MMI in Dominican Republic

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Dominican Republic is located in the Caribbean region on the island of Hispaniola. Hispaniola is divided into 2 sovereign states, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The Dominican Republic has been at the heart of MMI’s work since the founding of our ministry in 1969 after the Christian Medical Society (MGM) project in Puerto Plata in 1968. John and Sheila Shannon, local DR Plymouth Brethren missionaries from Canada provided leadership until 1984. Willie and Janice Hunter, Evangelical Mennonite Church missionaries in DR, began assisting the Shannon’s in the early 1970’s in the DR and many other countries.

Teo Beato, M.D. and his wife Frida Luna, M.D. are National Directors of the Dominican Republic. Teo started working at Elias Santana Center and they attended their first project as volunteers in February 1987.

Alex Ramirez serves as Project Director in Dominican Republic and contributes greatly in MMI's works providing health care to poor areas.

                       Dr Teo Beato and Dr Frida Luna

                     Dr Teo Beato and Dr Frida Luna

            Alex Ramirez

          Alex Ramirez

Through our one and two week projects many have been trained by our faithful leaders Drs. Teo Beato and Frida Luna, carrying our mission to many of the other countries where MMI is located today. Our vision for the future is that the work will not only continue to serve the poor in the DR, but also serve as a bridge for volunteers and leaders to ultimately serve those in need in other locations.

Project Sites:

Dajabón


Dajabón is the capital city of the Dajabón province in the Dominican Republic. It is located on the Dajabón River on the border with Haiti. It is a market town with a population of about 40,000. The city was initially founded between 1771 and 1776, but was soon after abandoned during the War of Independence. It was settled again shortly after the Restoration War in 1865.

* Project Description: At the clinic site, the teams provide medical consults and screenings for surgical patients. Patients are referred to the hospital for surgical procedures, dentistry, integrated health education, and optometry. The Integrated Health component will include discussions about hygiene, preventing the spread of germs, dental health, and preventing dehydration. All services provide opportunities for team members to sensitively demonstrate and share their faith in partnership with local believers. In the local Hospital, we provide the services according to the different volunteer’s specialty. The promotion of project services is done through the local Churches, hospital staff, local radios, and channels.

Elevation
35m (115 ft)

Climate
The average February temperature ranges from a high of 30 °C (86°F) to a low of 18°C (64°F)
Average min and max temperatures in San Fernando de Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic

El Factor


El Factor is a town in the María Trinidad Sánchez province of the Dominican Republic. The town has a population of approximately 20,148.

* Project Description: Teams provide Surgical and Medical services to the people in the El Factor area. This will likely include consultations, major and minor surgical procedures, dental procedures, treatments, and cleanings, integrated health education, and administering eye glasses.

Elevation
450 m (1,477 ft)

Climate
The climate is tropical. El Factor is a city with a significant rainfall, even in the driest month.
Average min and max temperatures in El Factor, Dominican Republic

Las Matas de Farfán


Las Matas de Farfán is a town in the San Juan Province of Dominican Republic. It is the birthplace of a number of current and former Major League Baseball players including Jean Segura, Juan Encarnacion, Roberto Novoa, Odalis Perez, Ramón Santiago, and Valerio de los Santos.

It is located in the middle of the west end of the Island, approximately 4 hours by bus from Santo Domingo. The population is approximately 40,000 people. Most people work in agriculture, making a daily wage of 20 – 25 dollars on average. Many move from the countryside to the cities for more job opportunities, usually in public transportation of small motorcycles. There is great need in this area as many people face problems such as few job opportunities and a lack of health insurance.

* Project Description: At the clinic site, the teams provide medical consults (including general consults, pediatric, dermatology, internal medicine, screen surgical patients, and refer them to the hospital for surgery), dentistry, integrated health education, and optometry. The Integrated Health component will include discussions about hygiene, preventing the spread of germs, dental health, and preventing dehydration. All services provide opportunities for team members to sensitively demonstrate and share their faith in partnership with local believers. In the local Hospital, we provide the services according to the different volunteer’s specialty.

Elevation
450 m (1,477 ft)

Climate
It is a dry area. The average March temperature ranges from a high of 33°C (91°F) to a low of 17°C (63°F)
Average min and max temperatures in Constanza, Dominican Republic

Matancitas


* Project Description: Volunteers work alongside local staff to provide specialized medical, surgical, and dental services to communities in the Matancitas area. At the clinic site, normal medical consults, dentistry, IHE, and optometry will be done. In a local hospital, teams will provide the services according to the identified need and the volunteers speciality.


