The new program, beginning next year, will involve cruise ship visitors who will sign up for full-day and half-day trips to do good on St. John.
(This picture is not of a Voluntourism group. It's from my recent trip to Costa Rica. Helping in the Park will certainly be less intensive and more enjoyable.)
Park Superintendent Mark Hardgrove wrote about the new activities in the latest newsletter from the Friends of the VINP. "Visitors will sign up on board and … help preserve park resources, clean park beaches, maintain trails, remove vegetation, and stabilize cultural landscapes and historic structures." He expects there were be crews of 35 people, four days a week.
It won't be all work and no play. Shopping and lunch will be part of the itineraries and, Hardgrove added, "In most cases these voluntourism crews will be transported by local taxis, making a positive impact on the economy," he added.
Voluntourism is not new to the Virgin islands. A St. Thomas company, Island Meetings and Incentives has been organizing do-good groups for several years. You can read more about them at //bit.ly/beuVH1.
Friends of the VI Park, online at www.friendsvinp.org