Volunteer Work Experience
in Paradise (click on any photo to see larger
One way to engage in purposeful
travel is to do volunteer work in exchange for a place to stay.
We selected a destination whose ideals were close to our own,
an ecological resort. We picked the grandaddy of them all,
Maho Camps on St John in the US Virgin Islands. Luckily, we
were selected for the 30-day program that requires you to work
four hours per day (120 for the month) in exchange for your
The work was demanding, if for no other reason
than Maho has hundreds of steps to climb. But, when the work
was done, we could collapse on the gorgeous beach.
The accommodations were tent cabins
perched among the vegetation and connected with boardwalks.
Ours had twin beds (boo!) with an incredible view (yea!).
Maho has an open-air pavilion restaurant
surrounded by exotic flowers and boasts a fair view of its
On one of our days off, we hopped
a shuttle into Cruz Bay and pampered ourselves with fantastic
West Indian food.
About halfway through, we were
given the chance to work at the newer part of the Maho dream,
Concordia (on the other side of the island).
During the transition between the
two sites, we took a National Park Service hike to the petroglyphs.
Concordia has both eco-tents and
studios perched on a hillside above Drunk Bay (with it’s
funky sculptures from shells and trash) and Salt Pond Bay.
The hike to Ram’s Head is
world-class, taking you past a ruin, around the great snorkeling
spot of Salt Pond Bay, to the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic
Our little studio
was perfect and we also had a pool to hang around.
Of course we did
work, but our lunch break was always special.
We picked the month of September.
Guess what? That’s hurricane time! Sure enough, Hurricane
Jeanne gave us a brush. The evening after was fantastic.
forget all of the critters whose island we shared.
PS: Did we mention
those wonderful rum drinks?
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