Climate
Average min and max temperatures in Matancitas, Dominican Republic

Miches


Miches is a town located in El Seibo province in the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic. The community sits between the northern slopes of the Cordillera Oriental and the southern shore of the Samaná Bay .Miches is an emerging rural community, so that it has limited access to markets, low levels of education and limited opportunities for employment. Miches has traditionally been a humble community in one of the poorest regions of the Dominican Republic. Agriculture, particularly the cultivation of rice, coconut, cocoa and tubers like yautía and ñame, cattle ranching, artisanal fishing, local handicrafts and small businesses are the main economic engines of the area.

Due to its geographical location, with the sea to the north and a mountain range to the south, Miches has historically lived isolated, which has impacted negatively to economic development. In recent years, tourism has developed in the region for the extension of its beautiful beaches and its irregular coasts creating unique landforms. The area has mangroves, coconut trees, mountains, rivers, waterfalls, caves, and tropical forests.

* Project Description: Teams provide medical, surgical, and dental services to communities in Miches at local hospitals.

Elevation
2 m (7 ft)

Climate
Tropical wet climate with no dry or cold season as it is constantly moist.
Average min and max temperatures in Miches, Dominican Republic

Monte Plata


Monte Plata was founded by residents of the towns of Monte Cristi and Puerto Plata, whose destruction was ordered by the king of Spain and carried-out by Antonio Ozorio, Governor of the Island. The name was created as a combination of the names of the two cities. Monte Plata possesses a wealth of folkloric elements and rich culture. Some of its best-known cultural elements are its folk songs, folk dances, oral and written traditions, historic monuments, and popular folk beliefs.

In Monte Plata, a large population of people do not have the resources to travel even to the nearest hospital as transportation to and from the rural areas is expensive. Medical services are limited.

* Project Description: Teams work in a local hospital where we provide surgical and medical services to the community. There is also an Integrated Health component to these projects where we discuss hygiene, preventing the spread of germs, dental health, preventing dehydration, and so on. Teams work with in collaboration with the local hospital staff and local churches.

Elevation
56 m (184 ft)

Climate
It could be humid, raining, muddy and chilly in the mornings, etc. January - Average Temperature 24°C (75°F) High 30°C (85°F), Low 19°C (66°F)
Average min and max temperatures in Mendoza, Dominican Republic

Nagua


Nagua, a medium-sized town, is the capital of María Trinidad Sánchez province in northeastern Dominican Republic. Nagua's economy relies on the production of agricultural products including rice, coconuts, and cocoa bean. Most of the town lies below sea level.

* Project Description: Teams work in a local hospital where we provide surgical and medical services to the community. There is also an Integrated Health component to these projects where we discuss hygiene, preventing the spread of germs, dental health, preventing dehydration, and so on. Teams work with in collaboration with the local hospital staff and local churches.

Elevation
3m (10 ft)

Climate
Nagua has a tropical wet climate, with no dry or cold season as it is constantly moist. Average temperature for January is a High of 29°C (84.2°F) to a Low of 20°C (68°F). The team will be working in a tropical area, so, it could be humid, raining, muddy and chilly in the mornings.
Average min and max temperatures in Nagua, Dominican Republic

Palenque


Palenque is located at the coast of the Caribbean Sea near San Cristóbal. It is divided into Sabana Grande de Palenque and two districts: Sabana Palenque and Juan Barón. It has some of the most popular beaches among the locals, but is generally not considered one of the major tourist destinations of the country.

* Project Description: At the clinic site, teams provide normal medical consults, dentistry, integrated health education, and optometry. In the local hospital, teams provide the surgical services according to the different volunteer’s specialty, often including general surgeries, OB GYN, reconstructive plastic surgeries, orthopedic, and so on. The Integrated Health component of these projects often include discussions about hygiene, preventing the spread of germs, dental health, preventing dehydration, and so on.

Elevation
300m (984 ft)

Climate
Average temperature for October is a High of 28°C (80°F) to a Low of 20°C (68°F)
Average min and max temperatures in Baní, Dominican Republic

Río San Juan


Río San Juan is a relaxed and calm town, which is distinctive because of its location on a mangrove lagoon, only an hour east of Cabarete.

* Project Description: The teams work in a local hospital to provide medical and surgical services. Teams work along side the local hospital staff and local churches. The teams provide the surgical services according to the different volunteer’s specialty, often including general surgeries, OB GYN, reconstructive plastic surgeries, orthopedic, and so on. There are often dentistry and optometry components. The promotion of project services is done through the local Churches, hospital staff, local radios, and TV channels.

Elevation
5 m (16 ft)

Climate
Average Temperature 24°C (75°F) High 30°C (85°F), Low 19°C (66°F)
Average min and max temperatures in Río San Juan, Dominican Republic

Sabana de la Mar


The community of Sabana de la Mar is located in the eastern area of Dominican Republic. The economy of the inhabitants is based on agriculture and fishing. Located in Samaná Bay, Sabana de la Mar is one of the most beautiful areas in this country. The population is approximately 30-40,000 people.

