According to Tara Russell, president of Fathom and global impact lead for Carnival Corp., with the flexibility to choose from a wide selection of impact activities and recreational options, travelers will be able to customize their itineraries to achieve their own ideal balance of purpose and play time.
Concerning home improvement, 40% of the Dominican Republic's population lives below the poverty line, and the average household income is less than $6,000. In the country, it is common for homes in impoverished communities to have dirt floors. As part of this home improvement initiative, travelers will help pour concrete for new floors.
Fathom travelers also may take part in painting houses, fixing broken furniture, cleaning and improving community surroundings and common areas, or planting fruit trees as part of beautification efforts that will also provide long-term nutritional benefits. Travelers will work alongside homeowners and other members of the community, including children and teens.
When it comes to rehabilitation, a great number of disabled Dominicans are not able to access the physical and rehabilitation therapy they need due to scarce resources. Fathom travelers will have the opportunity to work with special needs patients at a therapy center. Activities range from participating in game therapy sessions for children with autism to supporting lab personnel to make and fit cost-subsidized orthopedic devices and prostheses.
Fathom travelers also can connect with a group of enterprising women who have formed an association to make eco-friendly arts and crafts from locally recycled paper. Travelers can roll up their sleeves to help with the paper recycling process or help create arts and crafts for the cooperative to sell. More business-minded travelers may help find ways to expand the association’s distribution network or help formalize the process for taking products to market.
In addition, Dominican families will welcome Fathom travelers into their homes to experience daily life. The visitors can help the families polish their English language skills while discussing community assets that could be leveraged for future tourist income and ideas for potential microbusinesses that might expand the earning potential of the families.