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We are a small travel tourism company with a strong and active focus on marine conservation.
We work closely with a number of Marine Conservation organisations and one in particular with whom we conduct frequent large scale island clean ups with on all the surrounding islands.
We are based on the quiet and remote island of Isla Gobernadora, a 30 minute boat ride from the mainland.
On the island there is a population of around 150 people with most living in or around the village which is situated on one corner of the island.
(The island itself takes a full day to walk around, the village 15 mins.)
We are based a 10 minute walk from the center of the village, on our 2 hectares of land. The island itself is offgrid with no mainland power, no cars or roads and intermittent phone signal.
There are 2 shops, 2 bars, 2 churches and 1 restaurant ( but orders need to be taken 24hrs beforehand)
We are powered by solar like most of the residents ( some use generators) which makes for a peaceful existence.
We are in the process of finishing our first wood cabin with its mountain view and sounds of the sea for guests, and up until now have been offering camping accommodation.
There is always jobs to do around the place and online we are looking for people who can help us with that and also join us on our beach clean ups.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Help with Computers/ Internet
Where we are based is about as unique, rural and authentic culture wise as you will find in Panama.
The community on the island is that of a fishing village but a very relaxed one at that.
Without the influence of internet, cars and adverts for material possessions.
The people here are generally content, laid back and welcoming.
Most of the islanders work only when they need to and spend the rest of the time relaxing in hammocks and chatting away as they watch the tide come and go.
They are often excited to see foreigners and have lots of questions but also are excited to show you things.
Their knowledge of the medicinal plants, trees, fruits and general understanding of the nature around them never fails to impress.
On the other hand if you just want to go to the town bar and buy a round of beer you will make friends for life there as well.. .
The founder is from England (but has been in Panama 11 years to date) the only other non-panameños are a couple from France who run a tranquil artist's retreat a 15 min walk down the coast from our base.
So when it comes to a cultural exchange and a chance to see local life, it doesnt get much purer then this in Panama.
We always have projects ongoing and we always need help with our beach clean ups also.
Also we need help on the computer side of things, with our website, with graphic design. and our online presence or lack thereof.
We need carpenters, tilers, plasterers, welders, electricians and people who have worked with solar energy.
There are many different jobs and ways in which you can help us but some of these jobs varied in availability depending on the season and our ability to pay for the raw materials.
The best way is to send us an honest email about what you can offer and we can tell you if we have any tasks for you at that time.
If we do not have any paying guests at the time then the cabin which sleeps 4 will be available to you.
If we do have guests then you will have the option of dormitory accommodation in the upstairs of the main house or you can ta8ke one of the tents we have and set up your own piece of paradise on the land.
At this time there is one common toilet and shower and kitchen located in the main house.
Along with accomdation we offer Breakfast only with lunch and dinner being self catering.
It is important to note that the local shops are actually just kiosks/fondas/bodegas/ which means you don't go inside.
You point through the window at what you want, and that is not alot and very little fresh produce, generally just Onions and Garlic.
We sell/exchange some canned things, soy meat, pasta sauces, wraps, beans, lentils, tahini, quinoa, ketchup refills, fresh veggies and whatever we have in the availabile in the house. Fruit growing in the garden is shared equally.
However we recommend strongly bringing a good amount of food with you especially fresh veggies as almost none are sold on the island. ( Stuff like salt, pepper, cooking oil, tea, coffee is free all day)
Speaking of Veggies.
It is also VERY important to note that the communal kitchen and fridge is Vegetarian and as an environmentally minded organisation/company we do NOT allow the cooking of animals (seafood Included) in the kitchen or kept in the fridge.
However If you wish to eat meat/fish it is possible to organise a meal at the island restaurant (12 to 24hrs notice needed generally) or you can always BBQ in the garden.
On our tours and beach clean ups however we ask that you eat only the food provided as you will be representing us.
As far as transport to the island goes.
Well the reason the island is as it is,
is because there is no regular ferry or boat taxi.
There are a number of ways to reach and leave the island.
A private boat at $45
2. If you wait on the shores of the mainland village of Hicaco you can try to hitchhike on a boat heading to the island.
For the return journey if you wait on the corner of the island and wave down a passing boat the same procedure applies.
The price of a hitchhike on a boat generally is a gallon and a half of fuel ($8 per person).
Some days there are many boats going to and from the island and other days there are none. This is a gamble and best for slow/relaxed travellers.
3. When we have beach clean ups, join us for one of them and the journey to the island is free, the return journey falls back on one of the other options but is always easier to get off the island then to it.
Once a month on average, the trash we collect from the beach clean ups is transported on a big barge boat on a 5 hour boat journey ( one way) through the mangroves and up a river to a remote port close to the city of Santiago.
You can join us on the return or outward journey for $15 a person. This trips happen only when we have enough trash, and the tides are right and no date is ever guaranteed as we have to operate on island time with situations like this.
Of course, when we know you are coming we will get you to the island the most economic and stress free way possible at that time, and will advise the best course of action closer to the time depending on what is available, your preference and the logistics involved.
However we make these points to make sure, and to clarify with, our guests and volunteers they are aware how remote and offgrid we are.
Due to the logistics of reaching us we ask that people stay a minimum of a week with us and work for 3 hours a day, these hours are flexible depending on the work and the skills you offer.
The rest of the time can be spent exploring the island and its beauty, trails across the island lead up to the top of the "mountain" at -300 MTS but give incredible views across sea and surrounding area.
Another trail leads down to the other side of the island and an area of land we own, there you will find the only white sandy beach on the island.
Here you can relax or even camp for a night.
If we have dive, snorkel, whale watching or hiking tours during your stay and there is space, you can come along at a discounted rate.
Alternatively you can relax in a hammock, listen to the ocean, gaze at the mountains and watch the hummingbirds zip from Orchid to Orchid or just swim in the sea and lay on the beach.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
2 to 3 hours