Overview

Located on a 1,000-acre reserve in the southern mountains of Puerto Rico’s rainforest, Greenheart Travel offers you the opportunity to volunteer with a pioneering project on sustainable forestry research, enrichment and reforestation!

The expansion of agriculture, pasture grazing and coffee plantations across Puerto Rico lead to clearcutting and destruction of mature rainforests on the island, leaving only about 25% of the trees intact. In junction with the government, this forestry project was developed as a way to research and develop alternative ways of planting and extracting natural timber resources with a focus on sustainable and ecological practices.

How You Will Make a Difference as a Volunteer

Thousands of native and exotic hardwood trees have been planted in the nursery reserve, and our volunteers assist in researching and cataloging all of the promising results. Your volunteer activities might include:

  • Measure tree diameter, density, and health for various species
  • Prune, plant and care for seedlings, saps and mature trees
  • Clearing trails, creating new trails, and general land maintenance
  • Tend to the on-site organic garden, including compost management
  • Data entry & cataloging of ongoing research progress

Eligibility 

  • 18 years or older — retirees welcome!
  • Consent to criminal background check (Greenheart Travel will process this for U.S. citizens)
  • Beginner level of Spanish preferred
  • Be in good physical shape due to manor labor nature of the work

Program Dates

Apply by Jan. 31st and get $100 off your 2017 volunteer program!

Participants should apply approximately 6 weeks ahead of the desired start dates. These dates are flexible, so if you need a different start date, please contact Greenheart Travel directly with questions.

Program Start Date Deadline to Apply Date
March 8, 2017 January 18, 2017
March 22, 2017 February 1, 2017
April 5, 2017 February 15, 2017
April 19, 2017 March 1, 2017
May 3, 2017 March 15, 2017
May 17, 2017 March 29, 2017
May 31, 2017 April 12, 2017
June 14, 2017 April 26, 2017
June 28, 2017 May 10, 2017
July 12, 2017 May 24, 2017
July 26, 2017 June 7, 2017
August 9, 2017 June 21, 2017
August 23, 2017 July 5, 2017
September 6, 2017 July 19, 2017
September 20, 2017 August 2, 2017
October 4, 2017 August 16, 2017
October 18, 2017 August 30, 2017
November 1, 2017 September 13, 2017
November 15, 2017 September 27, 2017
November 29, 2017 October 11, 2017
December 13, 2017 October 25, 2017
December 27, 2017 November 8, 2017

Costs

Apply by Jan. 31st and get $100 off your 2017 volunteer program! Please note, all prices are listed in USD

Program Fees

  • 1 Week: $980
  • 2 Weeks: $1,210
  • 3 Weeks: $1,430
  • 4 Weeks: $1,660
  • 5 Weeks: $1,910
  • 6 Weeks: $2,140
  • 7 Weeks: $2,360
  • 8 Weeks: $2,590
  • 9 Weeks: $2,820
  • 10 Weeks: $3,040
  • 11 Weeks: $3,270
  • 12 Weeks: $3,500

Can’t volunteer for a full week? You can go for only a few days at $150 per day! Inquire directly with Greenheart Travel about applying for a shortened stay. 

What’s Included:

  • Full accommodation for the duration of your stay
  • 3 meals a day*
  • Daily onsite transportation
  • Airport pick up and drop off at San Juan airport
  • Pre-Departure & On-site orientation & training:
  • 24/7 on-site staff support and training
  • Medical/Accident insurance
  • Personal assistance from a Greenheart Travel program manager
  • Certificate of Completion upon request for successful completion of the program
  • Greenheart Travel donates a portion of your fee to the volunteer project and to an initiative offsetting the carbon footprint of your travels

*Some meals are prepared for you, others you are expected to contribute to the cooking

What’s Not Included:

  • Flight to Puerto Rico
  • Spending money for personal purchases or activities

Accommodation

While volunteering, you will be living on site at the project location. The accommodations are rustic and in the middle of a rainforest. You need to come prepared with an open mind because you may not have access to the same creature comforts you are used to at home.

Accommodations will include either a bunk in the volunteer house or a platform tent under a roof covered area. Depending on space, you may or may not have other volunteers living in the vicinity.

Volunteers will also have access to an open-air common living space which includes a kitchen, dining and lounging area. There are also comfortable hammocks to enjoy at the end of a hard day’s work!

FAQs

What is a typical volunteer day like?

You will wake up around 8am to have breakfast, then head into the morning volunteer meeting at 9:00am. You will plan the day and connect with the group about which projects are going on. You will put in about 4-5 hours of work each day with a break for lunch.There are various evening activities planned, such as meditation, documentary viewing, and personal presentations on industry issues.

Are there fundraising opportunities or scholarship offered by Greenheart Travel for this project?

All funds will have to be provided by you; however we do highly recommend fundraising! Read our detailed fundraising guide on how to raise money for your trip, or check out our scholarship page for available scholarships.

Can I apply with my friend/spouse/significant other?

Absolutely! We are happy to accept friends and couples.

What about allergy/specific dietary requirements?

We can cater to vegetarian needs quite easily. Any other specific diets should be discussed with us to see if we can arrange to have your needs met.

How can I contact friends/family from home?

The best way to communicate with friends and family is through the internet, or a local SIM card. Due to the remote nature of the program, coverage may be inconsistent, and you should not expect to be constantly connected. This is a time to unplug and enjoy your nature surroundings! Keep conversations to a minimum, around 10 minutes, and make sure you ask permission before using the phone to make sure the family isn’t expecting a call.

Do I need any special vaccinations?

Please be sure your tetanus shot is current. All other major immunizations should be up to date, but check with a medical professional to see if they recommend any additional vaccines.