Planning Page for Our 2016 Mission Trip

The location of the village of El Pedregal (red marker), the site of our 2016 mission trip. 2016 will mark the fifteenth year our team has worked at this site.

Planning For Our 2016 Mission Trip

This page has been established as a central online site for planning information about the 2016 mission trip to the Dominican Republic sponsored by Christ Episcopal Church in Valdosta, GA. This page was last updated on March 12, 2017.

PLEASE NOTE: THE CDC HAS ISSUED A TRAVEL ALERT FOR THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AND OTHER AREAS IN SOUTH AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN RELATED TO THE MOSQUITO-BORNE ZIKA VIRUS. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS ALERT, click here.

Sign Up for Email Updates for the 2016 Trip
Click here to sign up to receive general updates about the 2016 trip (and other email messages from Christ Church, if you select that option also). Note: confirmed 2016 mission team members will be automatically added to this general update list, as well as another list for specific details about the 2016 trip.

Confirmed team members (as of March 12, 2017):

Julia Ariail (Christ Episcopal Church, Valdosta GA)
Julius Ariail (Christ Episcopal Church, Valdosta GA)
The Rev. Deacon Leeann Culbreath (Diocese of Georgia)
Meg Hiers (Marietta, GA)
Phyllis Hiers (Christ Episcopal Church, Valdosta GA)
Bill Querin (Christ Episcopal Church, Valdosta GA)
Fred Richter (Trinity Episcopal Church, Statesboro GA)
Paul Stevenson (Christ Episcopal Church, Valdosta GA)

Destination: the village of El Pedregal (near the city of Jarabacoa – map).

Team Leaders: Julia Ariail, (229 563-0074; juliacariail@gmail.com) and Julius Ariail, (229 563-0209; julius.ariail@gmail.com.

Dates: May 9-16, 2016.

Projects: Our projects for 2016 include screening in the open air dining pavilion, installing fans in the school rooms, painting a swing set, and teaching environmental awareness classes.

Specific Skills Desired
A servant’s heart
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 any Spanish proficiency level would be very helpful)

Joining the Team
The team membership is now complete. If you are interested in information about our 2017 trip, contact either of the team leaders (contact information above).

Target date to sign up for this trip and to purchase flight tickets: January 31, 2016. Deadline to pay the mission trip fee of $650: April 26, 2016.

Information about our flights:

May 9, 2016 (Monday) JetBlue Flight #1705 Orlando 2:55 p.m. – Santo Domingo 5:22 p.m.

May 16, 2016 (Monday) JetBlue Flight #1706 Santo Domingo 7:56 a.m. – Orlando 10:39 a.m.

[NOTE: FLIGHT TIMES FOR BOTH FLIGHTS RECENTLY CHANGED BY JETBLUE. TIMES POSTED ARE CORRECT AS OF JANUARY 29, 2016.]

Cost of these flights as of December 3, 2015: $433.60 | November 10, 2015: $429.60 | January 7, 2016: $473.76 | January 21, 2016: $494.76

The method to book a flight with checked baggage has changed significantly from previous years. The instructions for the new baggage procedures are here: 2016 BLUE PLUS BAGGAGE OPTION. Please do not book flights for this mission trip until you have contacted a team leader and read these specific instructions for booking tickets with checked baggage. Most team members will have a second checked bag with team project supplies in addition to personal luggage.

Please note that JetBlue flight times frequently change, sometimes significantly. If you have purchased your ticket and have provided your email address during that purchase, JetBlue will alert you via email about any flight time changes. Any changes will also be posted on this page as soon as possible after they are announced.

Designated hotel in Orlando for the night of May 8, 2016

All team members should make a reservation for the night of May 8 at the Hampton Inn Orlando International Airport, 5767 T. G. Lee Boulevard, Orlando FL 32822 (407-888-2995). Please note that this is not the hotel we have used in previous years (the Sheraton Suites Orlando Airport) but is in the same general area. There is another Hampton Inn in the vicinity, so please be careful to reserve at the “Hampton Inn Orlando International Airport.” Plan to arrive by 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 8, so we can all go out to supper together and have a team meeting soon thereafter.

Information forms required from team members:

Personal information form: All have been completed.

Medical information form: All have been completed.

Team meeting and overnight stay in Orlando on May 8:
We will meet at the Hampton Inn Orlando International Airport (see address above) at 6 p.m. and go out to supper together in a nearby restaurant. Afterwards, we will have a team meeting in the hotel to go over plans for our travel on May 9 and to distribute the supply duffle bags.

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 (mail check to Christ Church, 1521 North Patterson Street, Valdosta GA 31602) by April 26. 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, 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. Other costs include 2 meals in Santo Domingo on May 15.

Note on time zones: during the time of this trip, Eastern Daylight Time (United States) and Atlantic Standard Time (Dominican Republic) will be the same.

Other useful information documents:

Prayer Booklet (English and Spanish) Updated for the 2016 trip.

Daily Readings (English) Updated for the 2016 trip.

Daily Readings (Spanish) Updated for the 2016 trip.

Suggested packing list Updated for the 2016 trip.

Lessons Learned Updated for the 2016 trip.

Mission Team Roster and Prayer Partners. Updated for the 2017 trip.

Mission Team Members Contact Information. Updated for the 2016 trip.

Team Project: Dining Hall Screening. Updated for the 2016 trip.

Team Projects. Updated for the 2016 trip.

Swim Party. Updated for the 2016 trip.

Communication plan while in the Dominican Republic. Updated for the 2016 trip.

Thinking about taking a smartphone or laptop on the mission trip? Updated for the 2016 trip.

Location of online photos during the trip. Updated for the 2016 trip.

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

– – – – –

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

The summary report from our 2015 mission team with links to online photos.

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

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