Volunteer Testimonials

Nicoletest“Leaving home to come to the Esperanza Project was a huge step for me; it’s very different than leaving home for school. However, once I arrived I knew this was the right decision for me. Not only was the Esperanza staff wonderful to work with, my host family was always so much fun to be around, they were always there when I needed something – even if it was just a hug or a smile. I came into the experience expecting to teach children, however as cliché as it sounds, I think the children gave me more than I could have ever given them. This experience was amazing, I highly recommend volunteering with the Esperanza Project!!!” – Nicole from Canada



“I had the privilege of volunteering with The Esperanza Project for almost four months this past summer. My time with the organization was incredibly challenging, meaningful, and magical. I had the opportunity to meet and network with more then 20 young adults from around the world and work together towards a common purpose. Not only did I connect with literally dozens of incredibly talented children, but had the opportunity to become a part of a community I did not know existed. The Dominican Republic is an incredible country that always seems to remind people life’s magic and leaves people with something they’ll cherish for the rest of their life. I recommend volunteering with The Esperanza Project to anyone who is looking for an adventure and is ready to discover what life is all about.” – Roshan from Canada



“Camp Esperanza provides the opportunity for a truly unforgettable summer on a number levels.  Interacting with goofy, goodnatured kids at camp is awesome alone. By the end of camp, the strong rapport that exists between everyone involved–the counselors, kids, and homestay families–was  truly profound. During the course of this experience, I felt purposeful yet also enjoyed plenty of fun.  Anthony and Fiona, do an amazing job running the camp. They are easy going, and truly made the  experience one that I will remember for ages. The small town of Cabrera is a nice small size. It feels  safe yet authentic. The community is welcoming, and the surrounding beaches are breathtaking. My  homestay family was overwhelming helpful and kind. I came out of this experience with memories  and people I will hold dearly for life.” – Taylor from USA



“The month I spent volunteering with The Esperanza Project in Cabrera was an unforgettable one, to say in the least. This trip not only strengthened my love for the Dominican Republic, but also it also taught me life lessons, humbled me, and rewarded me in more ways than one. During this experience I was welcomed into such a loving community by the locals, made wonderful friendships with people all over the world, and best of all you get to work with some extraordinary kids. If there were any advice I could give to someone considering volunteering with The Esperanza Project, it would be to go for it. Step out of your comfort zone, I can almost guarantee you won’t regret it. I will be forever grateful for this experience!” – Rachel from USA



“The Esperanza Project was a truly incredible experience. The town of Cabrera is a very welcoming and charming place to live. The volunteers, including Anthony and Fiona themselves, are an unforgettable group of people. I had so much fun with them during camp and during free time. I’ll always cherish the great relationships I built with the volunteers, my host family and the children at camp. I have never met such warm and friendly people. The Esperanza Project has a special place in my heart and I look forward to watching it continue to grow.” – Katlynn from USA



“This past summer has been the best experience of my life thus far. Going into this experience I was not sure what to really expect, the first few days were overwhelming, however this feeling was quickly taken away by the amazing support of both the Directors Fiona and Anthony, other volunteers, and the locals of Cabrera. Cabrera and the surrounding area is an amazing place. Not only are the beach beautiful but the culture exudes from within the community, I don’t think I have ever felt safer than in Cabrera. My host family provided me a second home and second family, while other families took us under their wing and helped us in whatever way needed. I would have never expected to learn as much as I had in the three and a half months living in Cabrera. The Esperanza Project gave me the opportunity to grow and develop in ways I never thought possible. The friendships, memories and laughs that I had will never be forgotten. Even after I have left I still feel a connection to these kids beyond anything I could have imagined in such a short period of time. There is a piece of my heart that was left with the children when I left Cabrera, and as much as it sounds cliche, it will always remain there. I would recommend this experience to anyone, the longer the better because even though 3.5 months sounds like a long time, it still was not long enough. There is something special about the Esperanza Project, Cabrera and the kids that will stay with you forever. Its more than a summer away in renewed sense of hope and understanding” – Karen from Canada



“My time volunteering in Cabrera was one of the best months of my life- completely humbling, rewarding, challenging, and memorable! It was one of the best ways to spend a summer. The children and community are like none I have ever experienced, and I feel like I received as much as I gave– if not more. Everyone is so welcoming and appreciative of the volunteers that the town comes to feel like home. I felt safer in Cabrera than in any other town I have ever visited, and the natural sites and beauties throughout the country are so stunning and unforgettable. The culture challenges all you have ever known and helps to make you realize what is truly important in life. One month is not enough, especially after falling in love with such amazing people and the community and as a whole.” – Emily from USA



“To simply put it, Cabrera is a life-changing town. I can promise you that the beautiful sights that you will see, people you will meet, and memories you will make- will stay with you for the rest of your life. The simple happiness the children at the “Esperanza Project” exude is infectious, and I will carry their spirit with me for the rest of my life. Fiona and Anthony are two of the most amazing people I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know. What they are doing for the town of Cabrera is nothing short of extraordinary. I never knew a volunteering trip could have such a tremendous impact on my life. I came home a better person and will forever be thankful for my time in Cabrera. I miss it dearly, but I know I will be back very soon.” – Drew from Canada



