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Community service

A group of children are picking up plants from the ground.
A group of children are picking up plants from the ground.

GET INVOLVED, GIVE BACKEnvironmental Community Service

Although there’s a lot of bad news about climate change and the environment, that’s all the more reason to get up, get out, and do something about it! Traveling to the Caribbean and acting as students, guests, and environmental stewards in the British Virgin Islands gives us the unique opportunity to contribute to the local effort to preserve these precious surroundings. We’ve been teaching in the Caribbean for more than 35 years. We love the islands and the community, and we’re committed to giving back to the people and places that give so much to us.

Camper cleaning up a beach.

Learn AboutIsland life

We connect you with local youth, empowering you to learn, lead, and gain an appreciation for each other’s cultures and the environment through sustainable projects. Each year we ask the community what kinds of projects would be most helpful, so every summer we have the chance to lend a hand in new ways! We get to learn from those who know the islands better than anyone while also getting a chance to pitch in and share some of our own ideas and experiences to solve problems together and create something awesome.

The opportunity to earn community service credit varies by adventure, ranging from 3 to 5 hours of service on most two-week trips to 30 hours on our Foxtrot 21-day adventures. To determine which adventure best suits your needs, use the adventure finder and choose “focus on community service.”

Our Projects

Sail Caribbean works under the guidance of CoralWatch, an Australian research project that uses simple, non-invasive methods to monitor coral bleaching, and assessment of coral health. We also participate in REEF, a grass-roots organization that seeks to conserve marine ecosystems by educating, enlisting and enabling divers to scientifically monitor, restore and maintain coral reefs. Using scientific protocols from these two organizations, we’ll show you how to perform a coral reef “health check-up”. You’ll document fish counts and record data on three endangered reefs in the British Virgin Islands.

Mangroves, the trees and shrubs that grow in coastal habitats, provide a complex environment for sea-life. You’ll lend a hand in preserving this critical ecosystem by planting new mangroves, as well as monitoring and researching existing sites. Available on Sierra and Foxtrot adventures.

Only 1 in 1,500 hatchlings reaches egg-laying maturity. As a result, the sea turtle population has plummeted 90% worldwide in the last 10 years. On Foxtrot and Sierra programs, you’ll learn techniques from the BVI Department of Conservation and Fisheries to safely tag sea turtles as a means of monitoring their population and movements.

On all of Sail Caribbean programs, you’ll do your part to restore coastal areas and parklands to pristine condition through our beach, trail and underwater sweeps.

The Foxtrot & Sierra adventures will put your diving and snorkeling skills to the test by taking part in Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris led by Sail Caribbean Divers. On the Delta program, you’ll help create and maintain ecological and historically significant trails in the rainforest on Saba.

By participating in outdoor team-building and leadership activities, you’ll get to meet and make friends with the local youth and work together to collaborate, problem-solve, and just have fun! It’s all about connecting with each other and learning about what it’s like to be a teenager in another part of the world. Find out what interests you have in common and get introduced to some new food, music, culture and activities. Learn to cook some local flavor or teach someone how to play lacrosse or throw a football. Share some stories from your Sail Caribbean experience and hear about some of the adventures they have had. Available on all Alpha, Bravo, Foxtrot, Tango and Sierra.

Despite living so close to the sea, a significant number of islanders never learn to swim. You’ll teach them basic water safety and snorkeling techniques to help them feel comfortable in the water and appreciate the underwater world surrounding their islands. Available on Sierra, Bravo and Foxtrot.

Know the anticipation you feel right now just thinking about taking the helm of your boat for the first time? Well, you’ll share that moment when you take local teens out sailing for a day. You’ll pass on your new-found expertise and, in the process, discover just how skilled and confident a sailor you’ve become. Available on all Sierra, Bravo, Foxtrot and Tango.