November 26, 2016

November was an action packed month at ISLA Academy. We welcomed several important guest speakers, and led a fundraising and flood relief initiative for those affected by the heavy rains that have seriously impacted our island.

Guest Speakers: Just Give Charity, Hollywood Pro, Ocean & Animal Preservation Experts

Family members from the charity Just Give visited us, and we were happy to share time with Adonie, 11, and Lydia, 8. They are brother and sister, traveling the world with their family, and have raised 1 million US dollars to donate to charities worldwide. They gave us a presentation with their Mom, and were a true inspiration to the children at ISLA Academy.  To learn more, visit

Hollywood producer and cinematographer Zach Graber was in town for a reality television series filming in the area. He gave a cinematography workshop to our students in Phases 4-6, which was fascinating and exciting. Zach spoke about the art of filmmaking, the best techniques in filming to create different moods and effects, and other film industry insights.

Lidia Sophia, an Owl Expert gave students in Phases 1-4 a presentation about the Ashy-Faced owl that is indigenous to the Dominican Republic. She presented extensive information to the students, and they were allowed to safely handle Maku, the rescue owl. It was a terrific learning encounter for our students. Sadly, this breed of owl is endangered, and Lidia spoke about some of the reasons why, including the effects of human behavior connected to issues relating to the food chain (which ties in with our second line of inquiry at ISLA Academy).

Following this tutorial on owls, our Security Guard Francisco noticed something interesting in the garden, which led to further investigation and the discovery of an owl, high up in a tree at ISLA Academy. The students were buzzing with excitement about this sighting.

Dr. Gabriel Maldonado, a PhD Biologist, and former Director of the Liceo Cientifico School in Salcedo, Dominican Republic gave a 3-hour presentation to our students in Phases 5 -6 on parrot fish and their relation to coral reefs. It was an honor to host him as our guest, and our students learned a great deal about the ocean, and the importance of preservation efforts. The topic led to challenging questions by our students about the future of tourism in the Dominican Republic, and our responsibilities as World citizens.

November 21, 2016

A BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE! For all your hard work, support, time and positivity.

What a week it has been indeed! In total we have raised; RD$127,456  /  US$2760

Here is an update of what exactly our ISLA community has been doing since day one on Monday, the 14th in regards to community flood support:

-Day 1 – Students visit Maranatha to talk to locals affected by flash flooding.

-Day 2 – Donations of food, clothes, and money come from many friends. From Maranatha church we distributed 100 food parcels, 80 bags of clothes. We cooked a hot meal of sancocho and fed around about 150 people.

-Day 3 – More donations received. A team of us went to investigate La Cienega and discover what the locals were in need of. We met a local parish who agreed to let us use the church as a distribution centre.

-Day 4 – Even more donations come in! Mass brainstorming and research, we source mosquito nets, rubber boots and mattresses. Charlie's Foundation contact us for support and we donate them food to help feed the 29 children they are housing. A group of us return to Maranatha after further flash flooding to speak with locals and the church. In the evening we purchase mosquito nets and mattresses and deliver the 10 mattresses to the church in Maranatha.

-Day 5 – Once again many more donations! We purchase 100 boots. A local supermarket donates 100 cartoons of orange juice. People return to La Cienega to speak with locals again and arrange to use the church in the evening. We cooked a hot meal and served it along with the juice from the church, feeding around 150 people.

-Day 6 – Still receiving donations! 2 donated mattresses are taken to Maranatha along with a big bag of children’s clothes. A few of us working with some local figures to return to La Cienega to wade knee deep in water into the homes of locals and distribute tickets for boots, mosquito nets and food parcels. In the afternoon we distribute 100 boots, 50 mosquito nets, 43 bags of food. We give 2 boxes of food to Charlie's Foundation.

Without doubt this has been a great success and it has shown the power of people coming together and the efficiency of community action!

For more information on how you can help, please contact us:Tel. (809)

Donations can be made here:

November 15, 2016

ISLA Academy is collecting donations and goods to deliver to families affected by severe flooding in the Maranatha region of Sosua, Sosua Abajo and La Cienega village of Cabarete, Dominican Republic.

Please bring donations (suggested items below) to the ISLA Academy campus in Playa Laguna, Sosua. If you would like to contribute a monetary donation, it will be used to purchase necessary items from the list for people in dire need. Donations are being offered to families in cooperation with a local church

in the region, which ISLA Academy staff is collaborating with in our outreach effort. 

Items needed: Matches, oil, rice, powdered milk, sardines, salami, candles, coffee, sugar, soap, antiseptic, toilet paper, blankets, sheets, clothing.

ISLA Academy staff, family and friends have been fundraising, preparing and delivering meals to families whose homes have been destroyed due to the severe flooding along the north coast region of the Dominican Republic.

For more information on how you can help, please contact us:
Tel. (809) 571-4633

Cash donations can be made here:


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