* Project Description: At the clinic site, teams provide normal medical consults, dentistry, integrated health education, and optometry. In the local Hospital, teams provide the surgical services according to the different volunteer’s specialty, often including general surgeries, OB GYN, reconstructive plastic surgeries, orthopedic, refraction, and so on. The Integrated Health component of these projects often include discussions about hygiene, preventing the spread of germs, dental health, preventing dehydration, and more.

Elevation
3m (10 ft)

Climate
The average August temperature ranges from a high of 26°C (79°F) to a low of 19°C (66°F)
Average min and max temperatures in Sabana Dela Mar, Dominican Republic

Sabana Grande de Boyá


Sabana Grande de Boyá is one of the areas of highest need in the country. It is inhabited predominantly by Haitians, who are most often ex-sugar cane workers. These people are commonly elderly, unemployed, and lack health insurance.

Many people's livelihood in is agriculture, and a days salary is approximately 15 – 20 dollars on average. Many people move from the countryside to the city for better job opportunities, usually in public transportation of small motorcycles. Most people do not have health insurance. In Sabana rural areas, there are many elderly people and children, but not many young adults to work and help with the ones that remain.

* Project Description: The teams work in a local hospital belonging to the Social Security System. At the clinic site, teams provide normal medical consults, dentistry, integrated health education, and optometry. In the local Hospital, teams provide the surgical services according to the different volunteer’s specialty, often including eneral surgeries, OB GYN, reconstructive plastic surgeries, orthopedic, and so on. The Integrated Health component of these projects often include discussions about hygiene, preventing the spread of germs, dental health, preventing dehydration, and more.

Elevation
291m (954 ft)

Climate
The average temperature for the month of July is a high 89°F (32°C) & a low 71°F (22°C)
Average min and max temperatures in Los Guineos Perdidos, Dominican Republic

San José de las Matas


San José de las Matas is a community located in the middle of the country, about 550 meters above the sea level, with a population of approximately 20,000 people. Most people earn a daily wage from agriculture. Many individuals move from the countryside to the city for better job opportunities, commonly in public transportation with small motorcycles. Much of the community struggles with the reality that there are limited job opportunities. Although the National Insurance program is offering better health care to the communities, there are still many patients that have trouble finding care for various reasons.

* Project Description: The team will provide services to people living with poverty in the communities of San José. The teams are often divided into Surgical, Dental, and Medical Teams that can go to a different village every day, work in a local hospital with the local staff and promotes the health services to the community. The Integrated Health component will include discussions about eye care, hygiene, preventing the spread of germs, dental health, and information about the clinic stations.

Elevation
523m (1,716 ft)

Climate
The average temperature for the month of June is typically a high of 33°C (91°F) and a low of 22°C (72°F).
Average min and max temperatures in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic

Villa Los Almácigos


The Villa Los Almácigos community is about 5 hours west of Santo Domingo. There are approximately 30,000 people living in Villa Los Almácigos. Most of the people earn a daily wage in agriculture.

* Project Description: The team will provide services to people living with poverty in the community. The teams are often divided into Surgical, Dental, and Medical Teams that can go to a different village every day, work in a local hospital with the local staff and promotes the health services to the community. The Integrated Health component will include discussions about eye care, hygiene, preventing the spread of germs, dental health, and information about the clinic stations.

Elevation
202 m (663 ft )

Climate
Average temperature for November is a High of 28°C (80°F) to a Low of 20°C (68°F).
Average min and max temperatures in San Fernando de Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic

Travelling on a Project

Entry & Exit Requirements


Travelers must present a valid passport. Tourist visa is required at a cost of $10 USD. A departure tax of $20 USD is required.

• Americans: For more information see the US State Department website:
https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/dominican-republic.html

• Canadians: Please check the following website for the most current entry/exit requirements.
https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/dominican-republic

• International: Please contact MMI office or Raptim Humanitarian Travel for visa requirement updates.

Application Requirements


Please email ALL CREDENTIALS upon application.

• For everyone, we need:
- Colour Scan / Photocopy of Passport (photo page)
- Colour photo for your name badge (any good photo, we can adjust size)
- Travel Itinerary
- Supply Lists

• Medical Professionals, we also need your:
- Current License (through time of project)
- Diploma (Techs, Nursing, Dental, MD and Board Certifications)
- Curriculum Vitae or Resume (this also will help the Project Director know your skills & experience to assign you a task on the project, especially for 1st time participants)

• Health Care Students: Letter of Good Standing from your school (including year of study and graduation date).

• All MINORS travelling with only one parent, or without their parents, will need a letter from BOTH parents stating that it is OK for the child to travel with one parent or an appointed guardian. The letter should be signed and notarized. MMI needs a copy of this letter, and the parent or guardian should carry the orignial letter while travelling.

