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Dominican Republic: Service Learning in the Dominican Republic

Tentative Dates: May 12-20, 2023

Student with painting
Rosita and students
waterfall group photo

MGT 2354 is an intro to team leadership course with a service-learning component. This international section of the course will conduct our service-learning project with a 9-day program to the Puerto Plata region on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. Our project will focus on helping Haitian entrepreneurs with their business plans, marketing, financial records, and other small business needs.

The class will meet every week leading up to our spring break trip. After spring break, we’ll meet every other week for the rest of the semester. These classes cover culture, history, economic development, and small business elements, as well as team leadership skills.

The Dominican Republic borders the country of Haiti. Both countries are developing economies, but Haiti is the poorer of the two. Thus, the DR receives many Haitian immigrants. We will work with Project Esperanza (Hope) which helps these immigrants develop small businesses. We will help these businesses to improve their access to markets, web presence and overall operations.

We will also visit cultural and recreational sites in the Dominican Republic.

Spanish proficiency is not required, but there will be many opportunities to practice Spanish, French or Creole.


The hostel is located in a rural setting on a small farm that is located a few miles from downtown and the beaches. This farm is owned and operated by Project Esperanza.

The faculty leader is Dr. Kimberly Carlson, who serves as an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Management Department. Her expertise is organizational leadership, nonprofit management, and community development.

Undergraduate students will receive 3 credits for MGT 2354 - Leadership for Managers and Entrepreneurs.

Contact Information

Denise Cordova
2087 Pamplin Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Ellie Walters
1046 Pamplin Hall
(540) 231-3208