Foothills Academy World Affairs Challenge Educational Adventue



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About World Affairs Challenge

This is NOT your parents' Social Studies course! The World Affairs Challenge encourages young people to discover and explore exciting new content as they work with peers on a collaborative project. The program challenges young people to think about their relationship to the rest of our world while taking part in a fun competition. Four events, focused on an overarching annual theme, assess student knowledge about what's going on in the world and highlight students' creativity, analytical, and presentation skills.

The 2006 World Affairs Challenge participants will investigate a timeless and universal topic: conflict. The goal for this year’s Challenge participants is to acquire a greater understanding of the dynamics of conflict: the reasons that conflicts begin, the consequences that follow, and the organizations that seek to prevent or resolve disputes. While the United States may be involved in the conflict that is the subject of presentation, the primary focus MUST be outside of the United States.

Our 11th-Graders from Foothills Academy are divided into 2 teams of 7 students each. Each team is researching a conflict in the DR, planning a presentation, and presenting it. One team is investigating environmental conflicts with the Pomier Anthropological Reserve (the location of 4T's 2006 Summer Camp Alternative), while the other is focusing on illicit drug traffic through the DR to the US.

Trip Highlights

  • Unparalleled experiential learning opportunities!
  • Travel across the entire Dominican Republic from the Caribbean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean!
  • Stay in the historic Colonial Zone!
  • Tour and camp in the Pomier Anthropological Reserve!
  • Two Service Projects!
  • Tour and stay in Santiago de los Caballeros, considered the most "Dominican" of all cities!
  • Visits to Cultural Museums and Public Markets!
  • Spend two days living with the Tremblay family at Jardin de Niños!
  • Explore the El Choco National Park!
  • Free time on Cabarete Beach!
  • Mangrove lagoon boat tour and free time on Playa Grande Beach in Rio San Juan!
  • Stay at the unique Blue Moon Retreat!
  • Horseback riding with River Tubing!
  • All meals included!
  • All ground transportation included!

Trip Descriptive Itinerary

Day 1: Saturday, April 29, 2006

  • Arrival to Santo Domingo Las Americas Airport (SDQ)
  • Airport transfer to Colonial Zone (.75 hour)
  • Hotel Check-in
  • Orientation & Snacks
  • Accommodations in Santo Domingo.

Day 2: Sunday, April 30, 2006

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Pomier Anthropological Reserve Briefing
  • Lunch at Meson de Daniel
  • Transfer to Pomier, San Cristobal (1 hour)
  • Tour of Cave Number One
    Cuevas de Pomiér Anthropological Reserve which is located about an hour's drive west of Santo Domingo on the outskirts of San Cristobal is the only region in the country specifically designated for the protection of a subterranean ecosystem and it is the single most important pre-Columbian site in the Caribbean. With more 6000 recorded pictographs and around 500 petroglyphs pertaining to several distinct indigenous populations, the Cuevas de Pomier are, in anthropological importance, for the Caribbean what the Pyramids of Giza are for Egypt and the Altamira and Lascaux Caves are for Europe. Cave Number One has 590 pictographs; more than are found in all other locations in the Minor Antilles put together. We spend the afternoon exploring this cave which provides insights into the Pre-Columbian origins of humans in the Caribbean with Dominican environmental activist, journalist and Espeleogrupo Santo Domingo President,
    Domingo Abreu.
  • Dinner in camp
  • Accommodations in Pomier

Day 3: Monday, May 1, 2006

  • Breakfast in camp
  • Touring of other caves in reserve
  • Observation of mining facilities
  • Lunch in camp
  • Service Project
  • Hike to La Toma for a swim
  • Dinner in San Cristobal
  • Accommodations in Pomier

Day 4: Tuesday, May 2, 2006

  • Breakfast in camp
  • Transfer to Santiago (2.5 hours)
  • Check-in to hotel
  • Lunch in Santiago
  • Relax
  • Walk to Monument Area & City Touring
  • Dinner in Monument Area
  • Accommodations in Santiago

Day 5: Wednesday, May 3, 2006

  • Breakfast
  • City Tour
  • Jimenez Cultural Museum and Cigar Factory
  • Lunch at Don Andres
  • Transfer to Jardin de Niños, Los Brazos (1.75 hours)
  • Tour of Jardin de Niños
  • Dinner at Jardin de Niños
  • Accommodations in Los Brazos

Day 6: Thursday, May 4, 2006

  • Breakfast at Jardin de Niños
  • Service Project
  • Lunch at Jardin de Niños
  • Service Project
  • Dinner at Jardin de Niños
  • Play with the kids
  • Accommodations in Los Brazos

