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Yestermorrow's Design Build Class in the Dominican Republic 2009



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Co-Sponsored by:
The Conway School of Landscape Design
The Landscape Institute of Harvard University

Yestermorrow Design Build in the Dominican Republic

Asociación de Guías del Río Damajagua
27 Waterfalls of Damajagua River, Puerto Plata , Dominican Republic

Concrete...Lots of concrete!
The Design Process
Out "Designing" befor Building



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About Yestermorrow Design Build School

Yestermorrow Design Build School, Warren, VermontThe Yestermorrow Design/Build School is a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational institution located in Warren, Vermont. The school is a dynamic learning community exploring and teaching the integrated creative process of designing and building a sustainable future.

The School was founded in 1980 on the belief that the best built environment depends on the joint cooperation of designers, builders and homeowners. Our goal is to empower people to unleash their creative spirit by researching, preserving and teaching the integrated design/build process. By teaching students to express their values and lifestyle through this process, we foster a self-awareness that reconnects people to their communities, their natural environment and to each other. We help create healthy, sustainable communities by helping people to take steps to “make their own place.”

Visit the class webpage for the Third Annual Dominican Republic Design-Build on theYestermorrow Design Build School website at:

Rincon Bay, SamanaAbout the Damajagua Community
The first tourists began arriving at the Falls in 1994, and little by little, word got out about this amazing natural treasure and spawned a guiding industry for the local young men.

In 1998, the local guides made a dramatic cooperative decision to officially formalize their association in to the AGRD, the Association of Guides of Rio Damajagua. The cooperative has taken some unique steps to make this natural wonder a great experience and a community-based resource that benefits many of the local communities.

In 2005 the guides created a co-management agreement with the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources to regulate and protect the Rio Damajagua Natural Monument. The accord, unlike any other in the country, provides a portion of every entrance fee directly to the surrounding community for local development projects. Through this agreement, the guide association has assured that the community will now become a major stakeholder in the future of its own natural wonder.

Maria, President, Women's Group of RinconAbout the Damajagua Falls

The twenty-seven waterfalls have existed for millennia but were only recently discovered by the outside world. Wading through crystal clear water with smooth natural stone under foot and jungle foliage growing up 30-ft. walls on either side, you get the feeling that this is the original water park. Thirty minutes west of Puerto Plata, through the cane fields and along a rough river bed, you come to the trail that takes you through the jungle to the base of the 27 waterfalls of Damajagua.



Design Build in the Dominican Republic with 4TClass Summary

This 18-day design/build adventure will focus on building an entrance to a unique community organized eco-tourism destination called Damajagua Falls, where 27 cascades plummet between 30-foot high stone walls.

The design challenge is to help maximize the experience for tourists who visit by creating a new entrance to the visitor’s center.

The class begins with a group design process culminating in a single design emanating from the collective ideas of the participants. The remainder of the course is an intensive sprint to build what has been designed, utilizing local, environmentally appropriate materials, while allowing the design and building processes to continually inform one another.

This class will take place in a rural part of the Dominican Republic; with rustic lodging, limited or no electricity, lots of nature, and tons of hard work. It will be the experience of a lifetime. Tuition includes travel within the Dominican Republic, camping facilities in wall tents, and all meals. Intermediate to Professional.

Design Build in the Dominican Republic with 4TDates

January 5 (Monday) through January 22 (Thursday), 2009




Kyle Bergman on Rincon BeachInstructors

Kyle Bergman
M.Arch. VA Polytechnic Inst.
This is Kyle's third year returning for Design Build in the Dominican Republic. Kyle is an architect relentlessly eager to be out of the office. He has designed and built houses with his own firm, Bergman Design Team, and collaborated on diverse projects, both in the States and abroad. He created and moderated an architectural lecture series about the process of design/build for the Smithsonian Institute, and has contributed to the design and execution of architecture exhibits at the Russian National Architecture Museum in Moscow. Kyle has taught international design/build classes in Russia, Mexico, and Dominican Republic and in the United States. In 1999 he was frustrated with the lack of resource material for quality new products, so Kyle founded a publishing companySandy Lawton cleaning up after a hard day of pouring concrete that created Alt Spec - a visual resource for architects and designers. He is currently producing a play in New York titled, “The Glass House”. Kyle lived in New York and Vermont.

James B'fer Roth
B'fer, who studied both Landscape Architecture and Fine Arts, is an early graduate of Yestermorrow and has been an instructor since 1984. After years of designing and building furniture from found tree limbs, he is now finding trees to design and build houses in ...wheelchair accessible, that is!
Forever Young Treehouses


Dominican HomeClass Size & Cost

Min Amount of Students: 10
Max Amount of Students: 25

Cost: $2,375 (airfare to Dominican Republic not included)


Arriving for Design Build!Class Schedule

January 5, 2009 (Monday)

  • Meeting Point at Santiago de los Caballeros Airport (STI)
  • Airport transfer to City Center.
  • Meeting Point at Hotel Aloha Sol.
  • Class Orientation.
  • Dinner in Monument Area.
  • Accommodations in Santiago de los Caballeros.

Damajagua WaterfallsJanuary 6, 2009 (Tuesday )

  • Breakfast in Hotel.
  • Visit to E. Leon Jimenez Cultural Center
  • Lunch.
  • Transfer to Damajagua (1.25 hours)
  • Orientation and Tour of Camp and Facilities.
  • Dinner in Camp.
  • Tent Camping accommodations.

Design Build in the Dominican Republic with 4TJanuary 7, 2009 (Wednesday) through January 9, 2009 (Friday)

  • Breakfast and Dinner in Camp.
  • Design on Site (lunch on site)
  • Tent Camping accommodations.


Off to Build!January 10, 2009 (Monday) through January 19, 2009 (Monday)

  • Breakfast and Dinner in Camp.
  • Build on Site (lunch on site)
  • Tent Camping accommodations.


Design Build in the Dominican Republic with 4TJanuary 20, 2009 (Tuesday)

  • Breakfast and Dinner in Camp.
  • Finishing touches on Site (lunch on site)
  • Celebration and Presentation of Project to Community
  • Tent Camping accommodations.


January 21, 2008 (Wednesday)

  • Breakfast in Camp.
  • Construction Supervisor
    Transportation Back to Santo Domingo
  • Farewell Dinner.
  • Hotel accommodations in Colonial Zone.

January 22, 2009 (Thursday)

  • Breakfast in hotel.
  • Airport transfer.
  • Departure.


Hotel Aloha Sol , Santiago de los Trienta Caballeros Hotel Aloha Sol, Santiago
Nights 1 and 17
Centrally located on Santiago's principal shopping avenue, Calle del Sol, the Aloha Sol has the comfort of a city hotel with all of the charm and warmth for which the Cibao Valley is known. After all, Santiago is called the "Ciudad Corazon". The Aloha Sol Hotel has 66 rooms in 5 categories well appointed with mahogany furniture, air conditioning, cable tv, private bathrooms with hot water and mini bar.

Eureka Tetragon 1610Yestermorrow Camp (camping)
Damajagua, Puerto Plata
Nights 2 through through 18
Primitive camping below one of the most unbelievably beautiful and mystical natural resources in the world in 8, 6 and 4-person tents.

Roughing It 4T Style

Design Build in the Dominican Republic with 4T

Rincon Bay The Dining Tent Home Sweet Home After a day of concrete and rebar


All elements of this program are pending final confirmation.
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Most photos credited to "Open Shirt' Mike Gussak at