Upcoming Events:
Alternative Winter and Spring Breaks 2020: Social Justice and Community Advocacy Trip in Dominican Republic

“Alternative Spring Break in Social Justice and Community Advocacy,” in Dominican Republic,” January 7th-15th & March 13th-20th, 2020, $950

Travel with us and immerse yourself in a cultural experience by the ocean shores of Santo Domingo, a city that was declared oral patrimony for the humanity by the United Nations for its musical traditions and Old Colonial City. Its historical richness reveals itself in the warmth of the local people and magnificent nature sites. Meet with activists, professors, school teachers and children, state officials and educators, and share each other’s knowledges in a constructive, learning environment. Witness how the social history of the Americas and its political syncretism have impacted our families and our ancestral lineages, and practice how to be a “cultural ally” while exploring the intersections where history has brought us together or set us apart. Stand in your own truth as you release the fears of our American collective past, and heal yourself while collaborating with others. We’ll have yoga, visits to museums and nature outings, exchange visits with non-profit organizations and grassroots communities, as well as group shares supporting us on this intercultural, rich journey.

“Be the change you want to see in the world,” Gandhi.

SoulHeartYoga Academy partners with Melassa Foundation offering social justice and wellness trips with activists, professors, school teachers, musicians, healers, as well as non-profit organizations and communities. Depending on the theme of each trip, SoulHeartYoga and Melassa will design an agenda of heartfelt activities, and provide lodging, ground transportation, two meals a day, and do all the logistics for you to visit museums, outings, exchange with local people and organizations, and participate in local grassroots and music events. Each visit is tied to a wealth of cultural knowledge, historical significance, inclusion, and fun.

Atma Chanan Kaur, Tirson Rojas and Carlos Rutiner will be your guides for this unique opportunity, co-facilitating and co-creating a safe space for one another. Breakfast and lunch will be included, and dinners will be on your own, along with free time in the evening. We’ll visit the first Cathedral in the Americas; Boca Chica Beach; Altos de Chavón Arts and Film School; INTEC University (Santo Domingo Institute of Technology); Mercado Modelo–Local Craft City Market; CONAMUCA (National Confederation of Rural Women); COIN (Research & Guidance Center for Women in the Sex Trade; TRANSSA (Transgender Advocacy Organization); the Community for Learning in Arroyo Hondo (a bilingual school in English and Spanish); ADASEC & Palavé Batey–remnant of the sugar industry–in solidarity with Dominican-Haitian descent communities as well as MUDHA (Dominican-Haitian Women’s Movement); the home of the Congos of Villa Mella–Mata Los Indios School; Cuevas de las Maravillas Indigenous Caves; and Bonao River.

Our goal is to offer opportunities for students, teachers and professionals, no matter their background and place of origin, to experience hands-on knowledge and direct interactions while building exchange networks to promote wellness and social justice across cultures and regions.

Testimonials

“This was my second time on this trip. The people touched my heart. I left feeling so inspired.”

Boston College student, Massachusetts

“I was hoping to make an impact in the lives of the school children, yet I  I had no idea how heart melting, heart-felt it would be. I will always remember those moments.”

Boston College student, Massachusetts

“I wanted to learn more about the social issues of my own country, while immersing myself in its food, music and dance. I was touched by the activists we met, their passion, enthusiasm, and desire to help bring harmony and solidarity.”

Rutgers University student, New Jersey

I was inspired to hear about struggles in Latin American countries, and the trip had a balance of service and immersion. I learned about inequality, immigration issues, and social justice, and I connected our discussions to my own background.”

Boston College student, Massachusetts

“The presentations were engaging and included information I didn’t know about the island. I enjoyed working hands-on in the Food Kitchen; they were very welcoming. The highlight was building new relationships.”

Boston College student, Massachusetts

“I really wanted to be present and open to the experience. The talk on sexual and human trafficking was informative, and the presenters were so engaging about their work. Witnessing a courageous woman who went through it made it very real to me.”

Rutgers University student, New Jersey

~SoulheartYoga and Melassa Foundation Grassroots Collaboration~

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world,” Margaret Mead

Melassa is non-profit organization, founded in 2001, dedicated to bring social awareness in Latin American and Latino communities, as well as a space to bridge people across border lines. Their philosophy is based on inclusion and unity, while exploring all American identities and ancestral lineages–African, Native American, and European; Eastern/Western Cosmologies. 

Since 2001, Melassa Foundation has coordinated three main programs: 1) Research and Visual Documentation Program producing advocacy films that explore issues of identity, memory, cultural diversity, and social change; 2) Identity, Culture, and Technology Workshop Program teaching community participants how to use cameras (before cell phones came around) and organizing youth groups around the expressive arts, mainly dance and theatre; and 3) Cultural Exchange Program developing internships and international delegations for college students who want to get involved, start cultural projects of self-empowerment, and do social research in the Dominican Republic.