Critical and General Information

It is important that the information found on this page be shared amongst all group members and leaders. All of this information and more can also be found in our Groups Handbook.

The MannaDR team is looking forward to working with you. Whether it’s your first time, or your tenth, we are happy you will be joining us for a week of serving in the DR. Our program is founded on people coming to see us, allowing God to change their lives (and their perspectives) AND ours, and then getting involved in God’s plan of discipling together!

Critical Information

Lives are changed here.

The degree to which that happens, in large part, depends on how well you and your team prepare spiritually and physically. Maybe you’ve done this before. Try to always make it better, more excellent. Go the extra mile. Learn who your Manna Group Leader is and connect with him or her well in advance of the trip. Prepare yourself and your team. Call each other to a higher level. God will show up!

Come with an attitude of flexibility and positivity.

There will be many challenges and maybe some schedule changes. Go with the flow and remember that God has this and we need to honor HIM in our works.

Plan your group budget.

We have developed an excel file to help you plan your group expenses. You can download the excel worksheet here.

Ensure all travel documents and insurances are obtained in advance.
  • Passports: Everyone must have a current and valid passport to travel to and from the Dominican Republic and the US or other countries. Those on any team not in possession of a current and valid passport must not wait to begin the process! Know that depending on demand, it could take up to 3 months to receive a passport. Go to: www.travel.state.gov/passport to learn how to obtain a passport.

NOTE: Check your passport expiration date. Passports must not expire within 6 months of your trip.

  • Medical: Group Team leaders must assure the medical well-being of each team member by doing the following:
        • Medical and travel insurance coverage is required for all team members. Purchase may be through the airline on which you are traveling or through another provider. The MannaDR program is not equipped to provide medical coverage or transportation for any needs beyond basic first aid - i.e., band-aids, etc.
        • Immunizations for team members. All team members must be current on the following immunizations in order to participate in the MannaDR program: tetanus, school vaccines, Hepatitis series and all current CDC recommendations (cdc.gov/travel).
        • ALL personal medications must be in your carry-on baggage.
        • Any and all special medical or emotional needs of any and all team members (i.e. diabetes, heart condition, food allergies and severe allergies, etc.) must be made known to the MannaDR team in advance of your trip and again on the day of arrival to verify specific medical or personal care issues.
        • MannaDR is not a food allergy free zone. Those with food allergies must carry the appropriate medication with them at all times and must bring food alternatives to use when necessary.
        • Those with serious medical conditions (deathly allergies, heart conditions, problems that would require immediate medical attention, etc.) are strongly encouraged to consider the risks of participating in a trip of this nature.
            • Medical care is, at the nearest, 45 minutes away and is not comparable to what one would receive in the United States. Any condition that requires medical care similar to a quality that you would receive in the United States is at least 3 hours away.
            • MannaDR is not financially responsible or liable for any risks that your team members with serious medical conditions take or are willing to take. If your team consists of participants under the age of 18, you must have medical/liability release forms signed by all parents/guardians for those under 18.
            • Medical History and Health Release Forms are available here for download. A copy of these documents should be carried with the team leader along with all travel documents for your team.
Ensure team airline reservations, or in-transit overnight lodging arrangements, are booked in advance.
  • Flight arrangements: Preference is that all flights be round trip through Puerto Plata airport (POP).
  • Each team is responsible for making and paying for its own flight arrangements. The team leader must communicate the itinerary to the noted program coordinator and the MannaDR staff BEFORE booking. This ensures that all parties are on the same page, and provides space to iron out potential scheduling conflicts.
  • Options for flights/transportation through Santiago (STI) are available.  Please note that additional fees for transportation, lodging, meals and miscellaneous expenses will be incurred with the Santiago option as noted in the information under the Santiago tab.
You will be out of touch.

Unless it’s an emergency or pre-planned event, you will likely have limited or no internet or telephone access while in the DR. In the event of an emergency, the MannaDR staff can be reached from the USA 24/7 through our Manna coordination team or other prearranged contact numbers and emails in the DR.

Prepare Your Team Now

Meet.

Your team should meet regularly to pray, plan and practice for their mission and ministry in the Dominican Republic. Know basic Spanish phrases. Hold each other accountable. Delegate and divide into smaller teams to prepare for different activities throughout the week. You’re coming to the Dominican to share and show the love of Jesus. Share it well.

Pray.

Pray about your week when you meet together and pray individually. You will be so blessed if you do. Pray that your team comes together and functions as a team. Pray for a blessed week. Pray for the Dominicans and missionaries that you will meet. They are anxiously awaiting your arrival and you will have a huge opportunity to impact their lives.

Communicate.

Contact your designated MannaDR group leader(s). All questions are appropriate. You and your team are important to us and we want you to focus on honoring God with your talents and not be burdened by concerns of “what if” situations.

Prepare.

Start planning and preparing as early as possible. Learning the language and adapting to a developing country and a new culture is a challenge for many people. Focus on about 5-10 simple Spanish Christian songs you can sing with the local groups. Learn basic Spanish greetings and read about the Dominican culture.