“Summer at Camp Esperanza was awesome! I loved getting to know all the volunteers from all over the world, as well as my home-stay family and the children at camp. Everyone in Cabrera is really, really friendly. Camp itself had a very positive, fun atmosphere, and I feel lucky just to have been a part of it. Aside from camp, some of my favorite memories were swimming at the beautiful beaches, drinking a ton of fresh juice in town with the volunteers, and just hanging out at Anthony and Fiona’s house. I’d recommend Camp Esperanza to anyone.” – Mark from USA



“The month I spent volunteering at Camp Esperanza has by far been the most rewarding, amazing experience thus far in my life. The town of Cabrera and the locals are so welcoming and make you feel at home instantly. The homestay families are incredible as well. I still keep in touch with my family and think about them constantly. As for the Camp, I cannot put into words just how amazing it is. The energetic, smart, and at times crazy campers will capture a piece of your heart. The kids were by far my favorite part of this entire trip and the sole reason I applied for this opportunity. Just walking into the camp you can see and feel the joy that shines through all the kids. Their contagious smiles will make your day the moment you get to camp and leave you with a similar one that will stay with you all day long. The camp is set up in a way that gets everyone, both young and old campers and even volunteers, excited to participate and have a blast all day long. I am also so thankful for the great friendships I created while volunteering at Camp Esperanza. It is incredible how close you become with the other volunteers and how quickly you create life long friendships. I knew I was going to Cabrera to volunteer and be a counselor, what I did not know was how much of an impact Camp Esperanza, the kids, and town would have on my life. I have learned so much from this experience, created memories, lifelong friendships, and found a new piece of myself. Fiona and Anthony are doing something I could only dream of doing someday. They are bringing people of all ages, from all over the world together to learn, laugh, and spread hope. They forever have a place in my heart and I thank them for what they are doing in the town of Cabrera.” -Shanon from USA



“I had the pleasure of working with the Esperanza Project for 3 months this summer and it was been absolutely amazing. I went into the experience not being comfortable with speaking Spanish, not really knowing much about Dominican culture and trying to understand my role in the world. Cabrera is a safe, community oriented town that is so homey and the perfect backdrop for the Esperanza Project. The project itself was unique in that it brought together kids from all different backgrounds, who otherwise would probably never have interacted with one another otherwise, and gave them a common goal — to have as much fun as possible. The experience opened my eyes and inspired me to enjoy every moment of life, both the rowdy and the quiet. I looked forward to going to camp every day where I would literally have a permanent smile attached to my face. The happiness and the Esperanza spirit, as we call it, is undeniably contagious and addictive. It was not uncommon for us counsellors to be singing camp songs at night! The kids gave me hope throughout the summer and truly challenged me to be the best me. The excitement of the kids to see us both in and out of camp was truly uplifting. Whether it is becoming Mr. Baby Shark, Mr. Eliminado or even Chino, I was blessed to know that my hard work translates to good memories. The Esperanza Project, whether it’s the school program or the camp, is a truly worthwhile cause that works to truly do what it is outlined in their name, to give esperanza–hope.” – Karsten from Canada

“The one piece of advice I can give to anyone thinking about whether or not this is something they’d want to do is to do it. Cabrera is a life-changing town—the people you meet will influence your world views in ways you can’t imagine. The Dominican is a gorgeous country to begin with, but once you’ve settled into the way of life down there, it becomes all the more beautiful. There’s so much to learn about the world, and Cabrera gives you the chance to be a little bit out of your comfort zone, but in a way that makes you truly appreciate everything all the more.” – Alex from Canada

“Camp Esperanza was one of the most mutually beneficial experiences in my life to date. Ofall the activities or volunteer opportunities I’ve been a part of, Camp Esperanza stands alone. The kids, the counselors, the parents of kids, and even unrelated townspeople received equally as much satisfaction from the experience as I did. Furthermore, without the courage and compassion of a resourceful and noble couple, Anthony and Fiona, this would have been entirely impossible. My gratitude to Anthony and Fiona extends eternally, approximately the amount of time this endeavor will impact my life.” – Michael from USA



“It’s so difficult to talk about my time with the Esperanza Project and Cabrera because there is so much to say and so much words can’t describe. Coming to the Dominican was a life changing experience. I was amazed by the beauty of the country, the kindness of the people, and the excitement of working with the kids at camp. Spending time here really changed my perspective and made me appreciate all the important things in life. I met people and had experiences that I will never forget. The family that developed between the Anthony and Fiona, volunteers, the kids, and the town was so warm and uplifting. I’m so grateful to Anthony and Fiona for all that they do and providing this wonderful opportunity to both the kids and the volunteers. If you get the chance to do this, take it!” – Andy from Canada



 “Living in Cabrera for 2 months volunteering for The Esperanza Project has been one of the best summers of my life. Camp is an amazing place where you get to make special bonds with all the kids, learn a language, and see how talented those children are. They have so much love to give. It is such a great feeling to spend so much time with them. Outside of camp you get to explore Cabrera and all the neat places around it. So many beautiful beaches and fun things to do. I made so many good friends with the locals and the volunteers. They are people I will never forget and hope to keep in touch with for a very long time. Working with and getting to know Anthony and Fiona was so much fun as well. What they do in Cabrera truly is amazing. I am so lucky and proud I got to be a part of it. Needless to say, I can’t wait to go back.” – Kristy from Canada