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Help Exchange

All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 4
Persons: 8
Category: Other
Host ID: 27029
Country: Belize

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Last Updated: September 4, 2015

Hello, I own an island! (Still can't believe it!)
I'm an English girl in her 30's. For the last 6 years, I have owned a cider/real ale pub in Somerset, England. I decided to leave that life behind in search of adventures new and that search has led me here! Since January 2014, I have been living here 7 miles off the coast of Belize in my beautiful new home, Virginia Caye. The plan is to start an island day trip location in 2015
To that degree, I am over here living on the island, literally starting from the ground up. I'm really keen to have people over to help with all the 'man stuff!' It's just me and my skills are somewhat limited.
We are 4 acres of tropical island paradise in the midst of the Caribbean sea. Currently an uninhabited (except for owner, volunteers) wild island undergoing sympathetic transformation to provide a island destination day, trip venue, with bar and food available.
Work has already begun and reparations have been made on 3 buildings, there is a solar system, ie elec, wi-fi, warm solar shower -in rainy season- when water is plentiful, rainwater catchment system and composting loo's
We're inviting anyone that wants to come out and enjoy the caye for free board, all we ask in return, is if you are not skilled, help with some landscaping, we are moving washed up coral into the middle of the island with spades and wheelbarrows. We estimate 10 full barrows per person should take about 2-2.5 hrs max and that's the days quota.
If you have got skills, We also have ongoing carpentry and building projects. So let me know if this is your skill set.
Volunteers are expected to pitch in with general help- sweeping their house, clearing/washing dishes, cooking etc.
We are looking for self motivated, easy going, fun people, who enjoy the social aspect as much as building something we can all be proud of. No restrictions on smoking/drinking etc! An ability to be able to entertain yourself in downtime -the afternoons! -is a must. Activities include playing pool, cards, reading, fishing, snorkeling, sunbathing, pontificating on life etc.

To get here: Get to Hopkins and ask if they can help you find a ride on a boat at the funky dodo, or Dangriga around the riverside cafe and find someone to give you a ride out. The charges vary, on whether they are coming by anyway, and will usually be anything from U.S $25 -US $75 check whether the price they are giving you is in Belize or US dollar. The exchange rate is 2-1 Belize to U.S. Ask for Virginia Caye or Willow's Caye or The caye by the cut next to Jewel caye and the fishermens island, in the Cockney caye range. Or blue ground range! -Welcome to Belize, everything has 3 names!
Tip, It's better to arrange in the morning or the night before, as they tend to go out to the cayes in the morning

From what I have heard, I am different to other hosts because The Island Project is in an unique in-between interim period. Until the business gets up and running, We just want to live on an island, have a good time, meet cool people, learn from others, gather ideas, and share this incredible experience with an open community feel. This opportunity will only last a few more months!

Suggested list of things to bring:
swim wear
snorkelling equipment (lovely corals/fish around the island!)
Closed rubber shoes (crocs etc.)
Mosquito spray (DEET)
Baby oil (sand fly prevention)
VERY IMPORTANT -bin (trash) bags for covering luggage on boat to protect electrical equipment
An easy going attitude.


Out on the water on the pier we have our thatched Palapa and mattresses that, for now, can be laid out on the floor. We also have picturesque camping sites, but please provide your own camping gear and equipment. Finally do bring a hammock and find a space to set up.

Concerning food:
The volunteers eat communally, we ask that everyone brings basics to add to the pot.
Rice, flour, oil, dried kidney beans, pasta, basic veg (onions garlic, peppers, potatoes), and if needed on the island, a shared contribution of (for example) foil, baking powder, chicken stock(Malher) etc. (ask before arrival,for an up to date list)
For yourselves, coffee, snacks, rum, cordials/squash/Tang
Meals are cooked communally by volunteers for volunteers.
Fish is freely available, but needs to be caught by volunteers! (Sadly no spear fishing as we are in a protected marine reserve.
There is also food available to buy from the bar, but at prices aimed at tourists not necessarily helpers! $15 bz pizza, etc.
You will need to bring water 5 gallons per person $5.50 Belize (a deposit of $15 bz needs to be left for the container at the shop, which is refundable upon return.)
In the dry season, Sept- June water is not available on the island, so we make do with washing in the sea and using our drinking water to rinse the saltwater off our hair. Depending on how long you stay you'll need to buy additional food and water, this can be done by asking the boat captain nicely, to shop for you whilst he collects or drops off volunteers.

We tend to get the work done in the morning before it gets too hot, then finish, have a quick swim and have our first shared meal of the day approx 11am. If you need to eat first thing, bring cereal bars, bread, jam, peanut butter etc. Also throughout the day any snacks that you might want (Raman noodles, Pringles, chocolate) You are also responsible for your own coffee/tea sugar/creamer etc.

If you have a particularly large appetite or like something else, please bring them with you.
Alcohol is available to purchase at the bar.

We then eat our main meal around 7pm.

At the moment, sept/oct 15 we are concentrating on shovelling washed up sand and coral and land filling by wheelbarrow the centre of the caye -so if you want to get fit!
Next and concurrently carpentry/building projects which I am desperate to get finished. (You will go to the top of the invite list if you are handy with a hammer!)
Projects include, constructing sun loungers, tiling, cladding, Structural maintenance (underwater) Building a beach bar and restaurant/kitchen, kitchen fitting,

We are looking for easy going, fun people, who enjoy the social aspect as much as building something we can all be proud of. No restrictions on smoking/drinking etc!

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