Practivistas Dominicana Program invitation
¡STUDY APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY AND SPANISH IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC!
Humboldt State University (HSU) and Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE)
invite you to the Hands-on, resilient community technologies, Program in the Dominican Republic
La Yuca ecoladrillo schoolroom (2011)
La Yuca schoolroom renovation (2013)
Las Malvinas ecoladrillo schoolroom (2012)
Las Malvinas botica popular ecoladrillo (2013)
Arroyo Norte sustainable market materials (2014)
Las Malvinas destacamento (2014)
Las Malvinas community shade structure (2014)
In the Practivistas Dominicana program, each student lives with a unique family in Santo Domingo, while studying with local students in the prestigious UNIBE and working in one of two different barrios on a project team with locals. The program is an intense six week immersion in many different aspects of Dominican culture along a wide breadth of socioeconomic classes. Students are expected to be, and received as, contributing members looking to learn how to improve living systems together.
In the summer of 2011, students studied appropriate technology and Spanish while working with community members of La Yuca to build a schoolroom from plastic bottles and concrete, lit with solar and homemade wind power from bike parts and newspaper press waste, that catches its own rainwater for cleaning and possibly drinking.
In the summer of 2012, students returned to Santo Domingo to continue our learning and community collaboration. Students worked with community members of La Yuca to make the renewable energy system from bikeparts and newspaper press waste more hurricane safe and durable, and to make the rainwater catchment more potable and tested. In addition, students worked in Las Malvinas II to build a classroom from plastic bottles, concrete, sawdust, papercrete and industrial wood waste for 25 young students.
- TreeHugger article on the 2012 projects - Spanish article from UNIBE - Spanish article from Gikplus - Article in Humboldt Now
In the summer of 2013, students returned again to Santo Domingo. Students and community members worked together to design and construct:
- Rainwater catchment for all the water needs of an urban school (La Yuca rainwater catchment 2013) and a rural community center (Las Malvinas rainwater catchment system).
- Solar power for lighting an urban schoolroom (La Yuca) all of the electricity for an off-grid stray animal shelter (Ghetto2Garden solar power).
- Natural plaster from clay, sand and flour, and other improvements to an urban schoolroom we built from plastic bottles in 2011 (La Yuca schoolroom renovation).
- A rural public pharmacy (Las Malvinas) made from plastic bottles (Las Malvinas botica popular ecoladrillo 2013) and blocks made of rice husks, rice husk ash, lime, cement, and sand (Las Malvinas botica popular hullkrete 2013).
In the summer of 2014 the students collaborated with three communities in Santo Domingo. The students and community members worked together to create:
- Sustainable market materials in Arroyo Norte. This was the first year that the practivistas got to work with the community of Arroyo Norte.
- An improved rainwater catchment system for the La Yuca schoolroom, a feasibility study for a potential rainwater catchment system in Las Malvinas, and a rainwater catchment system for a pharmacy in Las Malvinas.
- A shade structure made from bamboo, bilboard material, and zinc for the community center in Las Malvinas.
- A series of tests on various eco-blocks to assess the potential of cinder blocks that use less concrete and more of materials like sawdust, paper, and coconut.
- A destacamento (police station) in Las Malvinas made with some of the eco-blocks created in the community.
- A renewable energy system for the La Yuca schoolroom, and a renewable energy system for Ghetto2Garden.
This program is open to all skill levels, but does require some ability to do manual work and move around. Expect to work hard, learn a bunch, build lasting projects and friendships.
 Tentative Details
- Saturday, May 23rd - Saturday, July 4th, 2015
- $3,650 (includes room, board, units, classroom facilities and deposit)
- 8 Units: 2 Units of Spanish, 3 Units Environmental Science 370, 3 Units Engineering 305 (Upper Division Area B GE) or special arrangement alternate such as Engineering 215 (note that units are very tentative)
- Location: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
- Partners: Colectivo Revark (cultural liaisons and more), UNIBE (University), Appropedia (Information sharing)
- A hands-on experience in Appropriate Technology and sustainability in the diverse environment of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
- Immersed in the language and culture of the Dominican Republic.
- Live with a Dominican family.
- Visit cultural and natural places guided by faculty and community liaisons.
- All courses apply to the HSU Minor and Majors or count as HSU graduating electives.
- May use Financial Aid to cover related expenses.
- You do not need to be an HSU student to apply.
- Any person regardless of location, Spanish level or knowledge of Appropriate Technology can enroll in the Program.
- Student should be able to do physical work related to appropriate technology projects and living in a foreign country.
- If currently a student, must be in good standing.
- Complete Program Application. Due Date: TBA
- Complete Interview with HSU Practivistas Program Director, Lonny Grafman.
 Cancellation policy
The Practivistas Dominicana program reserves the right to cancel the program in the case of low enrollment, changes in regional politics or unseen complications.
 Important Dates
In addition to monthly meetings, these are some of the tentative important dates of the program:
|Last day for interview||Friday, March 28th (or by special arrangement)|
|Deposit of $300 due||Friday, April 18th (or by special arrangement)|
|Final Payment due||Monday, May 5th, 2014|
|Arrive Santo Domingo||May 24th, 2014|
|Class orientation||May 26th, 2014|
|Last class - Final Presentation||July 4th, 2014|
|Last day of home-stay||July 5th, 2014|
 Contact the Dominican Program Leaders
Director's Assistant - Kiva Mahoney, email@example.com
National Coordinator - Wilfredo Mena Veras, firstname.lastname@example.org
Director Lonny Grafman, email@example.com
Humboldt State University, Department of Environmental Resources Engineering: (707) 826-3649
No employee or student shall on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, disability, veteran status or national or ethnic origin be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of or be otherwise subjected to unlawful discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, under any program of the University.
The main courses for the summer program, totaling ten semester units, are as follows:
- Spanish 250, Spanish Language (2 semester units)
- Engineering 305, Appropriate Technology in Dominican Republic (3 semester units)
- Environmental Science 370, Energy, Technology and Society (3 semester units) [this will be a different course in 2015]
Note: This list is tentative. Exceptions and alternates can be made in some special cases (especially when a student has already completed one of the courses).