An experience in a developing country is increasingly important for those whose call is to serve in their own environment. The Institute for Latin American Concern (ILAC) at Creighton University's purpose is:
- To provide students and professionals the opportunity to understand the problems of developing countries based on firsthand experience in the Dominican Republic.
- To provide health care and education to people in need in remote areas of the Dominican Republic.
- In the Jesuit tradition, ILAC strives to promote faith that does justice, guiding its participants toward a greater freedom and commitment to love and service.
The ILAC Summer Program was initiated in 1972 and more than 120 individuals participate in ILAC experiences each year. Students live in the Dominican Republic for six weeks, while health professionals rotate in shifts of two-week periods to monitor the work of the students, and to help deliver health care to the Dominican people.
The participants of the Summer Program live with the Dominican people, and thus have the opportunity to learn firsthand about the culture, customs, and challenges of a developing country. ILAC provides a unique opportunity to dental, medical, nursing, pharmacy and undergraduate students to work in health-care teams monitored by professionals who also become part of the team-work experience. Separate one-month programs exist in the Spring for Physical Therapy students and in the Summer for Occupational Therapy students. These experiences are also monitored by professionals and work at various clinics in the Santiago area. The Law School and Chemistry Department also offer service learning trips to the Dominican Republic.
The ILAC Program is accredited by Creighton University. Most students receive academic credit for successful participation. The cost of participation varies from year to year. It includes round-trip air fare, living expenses and tours.