Part time (10-30 hrs/wk)
Short-Term (few weeks/months)
DENTAL HEALTHCARE - Dentistry observation and experience opportunity
Volunteer Placement & Internship Opportunity
Work side by side with dentists at a neighborhood dental health clinic. This program offers you hands-on dentistry work experience and is aimed at current professionals and aspiring dentists. It provides an opportunity to work in the local hospital-based dental clinic or a neighborhood health clinic, where you will experience the stark contrast between the Western dentist practice and the day-to-day realities of dentistry at a public dental clinic in a developing country.
Your level of possible involvement will largely depend on your professional and Spanish language skills, as well as your motivation and willingness to get involved. Your work schedule will be created in a meeting with the departmental director, the volunteer coordinator and supervisor. As with any medical service, volunteers should recognize that their schedules may be subject to sudden changes and are dictated by patients' needs.
During this observation and experience program, you will be shadowing the doctors and nurses and you will also be able to get hands-on experience in accordance with your qualifications and language skills. In order to get the most out of your involvement - or if you have a specific health care goal - please contact us in a timely manner to discuss your options in detail.
What to expect: Working hours will be primarily in the morning when the dentists are at the hospital/health clinic. Intermediate to advanced Spanish speakers will get the most out of the work in the hospital. Due to the friendly staff and patients you will find yourself in a pleasant working atmosphere.
Activities can include but are not limited to:
- Observing, shadowing and assisting the dentist
- Encouraging and teaching prevention of oral diseases through proper hygiene and regular check-ups for professional cleaning and evaluation (special prevention program for pregnant women)
- Providing oral health services support when needed, which includes dental assistance, dental hygiene and dental therapy
- Assisting the dentist according to your skills and experience with dental treatments: dental restorations, crowns, bridges, dentures, root canal therapy, periodontal therapy and extraction of teeth as well as dental examinations and diagnosis
- Also, you are welcome to work in other projects by Aldeas de Paz such as the English and computer classes for the locals
Your profile: This program is suitable for (pre-) dentistry students, and electives. The key requirements for a medical volunteer/intern are initiative, enthusiasm, and readiness to work in unfamiliar circumstances. The dentist program is available for elective students, dental students with free holiday time, pre-university students and also students taking, or planning to take, specialist dentistry courses. More specialized skills will allow for more specialized activities. Basic Spanish skills are needed, but an advanced level of Spanish experience will open up more opportunities. However, we offer up to six free Spanish language lessons every week in order to enhance your experience as a volunteer/intern.
Volunteer Placement and/or Internship
This program can be booked as a volunteer placement and internship. Please inform us of your school or university’s internship requirements and we will work out your personalized work plan.
A minimum stay of 2 weeks is required.
Hospital and neighbourhood health clinics in Samana, La Pascuala and Las Terrenas
Costs & Benefits
Aldeas de Paz works hard to keep the required financial contribution to an absolute minimum and to offer financial transparency by practicing an open book policy. The calculation of your financial contribution or donation is set up so that the longer you stay the less you give per week. We do this to encourage longer stays, recognizing that longer stays lead to more significant volunteer work and more energy contributed in the form of donated time in place of money! The minimum contribution starts at €155 per week and includes Spanish language classes, double room at one of our fully equipped guesthouse apartments, a special program donation as well as a personal welcome service and pick-up at the airport, transfer to the bus, bus fare and free transfer to your placement location in Las Terrenas or Samana. If you wish a single room upgrade add €35 per week and an all in Host Family home stay upgrade is €125 per week, including a private bedroom and two meals per day. For an independent Bungalow within an gated residence add €65 per week (only available in Las Terrenas)
Spanish language classes - Volunteers or Interns receive up to six free language lessons every week. The classes focus on developing communication skills so that students are able to put their knowledge to practical use as soon as they step outside the classroom. Our teaching method enables students to develop four basic skills: listening comprehension, speaking, reading and writing. The idea is to learn Spanish in a natural and spontaneous way, just as students have learned their mother tongue. Our students speak Spanish right from the very first day, using it in typical real-life situations: the basic syllabus is supplemented by special exercises, such as role-play, situational dialogues and work projects. Outside the classroom the learning process continues as you immerse in the Spanish language and culture.
Suggestions on what to bring and donate:
Please bring scrubs and shoes that are closed and easy to clean for working in the hospital as they are mandatory. Latex gloves, hand sanitizer and face masks (N95 for the TB patients) would be a very helpful donation to the dental clinic.
Guidelines on medical Issues of the Dominican Republic:
- WHO report on health care reform in Dominican Republic, 2010
- Health System of the Dominican Republic, 2011. The website provides an excellent overview of common medical issues in the DR and the government health system. Only available in Spanish.
Contact Person: Manfred Mönnighoff; Project/charity name: Fundación Aldeas de Paz; Address: Samana, Dominican Republic, Tel: +1 829 7055 123;
- Training Provided
- Housing Available
- Language/Cultural Support Available
- International Volunteers