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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 three different barrios on a project team with locals tackling real problems with existing resources to create and document solutions on Appropedia. 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.


Cal Poly Humboldt (HSU) and Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE) invite you to the Hands-on, resilient community technologies, Program in the Dominican Republic

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Note: Applications are closed until further notice.

Projects[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

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.

In the summer of 2013, students returned again to Santo Domingo. Students and community members worked together to design and construct:

In the summer of 2014 the students collaborated with three communities in Santo Domingo. The students and community members worked together to create:

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[edit | edit source]

  • Summer 2017
  • $3,860 (includes room, board, units, classroom facilities and deposit)
  • $120 health insurance
  • 8 Units: 2 Units of Spanish and six units (two of the following courses), depending on your track - ENGR 308 Technology and the Environment (Upper Division Area B GE), ENVS 410 Environmental Science practicum, ENGR 305 (Upper Division Area B GE), ENGR 215 Introduction to Design
  • 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.

Qualifications[edit | edit source]

  • 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.

Application[edit | edit source]

  1. Complete Program Application. Due Date: 3.23.18
  2. Complete Interview with HSU Practivistas Program Director, Lonny Grafman.
Venn Diagram of the three program courses.

Cancellation policy[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

In addition to monthly meetings, these are some of the VERY TENTATIVE important dates of the program:

Application due Monday, March 19th
Last day for interview Friday, March 30th (or by special arrangement)
Deposit of $300 due Friday, April 6th (or by special arrangement)
Final Payment due Monday, May 7th, 2018
Pre-trip orientation TBA
Arrive Santo Domingo May 26th, 2018
Class orientation May 28th, 2018
Last class - Final Presentation July 6th, 2018
Last day of home-stay July 7th, 2018

Contact the Dominican Program Leaders[edit | edit source]


National Coordinator - Wilfredo Mena Veras, Wilfredo's Appropedia user page

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Director Lonny Grafman, Cal Poly Humboldt, 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.

Courses[edit | edit source]

Credit flowchart for Practivistas

Don't let the engineering courses fool you. This program is not just for engineers. The best solutions to the toughest problems come from the most diverse teams. We are open to all majors and community members as well.

The main courses for the summer program, totaling eight semester units, are as follows:

  • 2 Units of Spanish: SPAN 250, Conversational Spanish
  • 6 units (two of the following courses), depending on your track: ENGR 308 Technology and the Environment (Upper Division Area B GE), ENVS 410 Environmental Science practicum, ENGR 305 Appropriate Technology (Upper Division Area B GE), ENGR 215 Introduction to Design

Note: Exceptions and alternates can be made in some special cases (especially when a student has already completed one of the courses).

Video[edit | edit source]


See More[edit | edit source]

FA info icon.svg Angle down icon.svg Page data
Authors Lonny Grafman, Dominick Triola, Kiva Mahoney
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
Related 0 subpages, 15 pages link here
Aliases HSU Dominicana Program invitation, Practivistas
Impact 3,009 page views
Created April 9, 2011 by Lonny Grafman
Modified July 26, 2023 by StandardWikitext bot
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