Photo courtesy of Fathom
Carnival Corporation’s newest cruise line, Fathom, is not just for show. Its impact travel programs have indeed made measurable positive strides in the Dominican Republic thanks to its committed guests, and the numbers have grown during the brand’s first 13 cruises to the region. Thousands of volunteer days have contributed to the updated statistics in the Puerto Plata region along the northern coast.
“From the beginning, Fathom, our travelers and our incredible community partners have been weaving a beautiful impact mosaic that is inspiring hope and ongoing potential,” said Tara Russell, president of Fathom and global impact lead for Carnival Corporation & plc. “We have done this by learning, immersing and coming alongside the vision of our partner communities in a way that supports holistic flourishing. We participated closely with local community leaders and our partner organizations to understand their hopes and dreams for the region, and then identified specific, measurable success metrics we could track to begin understanding definitively certain elements of the impact story being woven together. It is humbling to see the collective impact story we are beginning to affect in just a few months.”
Currently, the impressive counts per category are as follows:
Student and Community English Conversation & Learning
~ Around 17,500 hours of English interaction have bettered adult and youth students, preparing them for employment and economic opportunities. After all, English proficiency is the number one success criteria for tourism jobs.
Water Filter Production
~ 730 water filters have been produced and installed in community homes, contributing to healthier conditions free of waterborne illness and cost savings from fewer needed bottled waters for an estimated 3,650 locals.
Reforestation & Nursery
~ Over 16,000 seedlings and plants have been planted, offsetting traveler environmental impact and reforesting the region for improved soil, air and water quality.
Concrete Floors in Community Homes
~ 40 homes have received the installation of concrete floors, improving living conditions for hundreds with safer and cleaner conditions over bare dirt.
Cacao and Women’s Chocolate Cooperative
~ 3,700 pounds of cacao nibs have been cleaned to make over 109,000 chocolate bars, and 57,400 products have been wrapped, packaged and prepared for retail. This contributes to woman-owned business employment and income when it is otherwise limited.
Recycled Paper and Crafts Entrepreneurship
~ Over 9,800 sheets of paper have been produced to increase female income opportunities and independence.
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“We have seen tangible benefits thanks to our passionate travelers,” said David Luther, executive director of Instituto Dominicano de Desarrollo Integral (IDDI). “Revenues have increased, wages have gone up accordingly and we’ve given hard-working and enterprising Dominican women a workshop to stay close to their families. The quality of work life has been greatly enhanced for the women who work there – and that’s after just 13 sailings. When we look at the potential long-term impact, it’s amazing to think what might be possible.”
The goal of Fathom is to create sustainable transformation in the Dominican Republic and among its travelers. Weeklong roundtrip cruises to the DR from Miami, Florida begin at $299 per person, excluding taxes, fees and port expenses and including all onboard meals, social impact immersion experiences, three shoreside social impact activities and corresponding supplies.