2018 DR Mission Trip Planning Page

The location of the Dominican Episcopal camp and conference center in the village of El Pedregal (red marker), the site of our 2018 mission trip.

This page was last updated on March 15, 2018.

All information about our 2018 mission trip to the Dominican Republic will be available on this planning page just as soon as decisions are made. Contact information for the team leaders: Julia Ariail, (229) 563-0074, juliacariail@gmail.com; Julius Ariail, (229) 563-0209, julius.ariail@gmail.com.

If you would like to receive email messages with updates about the Dominican Republic mission program at Christ Church, please sign up here and check the “Dominican Republic Mission Trips” box. For an overview of this mission program, click here. For scanned copies of the thank-you notes received from the students in the K-8 Episcopal school in El Pedregal who received scholarship assistance from us for the 2017-2018 academic year, click here.

The dates for our 2018 mission trip to the Episcopal Diocese of the Dominican Republic are June 23-30, 2018. We are returning to the Dominican Episcopal camp and conference center in El Pedregal, which is equivalent to our Honey Creek Retreat Center in the Diocese of Georgia.

14 MISSIONERS ON THE TEAM (as of March 15, 2018)
1. Julia Ariail | Lake Park / Valdosta GA
2. Julius Ariail | Lake Park / Valdosta GA
3. Wil Brown | Brunswick GA
4. Caroline Hiers | Thomasville, GA
5. Meg Hiers | Marietta, GA
6. Phyllis Hiers | Valdosta, GA
7. Steph Johnson | Valdosta, GA
8. Grady Lacy | Woodstock, GA
9. Mary Marwitz | Statesboro, GA
10. Mary Jeannette Pringle | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
11. Sally Querin | Valdosta, GA
12. Fred Richter | Statesboro, GA
13. Paul Stevenson | Valdosta, GA
14. Casey Wesselman | Albany, GA

The size of the team is limited to 18 missioners due to the size of our in-country transportation vehicle.


The overall cost of the 2017 trip was $1,600, including the Valdosta – Santo Domingo flights and the in-country room and board, transportation, and projects costs. The costs for those flying from and back to Atlanta were less. We intend for the 2018 cost to be in this general range, although we have noticed a significant increase in the Valdosta – Santo Domingo flight costs for our June flight dates. If these hold, we might have to scale back our project budget or increase the overall cost slightly.


In 2018, given the significant increase in costs for starting and ending the trip in Valdosta from 2017 to 2018, the mission trip will start and end in Atlanta, and individual missioners will travel to and from the Atlanta airport on their ultimate destination on their own. In 2017, most of the missioners flew from Valdosta to Atlanta and then on to Santo Domingo, and then returned the same way. Several other missioners joined the group in Atlanta for the flight to Santo Domingo and then left the group in Atlanta while the others continued on to Valdosta.

The designated flights are as follows:

DELTA 686 Saturday June 23 2018 ATL 9:50 a.m. -> SDQ 1:10 p.m.
DELTA 576 Saturday June 30 2018 SDQ 2:10 p.m. -> ATL 5:35 p.m.

The round-trip cost for these flights on the dates indicated is below:

January 5 $640
January 10 $700
January 23 $665
February 5 $985
March 11 $942
March 15 $892


If you are interested in joining the 2018 team, contact Julius by email or phone [(229) 563-0209; julius.ariail@gmail.com] to discuss your participation. If you are accepted as a missioner on the team, then proceed to purchase your flight tickets on the Delta flights indicated above. When that purchase is complete, send a copy of your flight ticket receipt plus a deposit check of $100 by January 31 to the DR Mission Fund at Christ Episcopal Church (complete address below).


The team will be limited to 18 missioners, and the final list of projects will depend on the number of missioners on the team and their talents and interests as of January 31. Julia and Julius will be in El Pedregal on February 6-8 to meet with Padre Canela, the priest in charge of the camp, and will review with him the list of possible projects and the roster of the team. During that meeting, the final list of projects will be decided. Then we will proceed to calculate the in-country costs of the trip (project supplies, in-country transportation, room and board at the camp, hotel in Santo Domingo) and will divide that cost by the number of missioners. This trip fee will be announced as soon as it is determined along with a deadline for payment. In the past, this deadline has been around April 1.


Home Team and Go Team, save the date: May 3rd for the DR Dinner and Auction, our primary fundraiser for Dominican Episcopal school scholarships and team projects. The DR Dinner and Auction will be held Thursday, May 3rd, beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the Cotton Corner in downtown Valdosta. Information about ticketing is coming soon. For an album of photographs from the 2017 dinner and auction, click here.


All of the projects depend on the number of missioners and their talents and interests. Possible projects include the following:

1) Repair and repaint the wooden playground structure that we built with the Nebraska team in June 2014. This Nebraska team has been repainting the playground structure every summer since 2015, but will probably be going to a new work site and not returning to El Pedregal in 2018. The playground is showing lots of signs of wear now, and needs to be refurbished annually. To see detailed photographs of the condition of the playground in February 2018, click here.

2) Paint individual cartoon characters and murals on the perimeter walls of the school and kindergarten center. To see detailed photographs of the mural and other design painting areas, click here.

3) Teach Vacation Bible School based on the 5th Mark of Mission – “safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.” We would use the DR diocesan approved curriculum for this. The number of children in VBS would probably be limited to 40 or so, perhaps the younger children. Although the Episcopal school would not be in session while we are there, Padre Canela said that the school teachers would come back to help us with this and that we could use the church and school classrooms as in 2017.

4) Sewing classes using the sewing machines we brought several years ago. Four of those machines are in good shape, and we might bring more machines with us. The classes would be limited to 8 people.

5) Make friendship bracelets with the village teenagers.

6) Veterinary clinic, one for the village and perhaps another half-day clinic in the city of Jarabacoa in collaboration with an established dog rescue program there.

7) Half-day splash party for the children of the school/village. Since Padre Canela and his wife are new to the Campamento, we have given them a set of photographs of splash parties in earlier years, and Leidy and her cousin, Mariella, both veterans of many splash parties, will be helping to assemble all of the needed supplies.