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Visiting a 'Sponsor' Child

We are making our 10th trip to DR and this time plan on visiting my sponsor child for a few hours. It is both exciting and intimidating. Has anyone made this kind of a trip? What do you think would be of most help for the family? We will have to travel about 3.5 hours southeast of ICD, POP (although I understand someone would accompany us). Any safety concerns? Anything …

What is the name of the town to which you would be traveling?


Apparantly he lives 18 km southeast of Monte Plata in La Luisa Blanca. We have taken the bus south of POP as far as Santiago, so I am guessing it is not even half way at that point…

Largest center southeast of Monte Plata is Bayaguana, you are in for a long winding ride through the mountains from Santiago.

Far be it from me to tell your hosts how to handle your visit but IMHO it would make much more sense for you to take the relatively comfortable bus to Santo Domingo and be met there. The drive would then probably be less than an hour.

Mi dos pesos.


Thankyou. I’m needing it to be a day trip so would bus to S.Domingo be 6 hours from Pto Plata?? And then an hour from there? I have taken Javilla (more local bus) to Santiago and was ok. Could the bus be taken as far as La Vega before being met & heading east? I am clueless about travel outside the POP area. Just trying to map out the best options as far as time & expense go.

from your description with the ca 18 KM SE of Monte Plata it should be located somewhere in the area Monte Plata=Bayaguana-Guerra.
i am very familiar with the area due to property there, so i visit quiet often and drive around, but i do not know a pueblo Luisa Blanca.
i took some time to search on google earth, it is not in the search data base, so i sweeped manually around that area and sorrily couldn’t find it.
maybe it is a very small location, sometimes small spots with a few houses and just a few families living there have their own ‘name’ but do not necesarily show up on the maps under their name.
do you jave an other reference of nearby location than the 18KM SE of Monte Plata?
there are many lil pueblos in that area.
maybe you have a road number or the name of their next village nearby?
would be glad to help you out, but at the moment my search is stuck.

and in your comparison to your ride from PoP to Santiago you would face a much larger ride.
my best guess for a comfo and quickest transfer would be to take the big bus from PoP to St Dgo and then from there the bus up to the area, depending where it is finally located in detail. the bus routes from St Dgo to Bayaguana are a quick ride, good road up there, there’s even the new highway open to drive from Las Americas to Monte Plata and the whole area quickly.
but of course we need the exact location first to see from where you need to take the smaller local guaguas, and they really take time to use for even short distances, they stop everywhere.
good luck

and Dorri,
i would not count on it as a day trip to spend just a couple hours with the family/kid,
the travel will take too much time to go there/say hello/and drive back the whole track on the same day. plan on an overnighter. there’s no problem to do so, i.e. Bayaguana has a nice clean little hotel, very save, a night just for a few hundred pesos per room.
maybe you can set up to meet them in Bayaguana or in Monte Plata, would be from your side a easier travel depnding on the final location of Luis Blanca


Thanks so much for the replies. I’ll do more research if possible - the location info on my material is so vague. I know an organization worker must accompany me, so when they finalize on that, I will probably have a better idea of what works for them as well (I do cover their expenses, too - I can appreciate that they do not use ‘sponsor’ money for this).
They sent me a little map that shows Monte Plata almost halfway between Bonao and Hato Mayor. If we were vacationing at Samaná, that would have been northeast. Unfortunately not the case (we have too many friends in POP after 10 years). I don’t see Bayaguana on their map. There is a chance they could bring the child to me, but that defeats part of the purpose for me. I may need the local hotel info from you at a later date if you don’t mind.

don’t worry, i don’t mind about any info to give where i can.
ask you contact over here about a more detailed location, or if you want give your contact my e-mail address i have no problem with that. of course they can contact me in spanish the same than english.
have fun

Here is the best area Map I could find, you are going somewhere between Hato de la Savita and Bayaguana

Oh my word!!! I would be so way better off if my starting point was not POP … we have booked and paid for POP for November already, so another option would be to do La
Romana or Punta Cana in January (if hubby willing to change his routine) and work on it then. Thankfully they do not contact sponsor child until it is a sure thing that the visit will happen.
I really appreciate the help. I have been searching on computer for the last 2 hours and didn’t come up with anything as definitive. Awesome (well, not awesome that it is so far away, but awesome that you are all so willing to help!).

good map WUD.
it shows even some Bateys which i know are very small, while on the other side does not show all mayor crossings/pueblos.
for example it does not show the province’s capital city Monte Plata.
to give a clue about Monte Plata’s locations b/c it has been the base point for searching a location 18Km SE of it, Monte Plata is located on this map at the crossing where it is written “CHIH16” on road 17, right where the writing “CHIH16” begins, the next crossing north of that writing is located right at the northern entrance/exit of Monte Plata.

Thank you! I thought that was my reference point (almost like X marks the spot).

p.s. How long would it take from La Romana or P.Cana to that location?

when i drive up to Bayaguana from our home in Punta Cana we take usually around 3hrs, on a quiet pace, after leaving La Romana we do a stop at the big Parador for bathrooms and to grab some food, prior to that i always need my short 1st stop after Higuey for my 2nd morning coffee. we always drive up early morning to miss the full daytime traffic in Higuey and La Romana. that’s on the route Punta Cana til Las Americas and from there the new highway which connects to Samana up til Guerra, in guerra we take the ole road til Bayaguana. the old road named/known as the “carretera Mella” which you can take to mavoid the ‘high’ fees on the private new highway would take around 20-25 minutes extra of pure driving time. both roads completely o.k. to drive. just from La Romana i guess(never took a look on the watch for that section specifically) you would be there in much less than 2 hrs.

That’s great information! The bathroom and coffee stops are always important to me too!

I see a Batey La Luisa on the map SW rather than SE from Monte Plata.
Rte 17on your map is Rte 23 on mine.

hey Spunky,
good eyes,
that may be the peublocito Luisa Blanca mentioned in the OP.
that location is def SW and not SE of Monte Plata.

we will get it all figured out by the end.
but we need a confirmation on that by the OP,
a Batey name starting with Luisa is not something rare, ha ha.
will see if i find it on that SW on google earth,
i’ve been prior just searching on the other side

sorry that it took a while,
my internet connection is very slow at the moment.
i found what is on WUD’s map named Batey La Luisa,
located a good 10 miles SSW of Monte Plata.
the first shot is a close in where you can see the lil rural pueblocito.
on the 2nd map with the wider view i marked you the location with the yellow Pin, so you can compare it’s location to Santiago on the far top left or Santo Domingo on the mid buttom or La Romana on the far right buttom.