the semester, students will participate in three academic trips. These trips supplement classroom education with personal experiences and first-hand accounts.
This comprehensive trip begins with visiting the Alta Gracia Project, a manufacturing facility of United States college and university apparel that pays a living wage to their workers. Through this experience, students hear first-hand accounts of the impact of fair trade in the workers' lives.
Students next visit the Colonial Zone in Santo Domingo, where they visit many places they have studied in the classroom. The trip concludes with a visit to CONACADO cocoa farm, which shows the students a different face of the impact and benefits of fair trade.
Cien Fuegos is an inner-city neighborhood in Santiago, a community known as an example of urban poverty. Students meet with local community leaders and learn about the realities of life for the people who live in Cien Fuegos. This neighborhood has been marginalized since its inception, and its people continue to suffer the effects of immigration from rural campos, the ups and downs of work at the free trade zone factories nearby, and the contamination from the landfill located in their community, where all of the trash from Santiago is collected and burned.
Visiting the Dominican-Haitian border divided by the Massacre River allows students to further appreciate the complexities of Dominican-Haitian relations and trade. For this experience Encuentro Dominicano partners with the Jesuit organization Solidaridad Fronteriza, which is part of a larger network of Jesuit institutions that work to advocate for Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic.