What we do:
Listen and learn directly from the personal stories of organizers at the forefront of the fight for
social justice on the ground in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Share skills with rad student organizers from around the country who have won campaigns! If they
can do it, you can do it! Lots of hands-on workshops, role plays, games, discussions, and campaign
planning that will jump-start your organizing into the new semester.
Have a whole lot of pure, simple, fun, with an amazing community of organizers in one of the most
beautiful countries in the world. Enjoy the fantastic music and dance scene, the natural beauty, hike,
hang out with local families.
Meet the inspiring leaders of Alta Gracia, the first ever living-wage union-made factory producing
college logo apparel. This article in The Nation and this fun video made by United Students Against
Sweatshops share the history, or check out this short documentary film from past trip participants.
Come see for yourself how more than a decade of student worker solidarity continues to transform
the Free Trade Zone and community of Villa Altagracia.
Gain a first-hand understanding of the bigger picture of human rights in the global economy
through direct testimony from organizers in the factories and fields, from garment-industry to Call
Centers to agriculture in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Meet students from all over, feed your creativity, fine-tune your organizing skills and have time to
develop your game plans in an inspiring new setting. Build alliances with a network of amazing
students from campuses across the country who are fighting for change, just like you!
Immerse yourself in the local culture with home-stays and hang-out time with families in Villa
Beaches! Rainforest Rivers! Hikes in the hills of Villa Altagracia! Learn to appreciate Dominican
music and dance – Bachata, Merengue, Dembow – with union leaders! Bilingual Karaoke! Cheesy
games! Learn to cook delicious Dominican food! Art! Action!
Stay connected! Plug in to networks that will drive this movement forward when you get home.
Whether sharing ideas and advice to help each other out on calls post-trip or meeting up at regional
conferences, we stay involved in the labor justice movement post-trip!
More details here in the Solidarity Immersion Info Packet!
COST: $975 FOR ALL IN-COUNTRY NECESSITIES.
Includes food, housing,
transport, interpretation, supplies. Does not include airfare (but travel scholarships are available) or
travel outside of established program dates, souvenirs, airport entry fee ($10), mandatory basic
travel insurance through ISIC card ($22), vaccinations ($50 - $100) and personal entertainment.
NO MONEY? NO PROBLEM! FREE FUNDRAISING WORKSHOPS!
the trips with lots of skillshares via Google hangouts of how you can raise the money to get you there,
even if this would normally be beyond your means. The vast majority of students who have attended
Solidarity Immersions have raised their program fees without paying a dime of their
personal-money,whetherthrough academic department money (sometimes triple-whammying:
funding, credit, and trip), donations from unions and local businesses, letter writing to family and
friends, benefit parties, work-trades and other fundraising tactics that we’ll share with each other.
We’ll help you get there!
NEED-BASED SCHOLARSHIPS ARE AVAILABLE. Working class perspectives are a
huge asset to our trip! We can work together to make this happen. If you’re committed to the cause,
where there’s a will there’s a way. Here’s a link to the need-based scholarship application you can fill
out after applying for the trip. We’ll work together from there.
ALL APPLICANTS MUST PAY A NON-REFUNDABLE $250 deposit by
July 1. If you’re a waffler or a flake, that’s a dealbreaker. But if you’re serious, just learned
about this yesterday, and really want to go, talk to us. We’re in the business of movement building –
not rule or money making. We know students get our best work done last minute – the deadline to
join the trip is somewhat flexible if you mean business, so call us.
APPLY FOR THE SOLIDARITY IMMERSION! Here’s a link to the application. Please
send a completed copy to email@example.com with your name and school in the headline
of the email and saved as the title of the saved document of your application.
I’m a graduate student. Can I still join on the Solidarity Immersion?
The Solidarity Immersion is designed for undergraduate students, so the information advertised is pertinent to undergrads. If you are a graduate student and interested in conducting research on Alta Gracia and human rights in the garment industry or a related field, we’re happy to share with you resources for researching in the Dominican Republic. If you are interested in the campus social justice organizing workshops held during this immersion, contact us and we’ll work together from there.
Where exactly in the Dominican Republic are we staying during the trip?
We’ll be visiting several towns during the program and sleeping in three different locations. Participants will arrive in Santo Domingo, the capital, where we’ll meet and greet you at the airport! We spend several days in Santo Domingo getting to know each other, learning about history of the Dominican Republic and student-garment worker international collaborations, and getting acquainted with Dominican culture and life. While in Santo Domingo, we stay in a community center in a safe and quiet neighborhood that is within walking distance to Cuidad Colonial, the historic downtown neighborhood of Santo Domingo.
The bulk of the trip is spent in Villa Altagracia, a small city about 45 minutes north of Santo Domingo. This is where the Alta Gracia factory is located. While in Villa Altagracia, we will be home-staying with workers from the factory. Students are grouped into pairs of 2-3 for homestays.
We’ll also spend 1-2 nights in a simple hotel in a town called Dajabon, near the border of Haiti- also in a safe and quiet location. We’ll be visiting several other small towns and larger cities during the trip, but these will be day trips: Santiago, Bonao, etc. While accommodations will be simple and reflective of typical Dominican lifestyle, you will always have a safe place to sleep, either a bed or mattress, and a place to use the bathroom and shower.
Do I need a passport?
Yes! You need a valid passport to enter the Dominican Republic. Please secure this with sufficient time before the trip, as expediting passports can be costly and inconvenient. Search here to find out where to apply for a passport.
What vaccinations are required?
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Typhoid vaccinations. We’ve never had a participant contract any of these from the Solidarity Immersion- but don’t mess around with your health, get these ASAP. Let us know if you need a loan to make this happen. Here’s where you can find a travel clinic near you. We do not require malaria medication, as it is not prevalent in the areas we’ll be visiting- whether or not you choose to purchase that is your prerogative.
Can I speak with past trip participants/can my parents speak with a trip facilitator?
Yes! We’re happy to connect you with past participants and we’re happy to speak with your parents/guardians (or have a parent of a past participant do such)! Just ask.
Who runs the Solidarity Immersion?
The Solidarity Immersion is run by a non-profit organization called Solidarity Ignite as well as students who’ve organized labor rights campaigns on their campuses. We work side-by-side with local folks and workers and members of Fedotrazonas union federation to plan the itinerary and facilitate the trip.
Do I need to speak Spanish to participate?
No! While it would be a huge asset, plenty of monolingual folks participate in the Solidarity Immersion every year. We make sure to pair up homestay partners based on language ability, and we have interpreters present to interpret all conversations and exchanges with workers. And, we provide workshops on Spanish essentials and non-verbal communication skills, as well as interpretation in a social justice context workshops for bilingual folks.
Can I visit family or friends/ sightsee and independently travel while in the Dominican Republic?
Of course - just outside of program times. We ask that you respect the group by participating in program activities between the dates of December 28 and January 9. However, if you’d like to come early and/or leave late, that’s fantastic! We’ll happily share with you pointers on where to stay and how to get around. Just remember, any traveling done outside of program dates is on your tab.
Am I flying alone? Will someone meet me at the airport?
It’s possible you’ll be flying alone, but we’ll make sure to connect you if there are other participants travelling on the same flight as you! We’ll also help you book a flight to ensure you have the correct arrival and departure times. As long as you travel within the established dates, we’ll be at the Santo Domingo airport, with signs, to greet you when you land and we’ll also get you to the airport in time for your departure.