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Exploring the Dominican Republic at an incline: A photo essay

If you’re curious about the many treasures the Dominican Republic holds, Héctor Iván González Brioso is a natural narrator.

A native of Santo Domingo, sometimes surfer, and proud cat dad to Paco, he has helped manage EF’s growing family of service partners on the island ever since we began bringing travelers there. And he’s eager to expand even more people’s notions of his home.

For a closer look at what makes this vibrant nation unlike any other place, Héctor has a suggested route that starts at sea level and ends in the sky.

Boca Chica

To protect one of the most popular stretches of coastline in the south, Tasha Gough and her father Mickey created Verde Profundo: a foundation focused on reestablishing Boca Chica’s ecosystem through mangrove reforestation.

According to Héctor, Tasha’s work with Verde Profundo is making things sustainable for the future. “With time, people will appreciate it. Fishermen will appreciate it. She’s creating an ecosystem for the fish and protecting the coral.”

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Jarabacoa

Travel farther inland, and you’ll find Jarabacoa’s Environmental Institute nestled within the country’s Central Mountain Range. “Most of our rivers are born in these mountain ranges,” Héctor explains. “That’s why we have different conservation efforts related to reforestation, tree nurseries, and trail building.”

Years ago, when we started bringing students and teachers to the Dominican Republic on educational tours, Héctor recalls what the country’s Minister of Tourism had to say about EF: “You’re the people showing travelers there’s more to this island than a strip of white sand.”

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Angostura

The Dominican Republic delivers more than a few sky-high surprises. Here, remote villages are developing faster than you’d think. “Angostura is one of the only communities in the whole country that has 24/7 electricity and renewable energy sources,” says Héctor. “They even have a hydropower plant.”

High or low, there’s one thing about the DR that Héctor says never changes. “By the time you finish the day, you will have three families that are your new family. The culture is like that.”

Elevate how you see the DR

From service learning to language learning, studying agriculture to soaking up Caribbean culture, there’s more than one way to experience this island with us.

Dominican Republic images by Jeremy Fraga

Kim Hart

Kim is a senior copywriter at EF. In a past life, she wrote about everything from online poker to deodorant. (She likes writing about educational travel better.) When not at work, you can most likely find Kim on the internet or eating cheese.