March 2015 Trip

February 27th, 2015

Hello friends!

We are so excited to announce an upcoming trip! March 20th-29th, Una Vida will be hosting a public health- focused trip in the Dominican Republic!

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For the past three years, Una Vida has collaborated with UC Irvine’s IMED (International Medicine, Education and Development) group, a pre-health community service club with a desire to “increase medical care access and health education for underprivileged and medically under-served children at home, over the border, and across the seas.”

In collaborating with these IMED students and local Dominican and Haitian health care professionals, Una Vida will be organizing a week full of eye-opening activities, through which trip participant’s can learn first-hand what access to and quality of health services are like in the rural, remote, and underdeveloped parts of Dominican Republic. In addition, participants will work alongside health professionals to offer health services (such as general, gynecological and dental exams) and organize eductional community health talks in towns where such opportunities aren’t otherwise available to the general public.

This trip is open to anyone and everyone interested in public health and development. If you’re interested in joining us on this trip, please send an email to Una Vida’s Country Director, Kylie Culver, at



Una Vida Fundraiser!

January 17th, 2015
We are so excited to announce our first annual Brews and Bachata Fundraiser!

Join us January 26, 2015, 5:30pm – 8:30 pm, at Lagunitas Brewing Co. in Petaluma, CA for this fantastic event!


The night will be filled with:

* Tasty beer brewed on site and delicious food

* Bachata & Merengue dancing (with a dance lesson, so all can join in the fun)!

* A silent auction (with prizes from Wine Road Tours in Style ‘n Comfort, Birkenstock, Sojourn Cellars, The Phoenix Theater, Copperfield’s Books, Aces over Eights, Ooh La Loft, Free Range, Frozen Art Ice Cream, Bellyfull Dinners, The Phoenix Theatre, Acre Coffee, Stink, and more)

* A chance to win the GRAND PRIZE: a trip to the DR with Una Vida (a one-week trip for two, or a two-week trip for one)!!!


Purchase your tickets now!



Madres Christmas Presents

December 15th, 2014

Hey friends!

Looking for something beautiful and unique for that special lady in your life? Be sure to check out Madres Jewelry for Christmas presents this year! Not only will you be purchasing a beautiful piece of handcrafted jewelry, but your purchase will also be supporting a great cause. Madres Jewelry seeks to equip and empower Dominican and Haitian women, living in a rural, farming town near the Haitian border, Los Pinos del Eden.


Conditions are generally economically trying in Los Pinos, and this year has been no exception.. The town primarily survives off of the profits and produce from its annual harvests; and with a bad harvest this year, things have been particularly difficult. Few people in town have money to celebrate this holiday season. Our Madres artisans have commented how grateful they are for their jobs and to have a steady income provided by Madres Jewelry. They are especially thankful as it will allow them to have  a Christmas meal and buy little gifts for their children.



We are so proud of this initiative, and hope you consider checking out the website and supporting their work by purchasing some of their beautiful artisan jewelry!

Dominican Food Recipes That Will Transport You Back to the Island

November 8th, 2014

Hi friends!

Ever get a craving for those delicious food items you tried while on the island of Hispañola? When we’re missing the DR, one of our favorite ways to feel a bit closer to the Dominican Republic and be reminded of the sweet times we’ve shared with our Dominican friends and families is through Dominican cuisine. Buzzfeed has a great post that lists 45 amazing Dominican foods and drinks, with recipes for how to make them. We dare you to invite over some friends and try to recreate these classic Dominican dishes. While you’re at it, put a Romeo Santos/ bachata playlist on as background music and teach your loved ones how to dance a little bachata!

For reference, some of our favorite dishes (of the 45), and ones that have likely been prepared for you by your homestay families are:

1. Los Tres Golpes (mangu, queso frito, fried salami, and fried eggs)

2. Mangu

3. Cafe Santo Domingo

4. La Bandera (rice, beans, and chicken)

5. Tostones

6. Jugo de chinola

…amongst others!


This list is filled with the best of Dominican food. We recommend you attempt to try many (over even all) of them!


BONUS!! (EXCITING NEWS): And for all of you who miss the full, robust taste of the Dominican coffee that you shared with your host-parents over morning breakfast, or in the afternoon while sitting on the front porch or sidewalk with your host-family’s friends or neighbors, we’ve got news for you! Una Vida is now selling 1 lb. bags of Cafe Santo Domingo ($15 each) for your tasting enjoyment. Email our dear Lynne Moquete,, to place your order! 


Caritas Felices Christmas Dinner

November 2nd, 2014

Caritas Felices Annual Christmas Dinner

The holiday season is fast-approaching!

Caritas Felices, a wonderful school for children with special needs and from low-income families in Barahona (and the only school of its kind in the Southern region if the DR), hosts an annual Christmas dinner for its students and their families. Caritas does amazing work for their students and their families, and truly makes a great difference in Barahona. Una Vida has long sought to partner with the school when possible and encourage others to support their wonderful mission!

With many of the Caritas students being from impoverished families, few have the means to enjoy a special Christmas dinner. On December 15th, 260 students with their families, along with Caritas staff, will gather together to share Christmas dinner.



To put on such an event (providing food and gifts for each of these 260 families), Caritas Felices needs our help. $15 will cover costs for dinner for one family and provide a toy for the student.

Please consider supporting this lovely cause!