Usually responds within 10 days
For the month of July we are accepting more volunteers than usual because we are closed to guests then. From July 5 to July 31 we have space for up to six volunteers. After that we are scheduling fewer volunteers and for longer periods (usually three months).
We are opening our bed and breakfast after the year of Covid. All our staff are vaccinated and nearly all our guests as well. Please do not apply if you are not vaccinated. We need help finishing many projects on the property, some electrical, some plumbing and of course carpentry. The koi pond and the zen garden alongside the new villa needs a loving gardener's care.
We are a small eco-bed and breakfast located deep in the El Yunque rainforest of Puerto Rico. We rent villas to guests from all over the world who are interested in staying in the only rainforest within the US National Forest System.
More than sixty-five years ago my uncle came to Puerto Rico and fell in love with a property in the El Yunque Rainforest where he lived for years until it was sold outside the family. After hurricane Hugo in 1989 and hurricane Georges in 1998 all that was left of the property were the bare foundations, and it was abandoned for years. We rediscovered the property in 2003 and saw that it had more potential than being just an estate home. We worked from the ground up, using our woodwork and hospitality skills, along with the help of volunteers, to create the thriving B&B we now own today.
These days we are aiming to make our place more sustainable. This year we installed a 16kw solar energy system with Tesla power walls. We built a large fish pond with a filtration tank that grows watercress. Our buildings are constructed from recycled materials, our energy use is as minimal as possible and we collect some of our own water (fairly easy in the rainforest). If you are interested in sustainable living and have any ideas for our B&B please let us know!
Types of help and learning opportunitiesHelp with Eco ProjectsGardeningDIY and building projectsAnimal CareCreating/ Cooking family mealsHelp around the houseGeneral MaintenanceHelp with Computers/ Internet
UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve
Cultural exchange and learning opportunities
We work closely with locals and speak Spanish in the kitchen during breakfast, so you will have the opportunity to develop your Spanish. We take regular trips into San Juan where you are welcome to explore the old city. We also live close to Luquillo and the famous "Kioskos" where you can try local food such as mofongo (savoury mashed plantain stuffed with meat or seafood), amarillos (amazing fried sweet plantain), rice and beans, ceviche and pina colada. You will have the opportunity to help with many tasks, so depending on your level of skill you can learn just about anything from how to live by yourself to how to know when a papaya is ripe enough to pick!
We are a working bed and breakfast and are continually making structural and garden improvements. There are paying guests at all times on the property so we cannot do maintenance work or make any noise at night or in the mornings before the guests go out hiking in the rainforest. Our schedule is always working around the guests.
We don't do any farming but we do have gardens which you can help develop, we also have fruit trees on the property (banana, papaya, starfruit) which we harvest and serve at breakfast (sometimes we eat the surplus)! The new fruit tree orchard below needs irrigation installed.
The tasks we mainly need help with are gardening (we would like to add some growing beds to our gardens), upkeep of the property as well as new construction. We have paid staff who do the domestic chores and housekeeping as well as helping at breakfast. Sometimes we need help dog sitting so the two of us can escape for the evening.
There is constant landscaping and decorative garden design to do.
Sometimes we close for a week or two and work longer hours on a construction project or repair and then you will get extra time off when finished; we will be closing for a month over the summer where we focus on maintenance. Most of the time we are focused on making everything look nice for the guests. Usually we close the inn for the month of September.
We prefer our volunteers to stay about three months.
1. Proof of Round-trip ticket and vaccine.
2. Proof of Health insurance that works in Puerto Rico or travel insurance.
3. Commit to at least a two month stay.
4. Copy of travel photo ID (like passport).
5. Must have no criminal record
7. References from previous volunteer and/or jobs.
And finally we do a Skype interview before we commit to each other (you can meet us then and ask questions).
Please inform us in advance if you have any health problems especially if it is something which would be a health issue when preparing food for guests. All volunteers must be presentable, clean and wear appropriate attire as they would if they were working in any other service establishment where paying guests are around.
Volunteers have their own private space, on a separate level to the B&B, facing out into the trees. We have two rooms with two single beds, along with furniture and electric fans, so we can accommodate up to two volunteers at a time. There is also a fully functional volunteer kitchen with a small oven/grill, a hotplate, microwave, fridge/freezer, dining table and storage space (presently the volunteer kitchen is being rebuilt). The volunteers can request food to be picked up on the weekly shop and are free to cook their own meals and eat when they please. There is a nice private bathroom with a walk-in shower available to the volunteers as well.
What else ...
Please note there is no public transport where we live, so we schedule outings for your time off where we drive you to local beaches and old san juan. We can help with seeing the rainforest and Puerto Rico and hope that your stay with us is something you have great memories of. On days off we can also take you to the movies, to the ferries for Culebra and Vieques where you can camp in a tent we provide, you can go to Luquillo beach, and of course you can do many hikes. We still keep in contact with many of our volunteers from all over the world.
A little more information
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Can host digital nomads
Digital nomads can help us get ready for when the inn can open fully. We need experts in squarespace and video editing.
How many Workawayers can stay?
More than two
4-5 hours / 5 days with 2 days off
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Accuracy of profile:
The expectations are very clear and reasonable. I love to garden and spent most of my time working in the beautiful ornamental gardens. Renée often joined me and another volunteer or two and together we built some new