This will be the last post in our Dominican Republic series. I would be remiss if I did not take the time to go into detail about ALL the activities offered on The Adonia and on the ground in the Dominican Republic. I, of course, described the activities that I participated in but we should talk about the others as well!
Fathom offers several opportunities to impact the community positively as a traveler. These activities vary which means there is a little something for everyone. You can sign up for activities before hand like I did, through the website, or sign up for activities on board. All impact activities are included in the price of the cruise so no extra payment necessary. Below is a list of the activities:
1. Reforestation: This activity takes groups of travelers to different parts of the community to plant trees that will improve the ecosystem and quality of life. The difficult digging is done by professionals so no reason to fret if you are not really really strong or handy with tools. The trees will help hold back mud slides that effect water sources, increase air quality, and some of the trees are fruit baring which means they are a food source.
2. Chocolat: Chocolat is a newly formed business of chocolate makers in the Dominican made up of woman. The funds made from the chocolate helps them pay for housing and education for their children. In this activity you lend a hand in the chocolate making process, helping them with their product while also learning the difficulties they have to go through to hold a business.
3. La Papel: This activity works with a cooperative of craft makers. They make paper, candles, and other crafts to sell. All workers get an equal share of the profits. Like the above activity, volunteers help the workers with their products while learning about their business and trade.
4. Concrete floors: Many Dominican families have to live in homes with dirt floors. Dirt floors are messy, hard to maintain, and can add to increased health risks. Therefore a concrete floor can be invaluable to a family in the community. In this activity, volunteers help distribute concrete in homes to create floors for residents. Travelers on this activity told me it was highly rewarding and did not need any special strength or skills to participate. They loved it!!
5. Water filters: Another activity that scored well with travelers was the water filter making activity. (Wordy I know). Volunteers helped make water filters for homes and communities so that people could have clean drinking water. Why is this so important? Well poor drinking water can cause a lot of health concerns, sickness, and can add to infection. Furthermore, residents in the Dominican have to currently buy clean water in bottles which contributes to a lack of money and littering of bottles. These filters allow families to save their money for other things because clean drinking water should be available to all people, not just the people who can afford it.
6. Creative Arts, Music, and Sports camp: Check out my earlier blogs for this activity!
7. Community English: Check out my earlier blogs for this activity!
8. Recycling plant: One thing that the Dominican is struggling with is recycling and littering. There is a lot of waste produced that has no where to go because of the lack of government funding. Many residents live among streets that have garbage stacked along the road ways. The recycling activity helps one of two recycling plants in Puerta Plata process recyclables helping the locals try to gain some control over this issue.
Now that we know about the impact activities on the ground, what about the fun stuff on the ship?! Well, let me tell you there is indeed some fun stuff. They have salsa dancing lessons, meditation, zumba, scavenger hunts, bandaoke (which I have never heard of but apparently its karaoke only with a live band. It was awesome!), a game show, movie nights, trivia, wine and paint activities, cocktail making classes, and I am probably forgetting a bunch of activities. Furthermore, lets not forget the seminars you can attend such as Tutoring English, Spanish phrases class, How to raise the next generation of change makers class (for you parents), storytelling class, photography seminars. Basically most of the activities on the ship are geared towards personal growth. Which I think is great! If you are a traveler like me and enjoy activities that lend to your personal development than this is right up your alley.
With there being so many things going on around the ship, the crew is kind enough to provide an itinerary the previous night for your pursuing. A picture as an example is featured below.
Honestly, putting aside all the activities and fun things the best part about this cruise was the people it attracts. I hung out with people who had biology degrees, plant experts, teachers, non-profit organizers, families, high school students who were on the ship participating in a competition centered around sustainable inventions (they were so smart it killed me). There were residents of California, Florida, France, Macedonia on board. We created a small family all there to serve a cause greater than ourselves and meet new people. To work with kids and experience communities. It was lovely and a hundred percent worth the 5 hour flight to Miami. So give it a shot. Impact travel deserves to take off. On a plus note the cruises introductory prices are fantastic. Like $499 or something like that. But mostly do it because of the friends you will make and the experience you will have. Regular cruises pale in comparison to something as meaningful and life changing as this.
Thats it! Hope you enjoyed. Not sure what I will be blogging about next. Guess we will just have to wait and see.