Youth Development Volunteer

Before You Apply

You can only have one active Peace Corps Volunteer application, so choose a position that best fits your skills and interest. You have the opportunity to tell us if you’d like to be considered for other openings and more about the ones that interest you most!

Project Description

Youth Development Volunteers work at the community level in small towns and rural areas with groups of young people. The majority of the assignments are in poorer communities where youth are most at risk. Volunteers coordinate with schools, community based organizations, and non-governmental and governmental organizations. The project seeks to empower Dominican youth with the necessary knowledge, skills, and experiences to become healthy and engaged citizens. Volunteers themselves act as positive role models for the youth in their communities.

Volunteers work with community members to create and implement youth groups, sports teams, and parent groups. These groups focus on leadership, life skills, personal development, informed decision-making, positive relationships, positive family communication, and incorporate a gender perspective. Fun and engaging activities through groups such as “Superman” boys groups and “Chicas Brillantes” girls groups have had a life changing impact on many of the youth who have participated in these activities. All activities in the youth project have an emphasis on empowerment, positive identity, self-esteem, values, commitment to learning, and constructive use of time.

Required Skills

Qualified candidates will have an expressed interest in working with Youth in Development and one or more of the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any field
OR
• 5 years' professional work experience

Desired Skills

Competitive candidates should have experience in at least one of the following areas:
• Facilitation;
• Training or teaching in an informal setting;
• Working with parents and/or community leaders;
• Forming and/or strengthening and motivating youth groups;
• Volunteering or working with youth;
• Academic background in psychology, anthropology, social work, or counseling.

Competitive candidates have proven leadership skills, will act as positive role models for young people, and work in a professional manner. We encourage applicants with strong Spanish language skills to apply.

Required Language Skills

Candidates must meet one or more of the language requirements below in order to be considered for this position.

A. Completed 4 years of high school Spanish coursework within the past 8 years
B. Completed minimum 2 semesters of Spanish college‐level coursework within the past 6 years
C. Native/fluent speaker of Spanish

Candidates who do not meet the language proficiency levels above can take the language placement exams to demonstrate their level of proficiency. Competitive applicants typically attain a score of 50 on the Spanish College Level Examination Program CLEP exam or a score of Novice‐High on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL OPI).

Additional Language Information

Competitive candidates will have conversational Spanish skills at the time they apply and will commit to continuing their language learning while awaiting departure. Peace Corps provides intensive language training during the 10 weeks of Pre-Service Training. At the end of training, Peace Corps Dominican Republic requires an intermediate level of oral proficiency in order to be sworn in as a Volunteer. Trainees that arrive with conversational Spanish skills are likely to reach this level.

Living Conditions

Volunteers will live with two families during the 10 week pre-service training (one family in Santo Domingo and the other in a smaller community during community-based training). Volunteers will live with a third host family for the first 4-6 months of service in their assigned community to facilitate language acquisition and community integration. Although most Volunteers are able to move out on their own after an obligatory 4-6 month homestay (in addition to the training homestays), there is no guarantee that independent housing will be available.

Volunteers are assigned to both rural communities and small towns. Living conditions and transportation problems can be physically demanding. You will have to use the available transportation existing in your community (in most cases this includes regular or semi-regular service by pick-up trucks, vans, and/or collective taxis). In some cases you may have to walk long distances to work engagements. Houses usually have corrugated steel roofs, walls of wood or cement block, and cement floors. They may or may not have amenities such as running water, electricity, or reliable phone service. Most communities have phone service within the community, although there are situations where Volunteers have to travel up to an hour to access service. Although some communities have electricity, a great many do not, and in all cases, power outages are common. Many of these communities are located along the Dominican-Haitian border, with more challenging living conditions.

Personal appearance is important for Volunteers representing the Peace Corps and Dominican partner agencies. Dominicans consider personal appearance to be an important indicator about a person, and a Volunteer’s appearance will influence his/her relationship with the community.

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Dominican Republic: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, and safety — including crime statistics [PDF] — in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.

Medical Considerations in Dominican Republic

  • Dominican Rep. may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: requiring a psychiatrist for psychotropic medications support; ongoing counseling.
  • The following medication(s) are not permitted for legal or cultural reasons: none identified.
  • Volunteers who should avoid the following food(s) may not be able to serve: none identified.
  • After arrival in Dominican Republic, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot, to take daily or weekly medication to prevent malaria, and to receive mandatory immunizations.

Before you apply, please also review Important Medical Information for Applicants [PDF] to learn about other health conditions typically not supported in Peace Corps service.


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