Of course! If you are interested in bringing your family with young children (under 12) please contact our office to discuss a family-based fundraising goal. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
Yes… you can get 40 hours of community/volunteer hours!!! Once your LiveDifferent Build has ended, please contact our office and we will send you a letter stating that you have completed volunteer hours with us. You may also bring your own letter from your school for us to sign.
Volunteer Build Leads who support the LiveDifferent Build staff are experienced LiveDifferent volunteers with exceptional leadership skills who have expressed interest in participating in additional training. Please reach out to a LiveDifferent staff if you are interested AFTER the completion of 1-2 build experiences.
Yes, we require a criminal record check from all adults 18 years and older. If you need to discuss your CRC with us, please feel free to contact our office.
Yes. All volunteers must have a passport issued by their country of citizenship which is valid for at least 6 weeks after the conclusion of the LiveDifferent Build. If you hold a passport from a country other than Canada, it is your responsibility to ensure you have met all the requirements for entry into the country you are visiting, and re-entry into Canada.
If you hold a Canadian passport, you do not need a travel visa to participate in a LiveDifferent Build. If you hold a passport from a country other than Canada, it is your responsibility to ensure you have met all the requirements for entry into the country you are visiting, and re-entry into Canada.
No, but it does help. You will be provided with a translator in all our destinations to support communication.
Staying connected is easy! Before departure, we will provide you with emergency contact information that loved ones back home can use if they need to get in touch with you. Staff are always available during a Build. Some volunteers choose to “roam like home” or put international plans on their cell phones before leaving Canada but you will need to contact your service provider directly to see if this is possible. There is WIFI available in both Mexico and the Dominican Republic (at $25 USD during your stay); the service can be intermittent, especially with a larger group.
This would be a question for the insurance company. Schools that purchased full insurance packages prior to covid were able to get full refunds that included flights and registration costs. LiveDifferent was not involved in the claims or any payments. That was completely between the schools and the insurance providers.
LiveDifferent is not a government agency. However, LiveDifferent is a charitable organization registered with the Government of Canada. Our registration number is 86123 2890 RR0001.
We love it when people have the desire to make a difference in the lives of others! But when it comes to bringing donations to distribute, we’ve found that it’s actually a hindrance to meeting the long-term needs of communities. This is why we ask that volunteers do not bring any physical donations with them on their Build. Everyone has a fundraising goal, and a portion of this will be used to purchase a few small things for the family, such as groceries or other household items. If you want to help beyond that, you can add a little to your fundraising goal. All extra goes towards our Emergency Relief and Community Development fund. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out!
We offer Builds in four countries, including Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Thailand. Our Builds take place at all times throughout the year. Click on this link to view our list of upcoming Builds.
While in Thailand you will stay in hotels. Please note that the exact hotels will be confirmed closer to the date of the Build. In the past, we have hosted groups at the Imm Hotel Thapae in Chiang Mai and at the Siam Triangle Hotel in Chiang Saen. All registered volunteers will receive details for the hotels 6-8 weeks prior to the start date of the Build, once the arrangements have been confirmed.
While in Mexico you will be staying at our Guest House near Vicente Guererro. Rooms are dorm-style, with 3-4 bunk beds per room and a shared bathroom. Meals and group activities are held in the large dining room, lounge and patio areas.
While volunteering in the Dominican Republic you will be staying at Sosua By The Sea. This cozy boutique-style resort sits on the corner of Sosua Bay, and is surrounded by beaches. As a basic all-inclusive resort, meals are buffet style when eating at the hotel. Most rooms have two double beds, and private rooms are available at an extra charge (not eligible for tax receipts).
No, anyone is able to register for an upcoming Build. Specific Build qualifications vary and are available on each Build event page. Please contact our office for more details and to determine what Build options would be most suitable for you.
We do our best to accommodate all dietary restrictions, food allergies and preferences, although when travelling in a foreign country this can sometimes be complicated. It is recommended that if you have food allergies, dietary restrictions or preferences note them on your registration, and we will contact you to discuss how to address your needs in detail.
