Visiting Tourists Participate in Community Activities in Puerto Plata

The FATHOM cruise line is now offering its passengers the possibility of spending three days in Puerto Plata, the north coast’s most important city, where they can participate in various community-oriented activities.

After spending two days on board the cruise ship, tourists can work in a women’s cocoa co-op; help children and community members improve their English so that they can have better future possibilities of obtaining a good job; make clay water filters for the use of families with no safe drinking water or install cement floors in underprivileged homes.

FATHOM is a member of the Carnival Corporation – the world’s largest cruise ship company.  In 2015 Carnival inaugurated its Amber Cove Port in the Bay of Maimon, situated some 20 minutes from downtown Puerto Plata.

The “Impact Voyages” were launched in April of this year in Puerto Plata.

The first cruise ship to participate in the innovative program was the Adonia cruise ship, with a capacity for 700 passengers.

Every two weeks the FATHOM visits the north coast of the Dominican Republic, where hundreds of passengers participate in local community projects.

Through this program, explained Ambra Attus, head of the program in the Dominican Republic, international visitors can work with local groups on important community projects.  The activities are organized by companies with experience in the development of sustainable tourism.

During the April-October 2016 period, FATHOM has organized 13 groups that have worked in various local projects, such as:

REFORESTATION: With the support of the Ministry of the Environment, 1231 cruise ship passengers have participated in 45 reforestation activities, planted 16,329 seeds and 6,515 plants.  The projects are carried out in protected areas or in private farms.

CHOCAL CO-OP: This co-op is operated by women who produce chocolate.  In total, some 2,060 tourists have worked with the co-op in 54 visits.  The groups cleaned 3,722  pounds of cocoa and planted 13,332 cocoa seeds in the co-op’s greenhouses.

RECYCLED PAPER: FATHOM and its passengers have facilitated the entry of 11 women into a local co-op, and sponsored a shop where three local artisans now have a place where they can produce their arts and crafts.  In 70 visits, 2001 passengers have also helped process 9,872 sheets of paper.

MORE CEMENT FLOORS: Some 37 groups have participated in the construction of cement floors in 40 low-income houses and a local school.  Some 803 passengers participated in this project.

WATER FILTERS: Some 645 tourists have participated in the “Wine to Water” workshop, where they have helped in the production of 730 clay water filters.  The filters have benefited 3,650 Dominicans who do not have Access to clean drinking water. Thanks to the filters, many water-borne illnesses have been eliminated in the homes where they have been installed.

LEARNING ENGLISH: The English language is an important requisite when applying for jobs in tourism-oriented areas. Some 2,843 passengers visited 141 schools and communities, working with 728 students and community representatives interested in strengthening their English skills.

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