Advocates of Love is the only CONANI-licensed resource in Samaná for neglected and orphan children. Our expansive campus includes a Children’s Home, a Mission Hotel that can accommodate up to 20 guests, a Church onsite and a private Internship Residence, called Casa Rosa. We offer the most affordable, high quality mission trips in the Dominican Republic. How do we do it? Our primary focus is enriching the lives of the children, as well as the lives of visitors, like you. We are not focused on making a profit from Mission Trips. Our children are visibly different – happier and more relaxed – after visiting with mission travelers. Many mission trip guests choose to become child sponsors or volunteer advocates after forming a relationship with our children. These are the long term relationships we are interested in fostering.
Our Mission Hotel can accommodate 20 guests. We are here to curate the perfect trip for you and your group. You can expect that our team will take care of everything from the time you arrive until the time you depart the country – our mission trip travelers have come to expect a white glove service and we pride ourselves on our ability to offer such a bespoke experience. Not only will we give you all the details you need on flights, transportation, and things to do, we can plan a variety of different experiences. Want to do construction? Interested in hosting a Vacation Bible School? Would you like to minister to others in the Samaná community? How about a medical mission trip? These are just a few of the mission-driven events we have helped to plan and host. To learn more about why we are a great choice for your mission trip, read The Best Mission Trips for Christians.
Mission trips through Advocates of Love qualify for community service hours. We are also equipped to offer longer-term mission internships with separate living quarters.
Travel from Miami, Florida to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic is a short 2h:20m flight. The shuttle we provide from Santo Domingo / Las Americas Airport (SDQ) to Samaná is also only 2h:20m of scenic jungle and roadside shops that showcase the colorful culture. To learn more about our campus and how to get around Samaná read about Our New Campus.
On a mission trip with Advocates of Love there is plenty of leisure time and our children know how to have fun! Our team will work with you to plan excursions like a day at the beach or special meals at one of the amazing restaurants where you will immerse in authentic local flavors. Your group may also enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime memory, such as whale watching, zip-lining, horseback riding, exploring caves and so much more. Learn all about the unique offerings of an Advocates of Love mission trip, regardless of season. Read about things to do in Winter and in Summer.
You will want to fly into Santo Domingo (the capital of Dominican Republic). The airport code is SDQ. The flight is 2h 20m Nonstop from major Southeast airport hubs, like Miami. Getting around the country is best through private transportation, which we arrange for you when you join us for a Mission Trip. We can also provide a more curated transportation solution for small groups in which we pick you up ourselves and transport the group to the Advocates of Love campus.
When you bring currency into the country, it can be exchanged into pesos. We recommend waiting and completing a currency exchange when someone from our team is with you to ensure the best rate. We don’t recommend exchanging money at the airport, because you will not get the best rate.
** IMPORTANT** There is an E-ticket that must be filled out before checking into the departure flight from the US. You won’t be able to check-in unless it is filled out.
E-ticket link – https://eticket.migracion.gob.do/
Cuisine is prepared by our kitchen staff and it is a local menu with seasonally fresh proteins and produce – very farm to table in style. We like to give mission trip guests an authentic Dominican culinary experience. It’s not fancy, just fresh and local!. Your group can request meals and exclusions ahead of time – we accommodate what we can, and we ask that you make us aware of any food allergies or sensitivities ahead of time, also. Examples of meal basics include rice and beans, eggs, plantains, and more.
The accommodation for short-term mission trips (5-Day trips) is our Mission Hotel. Here we can offer comfortable housing for 15-20 guests. For longer-term stays and internships, we have an Internship Domicile called Casa Rosa. This home can house up to six (6) interns at one time.
From the time your group arrives to when you depart, you will be with our staff and hired support teams. There is very little, if any, time spent in unknown areas or with people unknown to us. Any independent day excursions your group would like to take are fully vetted, planned and communicated. For example, the transportation team we partner with are very local and are very well known. We know all of the drivers and the owners. This goes for all of the activities we plan. Dominican Republic is a relatively safe country and many on our team feel comfortable traveling in the country alone, with just the accompaniment of our staff. As with any travel through a major city, there are risks. To mitigate risk, we recommend traveling earlier in the day vs at night. Try to select the flights with earliest arrival times to ensure an earlier arrival at the Children’s Home.
No, when traveling from the USA no vaccines or shots are needed. COVID testing requirements are in pace, but change as the situation does. For the most up to date information, please refer to the US Embassy
No, when traveling from the USA no Visa is needed.
Recommended packing list can be found here
There are different types of insurance options when traveling abroad. These are not required, but they are recommended. Travel insurance is usually sold with your flight and will protect your airfare cost. International health insurance may be offered by your healthcare provider or you can purchase short-term healthcare through a third party. We do not offer insurance on our Mission Trips.
The first day is usually a full travel day to get to the Advocates of Love campus. The trip really begins at the first meal (either Dinner or breakfast the following morning) when guests have all arrived and we kick off the Mission Trip with prayer and delicious, nourishing food altogether.
The remainder of the trip depends on the type of Mission Trip you would like to plan and the trip objectives. Here are some examples of past and upcoming trips:
We typically find it works best to plan the trip around a central theme. Then, like a party, we have a day or two of festivities, activities and adventures leading up to the special event. Our children are very creative and love art, music, cooking, carpentry, and more. They thoroughly enjoy practicing and rehearsing for a show or event of any kind.
Many Mission Trip groups enjoy outreach within the community. Our mission trip guests have gone into the community with our children to deliver toys, Bibles, groceries and baked goods to locals who don’t have these items. The children also enjoy delivering food baskets and visiting the elderly, as well as reading the Word and praying with them. The elderly in Samaná are very lonely and express deep gratitude when our children visit with them.
We look forward to learning how your heart is leading you and your group to serve and then working with you to plan the perfect Mission Trip.
The question is what is there not to do?! Samaná is a tourist paradise. Here are some of our favorite things to do on Mission Trips:
Are you ready for the mission of a lifetime? Travel to paradise with a purpose and positively impact children’s lives
Our US team travels to the Dominican Republic three to four times per year and we’d love to have you join us.
This is an amazing opportunity to use your unique skills and gifts to help a community in need while grabbing a stamp in your passport and immersing yourself in local Caribbean culture.
You can expect to spend quality time with children, explore the Dominican countryside, and taste the local flavor.
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Melissa is originally from Ocala, FL and after moving around Florida, Georgia & North Carolina, she has settled back in Ocala. Melissa went to the College of Central Florida and has pursued a life of service in various administrative, customer service and marketing roles. She has now settled into her dream role as the Communications Director for Advocates of Love.
Melissa was on the state board of the Florida Foster and Adoptive Parent Association while serving 4 years as a foster and then adoptive mom. She has two adopted daughters, Kenzi and Shyne, who keep her busy. Melissa also serves in her local church.
You can reach Melissa via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.