In the Dominican Republic
The resort provides us with delicious buffet-style meals with a mix of proteins and vegetables. A trip to Mama Maria’s for a traditional Dominican meal is always on the schedule. Packed lunches are provided by the hotel on project days and are taken to the Build site.
We hire local cooks who make the best Mexican food (burritos, enchiladas, etc.) that you have ever had in your life! We will be sure to stop for authentic tacos.
You do not need to be a “chop stick handler extraordinaire” because most Thai people actually eat with a fork and spoon. We eat a variety of Thai and Western food while traveling there.
Haitian cuisine is varied: The food draws influences from French and West African traditions and Caribbean ingredients. A main staple in Haiti Is starch, and many of their dishes include potatoes, rice, corn, beans, and plantains. There is also a strong presence of tropical fruits. If you have any questions or concerns about the food you will be eating while volunteering on a LiveDifferent Build, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.
We require all Build volunteers to travel to the following destinations;
Mexico Build - San Diego, CA (SAN)
Dominican Republic - Puerto Plata (POP)
Thailand - Chiang Mai, Thailand (CNX).
Everyday is an adventure! See your trip itinerary for more details. For those of you who cope best with a structured, up-to-the minute planned schedule, get ready to have your world stretched just a little bit! Working in a different culture is an adventure in itself. Things don’t always go as planned, so be prepared for some last minute changes, delays, weather complications and so on. There’s no need to worry though, our ground staff are great at working through these challenges, some may say they even look forward to them!
Absolutely not! We provide on-the-job training for all tasks and have an entire team made up of LiveDifferent staff, translators, contractors and their helpers who will all be around to teach/assist you.
Although you will be working very hard, we also make sure you have opportunities to have some fun! Each volunteer will be afforded one day off for relaxation and/or adventure. We want you to experience some of the natural beauty your host country has to offer. The specific location will determine what that activity could be and any additional cost associated.
Donations are 100% non-refundable, as it is not legal for a charity to refund a donation. In the event of any form of cancellation whatsoever or exceeding a fundraising goal, funds will instead be allocated towards where most needed in the project or in other charitable programs. In the event that a volunteer is unable to participate in the project, fundraising efforts may be taken into account when registering for a future trip, but this is exclusively the decision of LiveDifferent.
Centro Medico Cabarete is the clinic used if going from the hotel (1.7 km to CMC) or work sites in Arroyo Seco (6.6 km to CMC) or La Union (9.4 km to CMC). Centro Sanitario is the Clinic used if we are in Nuevo Renacer (2.3 km from CS). Both clinics are fully staffed and provide excellent care and service.
1. First Aid is provided onside by a trained LiveDifferent staff.
2. If further medical attention is required a bilingual LiveDifferent staff member would go with the student to the closest clinic along with a teacher/chaperone from the school.
3. LiveDifferent staff would have access to medical and insurance information and initiate communications between the insurance company and the clinic.
4. Communications with the student's parent/guardian would be coordinated between the LiveDifferent staff and teacher/chaperone.
5. Completion of an Incident Report to document the circumstances of the incident, the response and any required follow up.
LiveDifferent has a long history of safe, positive and life-changing humanitarian travel projects – taking over 5,000 students since 2005 with no serious injuries or incidents. We recognize there are always safety measures and risks when traveling to any developing country and with this in mind, we pay close attention to what is going on in the countries we work in and along the routes we travel. We carefully plan our travel, destinations and daily programming to ensure not only a safe experience but a culturally rich one with the opportunity for incredible learning beyond the stereotypes and assumptions often perpetuated by political groups and the media. You can feel confident that if we had any concerns about our ability to host your group safely or if any travel concerns come to our attention before or during your LiveDifferent Build we would be sure to communicate immediately with any registered volunteers and their parent(s)/guardian(s).
No, you are not required to fundraise; you can self-fund your Builds trip if you wish. We encourage fundraising and offer suggestions for ways to fundraise. See our fundraising page for more information: https://livedifferent.com/programs/builds/fundraising/