QUESTION: What do Christopher Columbus and Hero Holiday have in common?
ANSWER: The Dominican Republic was the first landing point as we each began our adventures in the "new world"!
Yes, it's true: the Dominican Republic was home to the very first Hero Holiday in 2005 (and yes, according to Dominican history, Mr. Columbus also landed there first!). When you think of the Dominican Republic you may visualize pristine beaches, palm trees, and sunshine - and the Dominican is home to all of that and more. However, for many families and communities in this country, life is very difficult, and many of them live in extreme poverty, existing on as little as $2 a day. The dangers of poverty and exploitation are very real in the lives of the people we work with, and yet many of our friends in these communities have taught us much about the power of hope and what it means to continue to dream of a better future. Live Different works with many Dominican and Haitian families in the nearby communities, and with the help of our amazing volunteers (and possibly YOU!) we have completed many projects. Partnering with community members, we have built houses, schools, and community centres and have also completed many medical clinics in remote communities along the north coast of the country. These people have become our friends and heroes along the way, and we are honoured to support them in the areas where they feel they need it most.
"During those ten days, I underwent so many changes that deeply impacted my life, and I can confidently say that this experience changed my life in so many ways. In every conversation I have with my friends and family here at home, there is always a story, a moment, or a memory from the DR trip that comes out!"
- Victoria, Dominican Republic July 2012
"Hero holiday was, by far, the greatest experience of my life. It was an enlightening, inspirational, fun, and emotional trip for all. If I had the chance, I would put all my efforts to have this amazing opportunity again...and again and again."
- Koh, Dominican Republic July 2012
"Hero Holiday was without a doubt, the most rewarding experience. I signed up blind, not knowing what to expect and came home with eyes opened wider than I thought possible. I will forever remember my time in the Dominican Republic with Live Different and cannot wait to do it again! Thank you from the bottom of my heart."
- Stellina, Dominican Republic July 2012
"It's addictive! The perfect balance of adventure and culture, mixed in with great leaders and youth from all over Canada who are all excited to live different which makes for a life changing experience."
- Karine, Dominican Republic July 2010, 2011, 2012
"This trip has changed my life completely and I am so thankful for that. I learned that everybody has problems and if you just work at it with a smile and enjoy life, you'll see the world in a different light. The people that I met had nothing, but appreciated what they had and it made me realize how grateful I am for the things I have. There were many other things I loved about this trip, but the most important thing was meeting new people and making new friends that will last a life time."
- Katelyn, Dominican Republic July 2012