Alternative Spring Break - Be the change!
Become a fan of us on Facebook Watch us on YouTube Follow us on Twitter Read our BLOG   Contact ASB
Alternative Spring Break (ASB) is an exciting opportunity for you to participate in a week-long, hands-on service learning experience! ASB 2015 Online Applications Open September 8, 2014 @ 4:30 pm
'My eyes were opened to the poverty and inequality expressed by the Canadians in a neighbouring province. That is something that will stick with me forever.'
~ ASB 2012

more testimonials ....

Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic
Education and Transformative Learning


The Goal of Outreach360 is to transform individuals, families, communities, countries, and the world through the education and development of disadvantaged children. As we release the hero within these children, we release the hero within each person involved with Outreach360.

The vision of Outreach360 is a transformed world in which every child is able to pursue a college degree or to be gainfully employed upon reaching adulthood, enabling them to live a life of choice. Each child will become an active citizen, committed to serving those less fortunate, and be an active friend of the environment.

Dates of Travel: February 14 - 21, 2015
ASB Pre-Departure Workshops:
Sunday, November 30, 2014 and
Sunday, January 18, 2015
1:00 pm - 5:00pm
Please note: Attendance at ASB Pre-Departure Meetings is mandatory. Any participant that is unable to attend the Conference Weekend will not be permitted to participate on any ASB trip. No exceptions will be made.
Number of Participants:
25 Students
2 Faculty/Staff Team Leaders

Service Project(s)


  • Teaching English in elementary schools
  • Facilitating learning activities for children
  • Various building and program development projects for the English Institute


  • To provide students with the opportunity to learn about education in a different cultural context, and to participate in projects that support youth development in the Dominican Republic. The vision of Outreach360 is a transformed world in which every child is able to pursue a college degree or to be gainfully employed upon reaching adulthood, enabling them to live a life of choice.

Cost - $2,300 CAD

Trip Cost covers:

  • Flight
  • Registration
  • Insurance (health, flight cancellation, baggage)
  • Transportation to/from Airport
  • Transportation in Dominican Republic
  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Tourist activities in the Dominican
  • Administrative Fee (t shirt, team leader contribution, journal)
  • Note: ASB participants will be responsible for any luggage costs assigned by individual airlines, souvenirs, or snacks during the trip.

Medical Precautions

Students are required to be up-to-date on Tetanus, and Hepatitis A & B. Anti-malarial medication and typhoid vaccination are also required. The cost of medical precautions is not included in ASB fees, and is the responsibility of the participant.

Middlesex London Health Unit
London Travel Clinic, 520 Sarnia Rd. 519-432-5508

Sample Day

7:00-8:00 am: Breakfast
8:00-9:00 am: Announcements/Prep Time
9:00-11:00 am: Tutoring/Teaching
11:00-12:00 pm: Flex Time/Recreation
12:00-1:00 pm: Lunch
1:00-2:00 pm: Prep Time
2:00-4:00 pm: Tutoring/Teaching
4:00-5:00 pm: Flex Time/Recreation
5:00-6:00 pm: Free Time
6:00-7:00 pm: Dinner
7:00-9:00 pm: Movie/Art/Games/Activity with the children
9:00-10:30 pm: Team Reflection
10:30 pm: Quiet Time


Participants will sleep in bunk beds in a dorm-like setting on the orphanage property. Sheets/towels are provided, however students may bring their own and may choose to donate them at the end of the experience. Mosquito netting is also provided.


Meals are prepared in-house by orphanage staff, and reflect a variety of local foods (rice, beans, chicken, tortillas, plantains, etc.) as well as North American favourites (pancakes, spaghetti, etc.)

Other activities may include

  • visiting a market at the Dominican-Haiti border
  • spending time at a national park beach
  • hiking a (small!) mountain
  • eating lunch at a local restaurant
  • browsing the work of local artisans

The Country

The Dominican Republic is situated on the eastern part of the second-largest island in the Greater Antilles, Hispaniola. The Dominican Republic shares the island roughly at a 2:1 ratio with Haiti, and is the largest economy in the Central American and Caribbean region. It is a lower/middle-income developing country primarily dependent on natural resources and government services. Tourism is fueling the Dominican Republic's economic growth and contributes greatly to employment rates. The population of Dominican Republic in 2007 was estimated by the United Nations at almost 1 million, and more than 95% of the population adheres to Christianity, mostly Roman Catholicism.

Located between Cuba and Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. The Dominican Republic is a very safe and friendly country, with many Dominicans having family living in the states. A representative democracy has been in place since the 1960's. Baseball is the national sport, with many Dominicans playing in the major leagues. The country is very poor, especially along the "frontera", the area along the Haiti border. The major industries include tourism, agriculture especially the sugar crop, mining and manufacturing.

The Community

Primary education in the Dominican Republic is officially free and compulsory for children between the ages of 7 and 14, although those who live in isolated areas have limited access to schooling. Since tourism accounts for a large percentage of employment, it is important for Dominican children to receive English education, and there is a significant deficiency of English-speaking teachers. Haiti, with nearly as many people but with half the land size, is much poorer than the Dominican Republic with almost 80 percent living in poverty. Facing stark prospects for survival, many Haitians cross the border to Dominican soil without authorization in search of better living conditions. But, as is usual for illegal immigrants in nearly all nations, they are relegated to working class status, largely in farming - often sugar cane plantations - and house construction, with poor housing and poor schools for their children.

Outreach360 founder and executive director Tom Eklund was working with a medical missions group, Flying Doctors of America, when he and a small group of volunteers from Atlanta visited the Hope of a Child Orphanage in Monte Cristi in May of 1994. They saw that the orphanage was struggling to just provide the basic necessities, much less opportunities for the children living there.

Outreach360 was incorporated in 1995, and volunteers and donors have been getting involved ever since. Over 12,000 short term volunteers have worked with Outreach360 since that time.

Photo Gallery

View photos from this experience


London, ON. about this location Photos
Winnipeg, MB about this location Photos
Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic about this location Photos
New Orleans, Louisiana about this location Photos
Jinotega, Nicaragua about this location Photos
Panama City, Panama about this location Photos
San Jose, Costa Rica about this location Photos
May Pen, Jamaica about this location  
Jangas, Peru about this location  
Urubamba, Peru
(May 2015 Experience)
about this location  
Salina Cruz, Mexico
(Staff ASB)
about this location  

Western Logo
[ Housing & Hospitality Services ] - [ Web Feedback & Support ] - [ WWW disclaimer ]
© Copyright   Western University
Last Modified on September 25, 2014 11:46 AM, by [DR]