Travel


Once you have been accepted on the project, you can contact our designated travel agency to arrange your travel and coordinate your arrival the team.

Raptim Humanitarian Travel: www.raptim.org

• US Applicants: Travel costs are arranged directly with the travel agent and are in addition to the Participant Project Donation.
Contact our “Serve Team 2”: ServeTeam2.us@raptim.org
Direct Toll Free: 1-844-882-3233 and ask for the agents by name or extension.
Lead Agents – Claudia (ext. 13302), or Michael (ext. 15004).

• Canadian Applicants: Donations to MMI for travel are in addition to the Participant Project Donation.
Contact our “We Partner” team: wepartner.na@raptim.org
905-465-4300 or Toll Free: 1-844-442-6978 & ask for the agents by name.
Lead Agents - Anca (ext. 32327), or Connie (ext. 31771).

• International Applicants: Travel arrangement can be procured locally or following the Canadian instructions above.

Immunizations


We strongly recommend that you consult a travel clinic, as they are aware of outbreaks and can suggest preventative immunizations. All routine immunizations should be up-to-date. Please check the following website for the most current information.

• Americans: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/dominican-republic

• Canadians: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/tmp-pmv/countries-pays/country-pays-engfedf.php?id=325

Accommodations and Meals


MMI will arrange local accommodations for the team.
• Some projects will have dormitory-style accomodations
• Laundry Service: usually available for additional fee
• AC: dependent on location
• Phone Service: check with your cell phone provider, roaming is very expensive
• Wifi/Internet: dependent on locations
• Voltage: 110V.
• Meals: MMI will provide meals for the team. Dietary restrictions can be indicated on your application and we will do our best to accommodate your needs. Be sure to bring your own re-usable water bottle with a wide mouth for refilling. Purified water is supplied. If you would like to bring snacks to have throughout the day, please bring items such as peanut butter, granola bars, trail mix or pretzels and crackers in sealable containers (like Ziploc bags).

Culture

• Language: Spanish.
• Religion:
- Roman Catholic: 95%
- Others: 5.0%
• Government: Presidential Republic

Currency


The money in the Dominican Republic is the Dominican peso (DOP). MMI staff will help you exchange money. All major credit cards are accepted - Visa and MasterCard the most widely accepted (make sure to call your credit card company and let them know that you’ll be traveling internationally). Traveler’s cheques are not easily cashed. You must bring US dollars in good condition. Torn, stamped or old bills will not be exchanged. $100 bills older than 2006 are also not accepted.

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Centro Cristiano de Servicios Médicos Inc. (CCSM), Elias Santana Hospital

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The Elias Santana Hospital is located in Los Alcarrizos, Dominican Republic. The Elias Santana Hospital was established in 1984 in los Alcarrizos outside Santo Domingo with generous donations after hurricane David of 1979. MMI continues to support programs at the Elias Santana Hospital. Graduates from the Ophthalmology Residency Training program have returned to their countries to serve those in need, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Ethiopia, and India.

 Janice Hunter - General Director, CCSM              Willie Hunter - Chairman, CCSM

Janice Hunter - General Director, CCSM              Willie Hunter - Chairman, CCSM

               Nicole Hunter Diaz                            Administrator, CCSM

              Nicole Hunter Diaz                            Administrator, CCSM

The Elias Santana Hospital was established in 1984 in los Alcarrizos outside Santo Domingo with generous donations after hurricane David of 1979. MMI Canada continues to support programs at the Elias Santana Hospital. Graduates from the Ophthalmology Residency Training program have returned to their countries to serve those in need, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Ethiopia, and India.

About Dominican Republic

COUNTRY BACKGRound

The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of Hispaniola, part of the Great Antilles archipelago between the Caribbean region and North Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Haiti on the east and consists mostly of rugged mountains with fertile valleys. The government system is a democratic republic; the chief of state and head of government is the president. The Dominican Republic has a mixed economic system which includes a variety of private freedom, combined with centralized economic planning and government regulation. Music and sport are of great importance in the Dominican culture, with Merengue and Bachata as the national dance and music, and baseball as the favorite sport

LOCATION:

Caribbean, eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Haiti

GEOGRAPHIC COORDINATES:

19 00 N, 70 40 W

MAP REFERENCES:

Central America and the Caribbean

TOTAL area:

48,442 km²

BORDER COUNTRIES:

Haiti

COASTLINE:

1,288 km

MARITIME CLAIMS:

12 nautical miles

TERRAIN:

Rugged highlands and mountains interspersed with fertile valleys

 

CLIMATE:

Tropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation; seasonal variation in rainfall

ELEVATION EXTREMES

LOWEST POINT:

Lago Enriquillo - -46 m (Caribbean's largest lake and point of lowest elevation)

HIGHEST POINT:

Pico Duarte - 3,175 m

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