Off-grid island homestead near Isla Popa in Bocas del Toro, Panama

  • Panama
  • Favourited 302 times
  • Last activity: 07/02/2023




  • Description


    Hello, fellow human beings. I hope you're having an excellent day, and welcome. I'll get straight to it.

    There are 6 of us here. Dad (Jaimie, that's me), Mom (Dashaina), and 4 kids ages 2,4,10,12. (I should throw in here... no smoking, drugs, alcohol, etc.) We are homesteading on a few small islands in a fairly remote place. Our basic goal is to build a life, and nurture a local community that is self sufficient, connected with nature, and that will leave our planet better than when we found it. I know, no small feat in a disposable society.
    Dashaina and I have two completely different properties, and houses. Dashaina isn't hosting anyone at the moment so you'll be at my place (Jaimie). Oh, and yes. There are bugs. ...and sometimes it rains for a week straight and there's absolutely nothing we can do about it, so a positive attitude is important!

    Let me tell you a little about myself...
    Jaimie: OK, in a nutshell I've always loved building things. I was a big athlete in my youth, went to an Ivy League school and was making my parents proud until I got this feeling that I just wasn't headed in the right direction. I restarted my life moving off grid and homesteading. After starting a family with Dashaina and moving to Central America I began working toward the goal of being self sufficient, living responsibly, and creating amazing inventions! I run my house almost like an athletic center. There are morning exercises which you can join in or not (they'll make you feel great for the rest of the day if you do them). My main sport is building things. I always have some big projects and some small projects going. Bigger things like building a 4 story styrocrete dome house, a bridge to an adjacent island, a guest house, etc. Those projects are always a workout, digging, carrying rocks/concrete, wheelbarrowing, etc. The smaller projects are more restful physically. Things like sewing clothes/bags/sails, fishing, hunting for coconuts, building boats, cooking, etc.

    I'm also growing more and more food every year. I've had a lot to learn in that department, but I seem to actually be getting somewhere. I've figured out how to protect my pepper plants from the crabs at least! Right now I get roughly a coconut per day from my trees with more planted. Coconut sourdough bread is delicious! I can teach you to make it. I also grow bananas, plantains, beans, some leafy green stuff, and have a lot of fruit trees under way. I'm very excited for the avocados! Oh, and I have a plethora of coco-plums.

    I spend a lot of time with my kids, and I get them involved in projects that they can help with, so being good with kids is pretty important. Don't worry, though, my kids are pretty cool. They're outdoor kids, not smart phone kids.
    I should also mention my boats. I'm an inventor so, of course, I made all my boats. They are all solar and/or human powered. It takes me longer to get places that people with gas motors, but I'll take the peaceful ride and fresh air over noise and pollution any day. My main boat is solar/pedal powered. Driving it to town is great exercise, and there's a 2nd pedalling seat if you want to help. We can take turns napping on the way to town, too, since it takes a few hours. Yes, "town" isn't close. You can't run out for something you forgot, so don't forget anything important!

    I should also mention that I have a youtube channel so if you have skills/ interest in videoing, editing, website stuff, or anything like that I'd love the help.

    I have reliable internet, but I leave it turned off most of the time. I generally turn it on in the morning to do a quick weather/messages check, and turn it on again after dinner. ...unless there's some sort of internet work going on during the day.

    I have no animals other than the wild ones. ...dolphins swim with my boat sometimes. It's pretty cool.

    I could only host a family with children, if said children are very responsible. There are a lot of tools in my house that could be dangerous. My kids, even the 2 year old, know to stay away from certain tools, and ask me before going into certain parts of the house.

    Volunteer hours. We can discuss based on projects you want to be involved with, but lets say 5 hours of work 5 days a week as a rough start. I'll feed you in that case. This is all negotiable so feel free to make a counter offer.
    I can accommodate 2 workawayers at most.

    No minimum stay, but generally, I say stay a week then we can assess length of stay based on mutual interest.

    Have an excellent day!

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Art Projects
    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    Babysitting and creative play
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
    Help with Computers/ Internet
  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    If you're someone who is thinking about homesteading or has an interest in seeing an alternative lifestyle this is a great place to visit.

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Help


    Being on a homestead, there are always a wide range of tasks/projects going on.  I usually have 1 or 2 main projects I'd like help with.  Right now I'm in the middle of building a bridge (lots of dirt moving at the moment), and tiling the roof (No, I won't ask you to go on the roof or anything dangerous.  More like passing things up to me).  After that we can find something with fits your interest.  Boat building, cooking, sewing, video editing, etc.

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Beginner

    This host offers a language exchange
    My Spanish is decent, but not great.  I'm happy to practice with you!

  • Accommodation


    Things are very much under construction here and accommodations reflect that. How cool is it to help build a guest house and be the first occupant, though! OK, currently the main house is a 4 story dome. Only the first floor is made. The only real walls are around the bathroom. You'll have a curtained off spot with a mattress on the floor. It's warm and dry and you'll have a safe place to put your things. Plug things in when the sun is out (solar power). The toilet is what I call a "Chinese squat toilet" (because I first encountered them in China. I've been told it's also called a "Turkish toilet". Ask and I'll give you a monologue on the benefits of squatting over sitting. The shower is outside and semi private so you can take a bucket of water into the bathroom and shower there if it's an issue at all. We do rely on mutual respect and consideration of each other. If you ever feel unsafe or otherwise uncomfotable just say so and I'll do what I can to help, or help you go on with your travels. I never want anyone to feel trapped here. In a nutshell, if you love going camping you'll probably like it here a lot. If you always stay in a hotel, this might not be the best place.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    For off time it's important to know that this is a remote place.  Night life here generally consists of dinner and a movie at home, or relaxing and talking.  Chilling out while the light fades then going to sleep early.  In the daytime there is kayaking, swimming, drawing/painting/artsy kinds of stuff, running the short trail on my small island.  I do have a bigger piece of land nearby that is mostly raw jungle with some nice paths through it and a creek.  Finding a quiet place to read a book.  I know this seems obvious, but you'd be surprised.  Being on a small island means that you have to get in a boat to go anywhere.  There's no instant taxi service.  Planning ahead is essential.  Let me say that again.  Planning ahead is essential.  

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    I run my own youtube channel, so definitely digital nomad friendly. I can give more specifics if this is something you would need.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours per day, 5 days a week.

Host ref number: 131535399173

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