Digital Nomads take note!
We are especially looking for a volunteer who is interested in making videos. Someone who can edit! We have good sound equipment. It’s a very peaceful nice place to work.
This summer (2019) we have not yet scheduled all our volunteers. In August/Sept/Oct/Nov we have no one scheduled (there are rooms below in the volunteer area for four people). Spending the winter in the tropical rainforest (with days off on the nearby beaches is a truly great experience).
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. 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!
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
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 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.
If you have any experience with aquaponics we would love to build a greenhouse with aquaponics growing tables for the tomatoes, lettuce, kale etc that we can't grow on our land because the rainfall is too great. Plus there is constant landscaping. The concrete foundation is in place for this project but massive trees blocking light need to be tried and a steel framework for the greenhouse roof erected.
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
2. Proof of Health insurance that works in Puerto Rico or travel insurance.
3. Commit to three 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 in each, along with furniture and electric fans, so we can accommodate up to four 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. 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.
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.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
4-5 hours / 5 days with 2 days off