DR 2014 Mission Trip — Planning Page

The location of the village of El Pedregal (red marker), the site of our 2014 mission trip. This will be the thirteenth year our team has worked at this site.

The Episcopal K-8 school in El Pedregal.

Looking for updates and photos about the mission team?

News updates and photos about our mission team in the Dominican Republic from June 7-14, 2014, will be posted online on Christ Church’s Facebook page:


and in this Facebook album:


Planning For Our 2014 Mission Trip

This page has been established as a central online site for planning information about the 2014 mission trip to the Dominican Republic sponsored by Christ Episcopal Church in Valdosta, GA. This page was last updated on Tuesday, June 3rd, at 4:00 p.m. by Julius Ariail.

Sign Up for Email Updates from the 2014 Trip

Click here to sign up to receive general updates about the 2014 team (and other email messages from Christ Church, if you select that option also). Note: 2014 mission team members have already been added to this general update list, as well as another list for specific details about the 2014 trip.

Destination: El Pedregal (near Jarabacoa – map).

Team Leader: Fred Richter, Trinity Episcopal Church, Statesboro GA; (912 531-4021; fredrichter17@gmail.com).

Local Valdosta Co-ordinators: Julia Ariail, Christ Episcopal Church, Valdosta GA (229 559-7329; juliacariail@bellsouth.net) and Helen Tucker, Christ Episcopal Church, Valdosta GA (229 242-1900; hmt_n_vld@hotmail.com.

Dates: June 7-14, 2014.

Projects: We are planning to undertake construction, maintenance, and knitting/crocheting projects while we are in El Pedregal. One construction project involves building a concrete block house for a village resident who currently lives in a wood-frame house and works on the Campamento staff. Another construction project involves the building of a playground on the grounds of the Episcopal school. The maintenance project will include painting and other activities in the Campamento buildings. The knitting/crocheting project will focus on teaching skills that could be used to create items for sale in local Dominican markets to provide income for village residents.

Specific Skills Desired

A servant’s heart
Ability to knit or crochet
Ability to do light construction work (concrete blocks, wooden roof rafters, metal roofing sheets, painting) under the direction of a Dominican supervisor
Ability to speak Spanish (not required, but would be very helpful)

Joining the Team

The current plan is to limit the team to 24 members. Teenagers, accompanied by a parent or other responsible adult, are welcome. To indicate your interest in joining this mission team, contact Fred Richter (912 531-4021; fredrichter17@gmail.com). Even if you have been a team member on these trips in previous years, please contact Fred before you purchase your flight ticket.

Deadline to sign up for this trip and to purchase flight tickets: April 15. This deadline has now passed, and the team membership is set at 16 people (15 from the US, and 1 from the Dominican Republic).

Information forms required from team members:

Personal information sheet: MS WORD |PDF

Medical information sheet: MS WORD | PDF

Other useful information documents:

Prayer Partners (a guide for praying for the team daily during the course of the mission trip)

Communication plan while in the Dominican Republic

Thinking about taking a smartphone or laptop on the mission trip?

Lessons Learned

Flight details:


June 7, 2014 (Saturday) JetBlue Flight 1705 Depart Orlando 2:12 p.m. | Arrive Santo Domingo 4:39 p.m.

June 14, 2014 (Saturday) JetBlue Flight 1706 Depart Santo Domingo 5:35 p.m. | Arrive Orlando 8:24 p.m.

Individual mission trip members will be responsible for making their own reservations for these flights. Note: do not purchase flight tickets unless you have contacted Fred Richter in advance and you know that you are on the mission team.

Overnight stay in Orlando, June 6, 2014: Given the requirement to check in by 12:12 p.m. for the departure time for the flight on June 7, team members are encouraged to stay overnight on June 6 near the Orlando airport. The hotel we have used successfully in the past is the Sheraton Suites Orlando Airport hotel (7550 Augusta National Drive, Orlando Fl 32822; (407) 240-5555). Parking is available at this hotel for a nominal charge (less than regular airport parking) for the duration of our trip, and shuttle service to and from the Orlando airport is provided free to hotel guests. There will be a optional team meeting in this hotel at 7 p.m. on June 6 for a group supper and a mandatory meeting at 9 a.m. on June 7 for final preparations. Thanks to an offer from a team member who has a home near the airport, there is also an option to stay in this home and park cars there for the duration of this trip. For more information on this home stay option, contact Fred Richter (912 531-4021; fredrichter17@gmail.com).

