What types of accommodations are available for participants?
Participants are housed in a gated compound, which includes the dormitories, hygiene facilities, kitchen and dining room. There is one separate house on the property, built by D.R.H.O.P.E., which provides living quarters for our foreman and the trade peoples who are employed by D.R.H.O.P.E. The gates to the compound are closed during the day, but locked with a padlock at night. There is a dormitory style room with bunk beds that is able to accommodate 22 participants. The dormitory room locks from both the inside and outside. The hygiene facilities include four toilets – two male and two female; four showers – two outdoors and one in each of the respective gender bathroom. Additionally for safety purposes, three lights remain on all night – two outside and one inside.
What methods of transportation are used?
Participants are transported to and from the airport in an air-conditioned bus driven by Fernando. He has a 28-year, accident free, driving record and has been working with D.R.H.O.P.E. as our driver for the past seven years. Richard and/or the assistant on-site coordinator will accompany Fernando and his helper, Marino, on his trips.
If the participant group’s worksite is not within walking distance, the participants will be transported by truck to the site.
Are there worksite safety measures in place?
All participants are required to have the following items present at the worksite; steel toed boots, water bottle, hat, bandana to protect their neck, two pairs of gloves – one thick for passing blocks, one thin for handling mortar, and sunscreen for re-applying. Participants are shown how to properly pass a block or cement buckets so they do not strain their back. An additional 5 Gallon bottle of water is brought to the worksite to refill bottles and all participants within the group take regular breaks. Both the paid foremen as well as a D.R.H.O.P.E. representative are always present on site, everyday. Lastly, worksite bathrooms vary from location to location; however, there is always a facility.
What are the protocols for emergencies?
Medical: All groups are required to bring their own fully stocked first aid kit with at least one individual as a fully certified first aid provider. The Assistant On-Site Coordinator is certified Standard First Aid with CPR Level C+ AED. The local hospital is approximately 7minute drive away from the compound. It is a fully equipped hospital available to serve any and all needs. D.R.H.O.P.E.’s foreman has a truck available if transportation to the hospital is necessary.
Natural Disaster: Groups do not travel to the Dominican Republic during the rainy season for safety reasons. Participants are advised to pre-register with the Canadian Embassy located in the Dominican Republic whom has 4×4 jeeps and helicopters available should evacuation be necessary. If needed, D.R.H.O.P.E. representatives would contact the Canadian Embassy and work in conjunction with them. More information about the role they are able to play in the Dominican Republic can be found at http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/dominican_republic-republique_dominicaine/index.aspx
Political: This has never been an issue as things are quite stable in the Dominican Republic. Should there be a change, necessary steps would be taken to ensure safety while working alongside the Canadian Embassy.