Help rebuild Dominica after hurricane Maria

Description of Help rebuild Dominica after hurricane Maria

“Hurricane Maria showed no mercy in the forest. To understand, try and imagine no leaves whatsoever on about 95% of the island’s trees throughout Dominica. That said, most are already bursting with new life and the green will grow back quickly. The wildlife is slowly coming out of hiding. “

Thank you for considering visiting us in Dominica to volunteer with all the ongoing work that is needed following the devastation of Hurricane Maria. We welcome all hands on deck to help, to here at the ecolodge and in the neighboring villages. Even amongst a people this resilient, and in a country this strong, any help is beyond appreciated. The smiles across the face of the locals whenever anyone visits, let alone digs in to help rebuild, will make it impossible for you not to join in.

Staying with us: We have three cottages (with a few post-Maria scratches) and full camping facilities back up and running, and our dormitory facilities will soon be ready again for guests, and so we are able to accommodate travellers who would like to come, roll their sleeves up and tackle the long, daily list of tasks.

Eating with us: Our food services are technically unaffected in that all meals can be provided, although the chef may vary, and the dining room roof is being restored from tarpaulin to something more solid as soon as possible.

Facilities: All of our other utilities, power, water, cell phone service with data, are up and running. The only thing still missing is the land line and high speed internet.

Here are just a few of the ways in which you can help:

1. If you have a chainsaw, chainsaw skills and qualifications, your help would be invaluable. There is so much trail clearing to be done, but if you are happy to chop and clear with machetes then you won’t be short of work.

2. Skilled carpenters won’t be short of a rum or two from grateful villagers who need help rebuilding wooden houses and school buildings. We also have plenty of carpentry jobs going here at the lodge so all help welcome.

3. Roofers are, of course, worth their weight in gold here right now, with so many damaged houses and also those who want to replace old metal roofs with more solid ones. In particular, we need to re-roof the village pre-school.

4. Can you sew? Then please pack your sewing machine as your skills will be most welcome. Many of our school children lost their uniforms with their homes and having new ones would mean a lot to them.

5. And if you just enjoy being outdoors and love gardening back home, we have endless landscaping tasks here at the lodge and all around the village.

6. In addition to work tasks, we welcome donations for the school such as books, pens, calculators, flash drives, art equipment, white board markers, reward stickers, glue, and so on.

7. Any tools or equipment that are brought that could be left upon departure will have a life of good use for sure.

In between work tasks we can organize tours to see our favourite spots across the island and arrange a number of activities. Whether you want to visit Dominica's famous waterfalls, spend a day at seaside or snorkelling, seeking out hot springs, or visiting the vast array of historic and culturally significant sights, we can make sure your trip is as enjoyable when you aren't volunteering as it is rewarding when you are. Pretty much all of the adventures that we usually offer are available, just let us know what you're looking for. Without even leaving our valley one can ramble along in the rivers, explore the rapidly regrowing rainforest, and check out some of the many nearby waterfalls.

We will also organise tours of the city and, for example, our Botanic Gardens so that you can not only see the extent of the devastation but also, more positively, the progress that has been made in terms of rebuilding and restoring. We will charge a fixed rate for these adventure and cultural tours of between US$50-150 depending on the activity.

Please note: Access to our ecolodge is still tricky, as bridges over the rivers to get to our lodge have been severely damaged or destroyed. So be prepared to wade through water to get here, with the help of ropes that have been tied across the river and assistance from us if needed. It's just another part of the adventure that one gets when visiting Dominica.

We can’t tell you how much we appreciate your thoughts and concerns and, last but most definitely not least, ask you to pause for a minute in your day to remember for those who lost their lives as a result of the passage of hurricane Maria. Thank you.

Additional pricing information

We do have camping options at US$15 per person per night in our tent or US$10 per person per night in your own tent.
Meals US$40 per person per day for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Individual meals: Breakfast US$13, lunch US$15, dinner US$17
Airport/ferry taxi service US$70 per journey (just over an hour)

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

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Departure information

Come as soon as you can, and stay as long as you are able to
Vouchers
Not Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Help rebuild Dominica after hurricane Maria

Environment

Before commencing construction we carried out an environmental impact assessment and stone is taken from the property for building work which avoids transport and pollution. All our electricity is solar, hydro and wind, and our hot water comes from a solar thermosyphon system.

We monitor the water both entering and leaving our land by testing the river water in the lab to ensure we do not cause any detrimental effects. We use low flow taps, rocks in the toilets for displacement, and grey water passes through a trap in the plug hole, a grease trap outside and then a soakaway.

All our gardens are organic and we use a rotating 4 bin composting system. Each building has 2 bins (compost and other) - there is currently no recycling in Dominica.

We are actively involved in an island wide scheme to increase general environmental awareness through our membership of the south east tourism development committee. We have also hosted a number of school visits for educational training, showing them our solar equipment, veggie oil truck and organic farming practises.

We employ only local people and have set up a local lady with a washing machine so she can not only do our laundry, but also run a small laundry service in the local village.

We have also been actively involved in creating a new library for the village - a previous customer from the USA donated a large amount of books and we installed electricity into an available room in the village which will be used for the project.

Community

The nearest village to Rosalie Forest Eco Lodge is called Grand Fond, and is home to around 1,000 people. Most of our workers are from this village, some others come from the nearest village in the other direction, Petite Soufriere, or another village near Rosalie beach called Riviere Cyrique. This is in keeping with our social policy.

As well as working closely with the local village councils to offer a number of community based activities for our guests, we also offer a community homestay programme, where visitors can spend one night with a family to experience village life for real, and the host gets a good income for their time. click here for details

Some of our other community projects include:

Computer Mission Dominica - 400 computers installed in schools and workshops on maintenance held at each school
Grand Fond Pre school Scholarship fund
The schools visit us for free to get an eco education tour.
The local school has a library for the village, using books supplied initially from one of our guests. Staff from the lodge installed all the electricity and donated the parts for the work carried out.
We bought a washing machine for a lady in the village and she now has her own laundry business. As well as doing the laundry for us and our guests, she is also able to provide a service for the villagers.
We have sponsored the village cricket team by providing them with a large amount of new equipment.
We have sponsored one of the village bands, The Blazing Squad, by helping towards the cost of a new keyboard which they greatly need, and by showcasing them, and another local band The Sucroze Band, occasionally here, at Rosalie Forest.
We have hosted environmentally educational school visits for a few of the island's schools, and continue to offer this free service to all schools in Dominica. We also offer this service to all interested parties, and all of our staff are fully trained in all of our environmental policies.
We ran an art competition in Grand Fond School to design our roadside banners. The four winners won some art equipment and a weekend at the lodge, during which time we held an art workshop and transferred their paper designs onto the large roadside banners which can be seen today around Dominica. We donated some art equipment to the school in order to run the competition.

If you would like to know more about any of our environmental policies and practices, please feel free to contact us any time, and we will always be more than happy to help.

We have a small library in our reception area, which contains a whole host of useful information and technical details about all of our systems, and other systems which we do not yet use.

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