Day 7: Friday, May 5, 2006

  • Breakfast
  • Transfer bags to Blue Moon (.25 hour)
  • Transfer to Cabarete (.25 hour)
  • National Park Hike & Caves of BUMBA
    Join us on a true walking-adventure into the past in discovery of the real Dominican Republic. Following red-earth paths walked by the Arawak Indians winding through small Dominican communities and tropical rain forest we hike up to our own hidden spot for a fresh fruit snack and an incredible view of the 8 kilometer long Cabarete lagoon. Enjoy authentic, locally grown Dominican coffee while learning about the 36 species of birds and 862 species of plants thriving around you. Formed as long as 25 million years ago in the Miocene Period, the ancient rock formations are unique to the North Coast of the DR and hold many secrets for us to explore. Subterranean rivers and caves abound throughout the park home to plants and animals that have become completely accustomed to life in the dark. Venture with us down into the mysterious Caves of BUMBA for a cool swim in truly pristine water and glimpses into prehistory. 12 of the 18 species of bats found in the DR are living within the boundaries of the park, and, if we are lucky, we might catch a few sleeping!
  • Lunch at El Tigre
  • Free time on Cabarete Beach
  • Dinner Pomorodo
  • Accommodations in Los Brazos

2Day 8: Saturday, May 6, 2006

  • Breakfast at Blue Moon
  • Transfer to Río San Juan (1.25 hours)
  • Boat tour of mangrove lagoon and coastal area
  • Lunch on Playa Grande
  • Beach time on Playa Grande
  • Transfer to Blue Moon (1.25 hours)
  • Dinner at Blue Moon
  • Accommodations in Los Brazos

Day 9: Sunday, May 7, 2006

  • Breakfast at Blue Moon
  • Horseback Riding & Tubing with Rancho Norte
    Enjoy your day in the foothills of the northern most mountain range in the Dominican Republic while on horseback, along with tubing in the Yásica River. This ride starts way out in the back county, and includes refreshments, a light meal, guides, and round-trip transportation. Rating: All riding levels. Not recommended for first time riders. Swimmers only.
  • Lunch at the ranch
  • Evening free at Blue Moon
  • Dinner at Blue Moon
  • Accommodations in Los Brazos

Day 10: Monday, May 8, 2006

  • Breakfast at Blue Moon
  • Transfer to Santo Domingo (3.5 hours)
  • Lunch in Santo Domingo
  • Airport drop off (2:00 p.m.) & departure


Hotel Antiguo Europa (3-star)
Colonial Zone, Santo Domingo
Night 1
Accommodations offer a selection of 52 guest rooms, most with balconies, designed to offer every comfort for tourists and business travelers. Our hotel has been meticulously restored to most of its original colonial period. All rooms feature private bathrooms, air conditioning, in room safety deposit box, cable tv, and telephone with Internet. Based on double occupancy with two persons sharing a full-size bed.

Pomier Anthropological Reserve (camping)
Pomier-Borbon, San Cristobal
Nights 2 & 3
We will be primitive camping adjacent to the National Park office in 6 and 4-person tents.

Eureka 6-Person, 2-Room Tetragon
Kelty 4-Person Teton


Hotel Colonial (1-star)
Santiago de Los Caballeros
Night 4

Set right in the heart of the downtown shopping district, Hotel Colonial is as "Santiago" as you can get. Rooms are simple and humble featuring a bed, fan and private bathroom. Hotel Colonial is a favorite of student travelers and Peace Corps volunteers.


Jardin de Niños (bunkhouse)
Los Brazos, Septentrional Mountains
Nights 5 & 6

Since her arrival to the Dominican Republic from Quebec in 1982 Paulina Tremblay has adopted 27 Dominican and Haitian children. As if raising an immense family as a single woman in the Dominican backcountry was not enough, Paulina has also founded two schools. Her schools, Jardin de Niños in Los Brazos, and Escuela La Libertad in Sabaneta de Yásica, are unique in that they cater to the needs of poor children in the local rural area. These children would otherwise be unable to receive an education for a lack of funds to cover the required school uniform and textbooks.

Once a successful businesswoman, Paulina spent her savings on the purchase of land for her family home and her public schools and now lives solely by donations and fundraising efforts. She is very active in her community and assists local needy families by passing along donations of food, furniture, clothing, and mosquito nets. She has also opened a small second hand store that offers quality goods at a low price.

Jardin de Niños is not an orphanage; it is a home. An invitation to stay at Jardin de Niños is a privilege, an honor and an experience that is not soon forgotten.


Blue Moon Retreat (bungalows)
Los Brazos, Septentrional Mountains
Nights 7,8 & 9

Blue Moon's four artistically simplistic bungalows with six suites and two family suites have private bath with hot & cold water, fan, spacious living area, small library, 110v outlets, small patio and their own distinctive decor. Our guests enjoy 360 degrees views of mountain farmland and ocean, international cuisine specializing in East Indian, pool, daily housekeeping, laundry service, deluxe complementary country breakfast served 7:30 am to 11:00 am, full service bar, and backup battery system and generator.


April 29 (Saturday) - May 8 (Monday), 2006



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Tel. (809)867-8884
Fax. (206)600-1700
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Aguatours Dominicana S.A. in the DR.

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Most photos credited to "Open Shirt' Mike Gussak at