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Practivistas Dominicana Program invitation

Revision as of 07:40, 15 January 2015 by Lonny (talk | Contributions) (new tentative dates)
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Humboldt State University (HSU) and Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE)

invite you to the Hands-on, resilient community technologies, Program in the Dominican Republic

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Next Meeting

Wednesday, 1/28/15, 6:15-7:15pm, HGH 226 at Humboldt State University.




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. 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.

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

  • Saturday, May 23rd - Saturday, July 4th, 2015
  • $3,650 (includes room, board, units, classroom facilities and deposit)
  • 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.


  • 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.


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

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:

Application due ASAP
Last day for interview Friday, March 27th (or by special arrangement)
Deposit of $300 due Friday, April 17th (or by special arrangement)
Final Payment due Monday, May 4th, 2015
Pre-trip orientation TBA
Arrive Santo Domingo May 23rd, 2015
Class orientation May 25th, 2015
Last class - Final Presentation July 3rd, 2015
Last day of home-stay July 4th, 2015

Contact the Dominican Program Leaders


Director's Assistant - Kiva Mahoney,

Kiva's Appropedia user page


National Coordinator - Wilfredo Mena Veras,

Wilfredo's Appropedia user page


Director Lonny Grafman,

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 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 (Upper Division Area B GE), ENGR 215 Introduction to Design

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).


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