Dominican Republic Field Research
Saturday, May 4 through Sunday, June 2, 2013
The Field Research Program in the Dominican Republic is built on the principles of rural micro-finance, village banking and the Grameen Bank model of solidarity, specific to rural “batey” communities of the Dominican Republic. The academic portion of the program includes daily classes emphasizing social entrepreneurship, micro-finance and impact measurement. Classes are supplemented with site visits to social businesses throughout the country, including micro-finance networks, agricultural co-operatives, and social development organizations.
In the afternoon, students spend at least 3–5 hours “in the field” daily in batey communities where Haitian sugar plantation workers live in rural farm lands of La Romana and San Pedro de Marcolis. The purpose for this field exercise is to collect metrics for Esperanza International, the University’s field partner in the Dominican Republic. Esperanza is a leading microfinance organization in the island of Hispaniola and is an active Kiva field partner.
In this micro-consulting project, students design a qualitative or quantitative metric tool to assist Esperanza with measuring social impact for the organization’s 18,000 active borrowers with a loan portfolio of approximately $20 million USD. Students also create a final presentation or deliverable which includes recommendations to management for best practices in the field of micro-finance. The fourth week of the program incorporates a week of service learning through the implementation of social innovation projects such as a drip irrigation system for a local community, and the creation of a microfinance fund in partnership with MOSTCHA and International Development Enterprises. Students will also be given the opportunity to visit Esperanza’s partnerships with public health clinics and programs, as well as many other leading social enterprises, and international development organizations.
You will receive 8 semester hours of academic credit for this program:
- ENTR3316: Micro-finance & Economic Development in Latin America (4SH)
- ENTR3318: Business, Economics & History of Hispaniola and Latin America (4SH)
Host Institution:INTEC and Esperanza International
Please note this program is open to freshmen or above with a minimum 2.8 GPA. Students who do not meet this requirement but still wish to apply must contact Esther Chou at email@example.com in order to list a faculty reference.
Preference is given to students who have completed ENTR2206: Social Entrepreneurship or HNRU1205: Voices of Development with Professor Dennis Shaughnessy though not required. A strong command of Spanish language is preferred but also not required.
All students must attend supplemental interviews in addition to the online application via the Office of International Study Programs.
Students will live in split their time in hotel accommodations in the capital city of Santo Domingo and Santiago. Accommodations are included in Summer I tuition. Various travels to different parts of the island/Caribbean may include a change in hotel venue.
Some information posted here is tentative and subject to change based on costs and dates of available flights. The website is updated as current information becomes available.