What to Expect

Meals, snacks, and water.
  • All of your meals will be provided to you while you are with us in the DR. Breakfast will consist of things like coffee, fresh fruit, cereal, and bread. You need to bring anything else you would like for breakfast. Lunch and dinner will be provided and will include a variety of meals.
  • Bring any snacks that you would like to supplement these meals, to have at night or when away from the camp compound. Most people are tired at the end of the day and are often hungry due to the amount of energy they have spent during the day. All food will be securely stored in the kitchen.
  • All of your drinking water will be provided for you. Drink a lot. The drinking water is not cold, so if you are not used to that, you may want to bring something to give it a little flavor.
Morning quiet time, group leader quiet time, and evening devotionals.
  • Team members should bring a journal, Bible, and pen for recommended morning quiet times, as well as for other times throughout the week.
  • Except for the orientation night (first night), your US team leader will be responsible for the nightly devotionals. On the first night, the MannaDR staff will incorporate it into the first night experience.
  • Before you leave, leaders should be chosen to guide the praise, thoughts, prayers and any discussion at your nightly devotionals. Questions such as “What moment am I most grateful for today? Least grateful? When did I feel most alive today? Least alive?” Or “Where did you see Jesus today?” all help to reflect on the day’s experiences.
  • Ideally, we would like each team leader to put together a booklet for each team member. This could include Spanish songs, a schedule, and most importantly, a section to act as a journal. It may even guide day by day journal thoughts so as to get the day started off right. During our summer program, we typically plan 3 times during your week for a Manna DR leader to lead quiet time for Group Leaders with a focus on how to come closer to God.
Attire.
  • Please keep in mind that we are representing Christ to all the people whom we encounter.
  • Clothes should be kept very modest but comfortable and casual. Shorts can be worn at almost all activities. If the staff feels like there is a problem they will ask you to change. Inseam for your shorts must be at least 5 inches or you will be asked to change. This applies to all group members, missionaries, and interns.
  • Thank you ahead of time for your help with this! We are trying to set an example within the community and to the kids with whom we work.
  • Each night the Manna DR Staff will remind you what the recommended attire is for the next day.
  • The following list will help you know what the clothing expectations are for each activity that will take place during your visit.
    1. Community Day.
      • Boys - Non-athletic shorts, T-Shirts, any type of shoe.
      • Girls - Skirts, bermuda shorts, capris, T-Shirts, any type of shoe.
    2. VBS.
      • Boys - Non-athletic shorts, T-Shirts, any type of shoe.
      • Girls - Skirts, bermuda shorts, capris, T-Shirts, any type of shoe.
    3. Children’s Home Tour.
      • Boys and Girls - Shorts, T-Shirts, any type of shoe.
    4. Church in Bobita.
      • Boys - Pants or casual (i.e. Cargo) shorts, nice shirt, any type of shoe.
      • Girls - Skirts, dresses, pants, or casual shorts, nice shirt, any type of shoe.
    5. Movie Night in Bobita.
      • Boys and Girls - Shorts, T-Shirts, any type of shoe.
    6. Camp Manna Day.
      • Boys and Girls - Shorts, T-Shirts, closed toe shoes if playing soccer; otherwise any shoe type of shoe.
    7. Bible Study with Manna Christian School disciples.
      • Boys - Non-athletic shorts, T-Shirts, any type of shoe.
      • Girls - Skirts, bermuda shorts, capris, T-Shirts, any type of shoe.
    8. Work Day. (Be prepared to use older clothes you do not need to bring home, especially if you are painting.)
      • Boys and Girls - Shorts, T-Shirts, tennis shoes.
    9. Beach - This will be left to your leader’s discretion. We would encourage women to wear modest/one-piece swimwear.
  • At the end of the week, all are encouraged and welcomed to leave any clothes/shoes/bedding/toiletries/snacks etc. that you do not desire to take home. The MannaDR staff will make sure that it is distributed to people in need.
Comforts.
  • You need to prepare as though you were going on a rough camp outing with minimal access to electricity.
  • The Dominican Republic is very hot throughout the year. This can be especially so during the summer.
  • Electricity is NOT available for chargers, fans, hair dryers or other items. Any and all items brought will need to be battery operated, such as a personal small battery operated fan.
  • Mosquitoes are always a challenge and you will need appropriate preparedness to ward them off. (All beds are furnished with mosquito nets and the dorms have windows covered with screens.) Insect repellent is highly recommended.
  • Sunscreen is a must. The sun in the DR is intense even in the shade.
  • The humidity is often high, and fatigue can set in very quickly especially during the summer months. Snacks should be those with high protein or high complex carbohydrate content that can refurbish your energy quickly, not heavy sugar content.
  • Water is conserved at all times, including military style showers, etc.
  • Air conditioning, hot water, or readily available comforts such as ice or convenience store items are NOT available.
  • A large variety of cold drinks (sodas, bottled waters, etc.) will be available for sale at the camp. Drinks will be kept on ice and be at almost all events and activities. Please remember that much of the time is spent away from the camp compound.
  • Water bottles are a must! Bring a good, large water bottle for refilling. Keeping well hydrated is critical to a good experience and health.
  • During workday projects, plan on your clothing possibly getting ruined. You will probably sweat a lot, so bring the appropriate amount of clothing. Access to clothes washing facilities does not exist.
  • For the protection of MannaDR guests, we ask that you deposit your passports and excess monies with us when you arrive. We have safe boxes and other more secure locations in which to keep all valuables. Camera and electronic equipment must be watched closely and kept reasonably out of sight. Bring zip-lock bags for each person to store items they wish to have locked in our safe.
  • Each team member is expected to fulfill chores around the camp area each day. This generally includes cleaning, loading vehicles with supplies, food preparation, and other duties as assigned. The day you leave, you are asked to leave the camp in better condition than you found it. Please be sure you contribute your fair share of help to this effort.
  • Wanting to help. As you see needs, please consult with the local missionaries about the best way to help.