Expenses: In addition to paying for your own airline ticket, there will be a trip fee of $650, payable by check to Christ Episcopal Church by May 15, 2014 (mail check to Christ Church, 1521 North Patterson Street, Valdosta GA 31602). This trip fee includes our room and board at the Episcopal camp in El Pedregal, our in-country transportation by chartered bus, the hotel in Santo Domingo for the night of June 7, and the supplies and other expenses for our projects at the camp. This amount is determined by what projects we expect to accomplish and the amount of supplies necessary. Other costs to team members to plan for are the cost of the hotel in Orlando the night before our departure, meals in Orlando, and any Dominican souvenirs or other incidental items you purchase. One additional optional cost would be the hotel in Orlando on June 14th if you elect to stay overnight after our flight lands that Saturday night.

Tentative Trip Schedule:

Friday June 6 7:00 p.m. — Gather in Sheraton hotel lobby to go to group supper

Saturday June 7 9:00 a.m. — Mandatory team meeting in hotel (location to the determined) for final briefing on travel

Saturday June 7 11:00 a.m. — Hotel shuttles to airport begin

Saturday June 7 (no later than) 12:12 p.m. – Check in for JetBlue Flight #1705 to Santo Domingo

Saturday June 7 2:12 p.m. – Scheduled departure for JetBlue Flight #1705 to Santo Domingo

Saturday June 7 4:39 p.m. – Scheduled arrival of JetBlue Flight #1705 in Santo Domingo

Saturday June 7 5:30 p.m. (approximate) – Clear Dominican immigration and customs checkpoints; meet representative of the Mission Team Coordination office of the Diocese of the Dominican Republic; board chartered bus for hotel in Santo Domingo.

Saturday June 7 6:30 p.m. (approximate) – Arrival at hotel in Santo Domingo (Hostal St. Francis of Assisi). This hotel is located about two blocks away from the Episcopal Cathedral, where we will attend the worship service on Sunday morning. Supper in a nearby restaurant.

Sunday June 8 – Breakfast in hotel. Walk two blocks to Epiphany Cathedral for the 8:45 a.m. English-language worship service. Return to hotel to board chartered bus to travel to the Campamento. Lunch at highway rest stop along the way (The Jacaranda, for those who have gone before). Move into housing. Worship service in afternoon, then walk through village of El Pedregal. Supper and team planning meeting in evening.

Monday – Thursday June 9-12 – Work in the village and at the Campamento.

Friday June 13 – Work in the morning. Splash party for the children in the afternoon. Fiesta in the camp dining hall for the team members, camp staff, and villagers in the evening.

Saturday June 14 – 10:00 a.m. (?) Board a chartered bus for transportation to the Santo Domingo airport.

Saturday June 14 not later than 3:35 p.m. – Check in for JetBlue Flight #1706 to Orlando

Saturday June 14 5:35 p.m. – Scheduled departure of Flight #1706.

Saturday June 14 8:24 p.m. – Scheduled arrival of Flight #1706 in Orlando.

Saturday June 14 9:30 p.m. (approximate) – Estimated time to exit airport after United States immigration and customs checkpoints.

Given this late arrival time on Saturday, some team members may chose to spend the night in Orlando rather than proceeding home that night.

2014 Mission Team Email Messages: Copies of email messages about the 2014 trip are archived below.

June 3, 2014: Invitation for Sunday, June 15

June 2, 2014: Reminders and links to planning documents and guides

May 26, 2014: Orlando schedule for June 6 and 7

May 26, 2014: Chikungunya virus

May 24, 2014: Prayer Partner Guide, Team Crosses and T-Shirts

May 21, 2014: Lessons Learned document and Prayer Partner list

May 14, 2014: Communication plan and smartphone / laptop use in the DR

May 11, 2014: Reminder about team fees, information forms and packing list

April 21, 2014: Team information forms

April 19, 2014: Team fee of $650 set

April 16, 2014: Dominican Night honoring the Drazdowskis

March 19, 2014: Letter from Team Leader Fred Richter

February 7, 2014: Head Count and Trip Adjustments

February 3, 2014: Flight Prices

November 2, 2013: Dates set

November 18, 2013: Planning web page established

Medical Information for Travelers to the Dominican Republic

For medical advice for travelers to the Dominican Republic, consult your personal physician or go to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s site here: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/dominican-republic

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Links to more information about our mission work in the Dominican Republic:

A one-page handout used during a presentation about the 2014 trip to the adult education class at Christ Church on March 2, 2014

The slide images and captions used during the March 2nd presentation about the 2014 trip

Trip report and links to photo albums from our June 2013 mission trip

Overview of Christ Church’s mission work in the Dominican Republic

Overview of the Diocese of Georgia’s mission work in the Dominican Republic