Arts & Education
Una Vida partners with local schools, the community library and a local children's home to provide the supplies students need for academic success. We create enrichment opportunities by providing bats and balls for the local little league, hosting arts and crafts workshops, and encouraging literacy. Activities that most of us take for granted are brought to life through cross-cultural exchange.
Una Vida believes that every human deserves a basic standard of living that includes a dignified home. Our construction projects seek to improve that standard of living, laying a smooth floor over dirt and rock, installing a latrine for basic sanitation, and in some cases building new homes from scratch. Our participants work in conjunction with Dominican and Haitian workers on these projects, creating jobs for–and buy in from–the community.
Dental & Eye Care
We believe our role is to support and strengthen local health professionals and the impact they have within their communities, while providing an experience of cultural immersion for students with an interest in health. Volunteers who participate in our programs return home feeling humbled, empowered, and with their eyes open to the inequalities inherent in today's world.
We partner with Haitian dentists Dr. Elie Joseph and Dr. Lesly Joseph, who pioneer a mobile clinic model, equalizing access to dental care in the Haitian community. In partnership with student groups from UC Irvine, we offer yearly dental clinics and dental health education. Our work connects Dominican, Haitian, and American health professionals in a shared effort to provide access to skilled dental care to local Dominicans and Haitian migrants living within the border region. Our efforts continue to grow each year, and since 2012, we’ve provided:
-Subsidized dental exams (cleanings, extractions, and fillings)
-Fluoride varnish to children up to 12 years of age
-Toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss to local community members and distributed through our local schools
-Dental health education outreach at local schools
-A commitment to provide yearly dental care to local children’s home Hogar de Niños Jeremie
In addition to our dental work, we partner with local health professionals, such as Candy Reyes Rodriguez and Dr. Cecil Quant, to deliver access to specialty care - such as pediatric services, women's health services, and eye care exams. All of our health work is directed by Dominican and Haitian health professionals, and provides volunteers with an intimate look at the Dominican healthcare system.