Looking for Information, please ...

Canadian

New member
Apr 8, 2003
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Hi there,
My partner and I would like to live in the DR (possibly the North Coast) for 3 months (Jan-Mar /04) and volunteer while we are down there. We have specific questions I hope can be answered.

1. Are Canadians allowed to live in the DR for 3 months? Is there a Visa required, and if so, where can it be obtained if I am in Canada?

2. Are there volunteer opportunities in the DR for foreigners? My partner is a primary school teacher and I am was a business person. We are both interested in humanitarian or environmental causes, or tutoring English at no charge - or helping in any way (orphanage, hospital, schools). Volunteering meets with our mission statement in life, and would be a deciding factor of us living in the DR for three months.

3. We would like to know the cost of living in the DR. Could we get a 2 BR apartment, utilities and food for under 10,000 pesos per month? I heard you could - but then research on Internet would lead you to believe all apts. are in US$ and pricey. Are there apts. rented in pesos so we could take advantage of strengthening dollar? (as we would be on a strict budget)

4. Is Peurto Plata served by a Star Alliance airline member so that we could use aeroplan points to get there?

5. Is there a gym in Sosua?

6. Is there a particular spot in the DR that has a Canadian community? Any recommendations on where to live on the North Coast for serving our purpose?

7. Are there medical facilities and adequate healthcare? We are 31 and 29, so hopefully we'll be OK ...

8. If the cost of living in the DR is beyond our budget, do you think there would be anybody that would billet us for a stipend for the three months as we volunteer? ... or perhaps rent a room and share their house?

Thank you in advance for information - I know its alot of questions and we are very appreciative of responses.

Thank you,

Andrew Chase
andrewalexanderchase@yahoo.ca

Saint John, NB
 
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JOHNNY HONDA

Motorcycle MANIAC
Sep 25, 2002
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Andrew I am from Moncton and have lived here 18 yearsSend me an e mail and Ill help you out include planned dates of staying here and what you wish to do as volunteer work.
Johnny Honda
 

mainer

New member
Mar 22, 2002
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Canadian,
I sent you an e-mail, but I forgot to answer number 7. Yes there is adequate health care available. We have used a dentist in Sosua and a clinic in Cabarete. There is a thread on Health care on which long-time residents have posted recommendations for health care providers in the area.

I didn't know about #'s 4 and 6.

Mainer
 

FireGuy

Rest in peace Amigo!
Aug 21, 2002
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Hi Andrew,

Greetings from Nova Scotia.

You seem to be getting most of the answers you need so I will only touch on Aeroplan (Star Alliance).

At the present, I am unable to find a connection to anywhere in the D.R. The last connection(s) of which I was aware were a couple of Mexicana connections from Cancun to SDQ and from Miami to SDQ but I think Mexicana has cut back on these flights. (You can get from Saint John to MIA or CUN on AC.) In both cases I think an overnight was necessary. If you find a current connection to the D.R. please post it for others.

Your best bet might be to use points to get to MIA (25K per person) and then get the cheapest AA flight possible to POP or STI.

Gregg
 

Canadian

New member
Apr 8, 2003
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Using employee passes we are able to fly AC into Port au Prince, Haiti - is there safe, reliable transpo to POP? Thanks.
 

bob saunders

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Jan 1, 2002
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safe transport from Haiti

Caribe tours has a bus from Port-au-prince to the DR. They have a website with schedules. Trina among others has flown this way.
 

maryanne

New member
Mar 16, 2003
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Air Canada?

Right now, Air Canada flies Toronto to Puerto Plata, but you never know what could happen in the future. Hope this helps.
 

FireGuy

Rest in peace Amigo!
Aug 21, 2002
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Hi maryanne,

Greetings from Nova Scotia.

The YYZ - POP AC flight is a seasonal Air Canada Vacations charter which is not (I believe) eligible for Aeroplan redemption.

I called Aeroplan and was told that even through Star Alliance "You can't get there from here."

Gregg
 

ricktoronto

Grande Pollo en Boca Chica
Jan 9, 2002
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Don't

Canadian said:
Using employee passes we are able to fly AC into Port au Prince, Haiti - is there safe, reliable transpo to POP? Thanks.

Unless you are dirt poor skip this idea.

If you can use passes to MIA you can get from MIA-SDQ cheap on AA.

Stick with an airline flying you to your actual destination - also they fly to POP and STI as well so there are lots of ways to get close, fast where you want to go.

As to #1 the tourist card will be adequate and any overstay of a bit over the 90 days permited will be pennies when you leave.

As to #7 remember you will have to pay for health care unless you have out of country medical coverage and if you try to buy that it is unlikely to be good for 3 months but you can look. If it is available buy it.

The coverage on credit cards ( premium ones) poops out after 30 or 31 days.

It is likely the cost of one visit would exceed the cost of the insurance. So buy it since if you don't you'll spend that the first time. All subsequent times are then out of pocket and if you have to evacuate to Canada it is horribly expensive.
 

Lore

New member
Mar 9, 2003
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I'm with Rick on the Health Ins. Coverage

If it is at all possible try and get yourself covered. And if I may add, try and copy if not all of the plan, at least the essential information into Spanish. My sister now speaks fluent Spanish however when she was first in the DR she ended up quite sick in the hospital and with mediocre Spanish at best, plus being in and out of consciousness, she had a hell of a time getting them to accept her health coverage. Her bill was around $2,500US by the time she left and she'd have been sunk if she didn't have coverage. Now, granted, she has gone back to live for extended times since then she has not been covered and her "luck" has held out. But, if you do have the provision of purchasing insurance - DO IT. Like insurance anywhere, you consider it a waste if you don't use it and a blessing when you do. Trust me if you are in a foreign country, unfamiliar with the language and culture and you end up in trouble you need all the assistance you can get. Bottom line, ya I agree with Rick, find some kind of coverage while you are here, especially if it is your first time. By the way, good luck with your endeavors. Humanitarian efforts in any country are highly commendable.
 

planner

.............. ?
Sep 23, 2002
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Insurance

I am a Financial Planner in Canada. You can purchase Health Insurance while travelling for up to 6 months less 1 day. Go to a reputable General Insurance company or CAA and ask for info and rates for different companies.

Don't go without it!!! IT is a massive risk to you if you are not covered! All companies have 1 800 #'s that you can call and ask for a Spanish speaking agent to converse with the hospital.

Good idea to get a letter written in Spanish before leaving Canada that says: in case of medical emergency here is my health insurance company and toll free number. Then you can hand it over or your friend / spouse can.

Hope this helps. If you want more info, just email me.
 

trina

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Jan 3, 2002
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I did travel this route, from MTL-PAP-POP, wouldn't do it again if my life depended on it...I have partied for 10 days in New Orleans for the Mardi Gras, stayed in San Juan, PR for a month, been through less-than-safe-tourist towns in Mexico, and never in my life have I been as scared sh!tless as I was in Haiti...I get shivers thinking about it...