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Santo Domingo, DR

Building Healthier Communities in the Dominican Republic: Creative Inquiry and Study Abroad 

Directed by Dr. Arelis Moore de Peralta

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Description of the Project
This multi-disciplinary creative inquiry project engages Clemson students in a reflective critical thinking learning process and incorporates service learning in order to study the health situation of Las Malvinas II, a low-resourced setting bordering the highly polluted Ozama River in the city of Santo Domingo. Students will use the input gathered from direct interactions with the community to recommend appropriate courses of action for improvement under the healthy communities’ and socio-ecological frameworks. This project increases students’ cultural competence by translating applicable evidence-based health practices from the US to a LAC country. 

SPAN 3970: Creative Inquiry - Building Healthier Communities in the DR 
HLTH 470: Global Health
SPAN 3180: Spanish through Culture-Latin America and the Caribbean

Estimated Cost:
Trip Fee (including all lodging, required in-country travel, sightseeing and trips)
Summer 1: $1,125
The above amount doesn’t include airfare, study abroad fee and other personal expenses (passport, vaccines, etc).

Program Director

Dr. Arelis Moore de Peralta
Department of Languages
Department of Youth, Family & Community Studies
2078 Barre Hall 
Phone: 864-656-0719

Program FlyerBuilding Healthier Communities in the Dominican Republic 2019
Program BrochureBuilding Healthier Communities in the Dominican Republic 2019 - Brochure

DR-2016-1Clemson students working at Las Malvinas II in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; March 2016.

Project Background
Third world communities like Las Malvinas, a low-resourced and low-income setting bordering the highly polluted Ozama River and La Isabela Industrial Park in the city of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (DR), often face public health challenges. Clemson University (CU) students partnered with Dominican University (UNIBE) students and Las Malvinas community in a "Building a Healthier Community Initiative"

Duration of Involvement
Ongoing project; therefore, students can participate for one to three semesters at different stages of project development.

Study abroad
Conducting research and/or assets-based community development strategies at Las Malvinas, rotating through NGOs, and taking clases by traveling to the DR in first summer. Most of research and planning-related work is completed at CU.

Summary of Project Accomplishments

  • Community Systems and Environmental Changes Accomplished by Las Malvinas II Coalition:
    • Primary Health clinic almost finished
    • Water supply in all households
    • Ministry of Education approval to purchase new land for bigger and improved school
    • Regular and more frequent trash pickup by the municipality
  • Coalitions and Organizations formed:
    • Las Malvinas II Coalition formed in 2016 including Las Malvinas Neighborhood Association, Iberoamerican University, Clemson University, Mancomunidad, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Environment, Local Municipality, Eco-environmental Foundation (Non-profit).
    • Student Organization “Tigers Building Healthier Communities Abroad” established in 2017
    • Multi-disciplinary and bi-national research team: Students from a variety of undergraduate degree programs at both Clemson and Iberoamerican Universities.
  • Research and Programmatic Reports and Strategic Plans developed:
    • Community Health Assessment completed in 2016
    • Community Health Improvement Plan developed in 2017
    • Youth Engagement Research conducted in 2018
  • Project Dissemination
    • Presentations and posters at national and local seminars and conferences (12)
    • Two papers submitted for publication
    • Articles published in Tiger Newspaper, Clemson World, and Decipher Magazine
Map developed by CI students at Las Malvinas II using GIS technology.  Spring Break, 2016.
Clemson University and Iberoamerican University students getting ready to complete GIS Household Survey at Las Malvinas II. Spring break 2016.
DR-2016-4 DR-2016-5
Research teams (CU/UNIBE) completing surveys at Las Malvinas II. Spring break, 2016.

Photos from 2018

Photos from 2017

Photos from 2016