Help at our sustainable place in the El Yunque rainforest, Puerto Rico


Puerto Rico

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 Min stay requested: at least 3 weeks

  • Description


    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 Sept/Oct/Nov we have only two 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 looking for last minute volunteers to help improve our private trail. We will waive our stay requirements for qualifying applicants.

    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!

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    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

    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!

  • Help


    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.

    volunteer requirements:
    1. Proof of Round-trip ticket
    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
    6. non-smoker
    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.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, Spanish

  • Accommodation


    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.

  • What else ...

    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

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    4-5 hours / 5 days with 2 days off

Bill and Renée in Old San Juan

Host ref number: 331897914616