Don’t feel bad that you haven’t set foot on the island of St. Barthelemy (Bart’s) quite yet—it’s chic, trendy attitude and luxury accommodations mean scores of celebrities usually beat you to the punch. But beneath its shiny facade, there lays a country in great need. Hurricane Irma’s and Hurricane Maria’s gale-force winds did a number on the island, tearing rooftops and flooding once-well trodden streets. Do your part, volunteer abroad in St. Bart’s, and make a difference.
Hurricane Irma and Maria Response Efforts
The island of St. Barts was victim to the hurricanes in the fall of 2017 that swept across the Caribbean, destroying just about every tree and insecure building in it’s path. International relief teams are already underway with recovery efforts; however, more hands are often needed to do the job—especially if those hands are attached to people with specialized skills, such as medical, dental, or construction.
If you don’t fit that bill but still want to have a positive impact on the St. Barts community, consider giving financially to organizations that are already there doing good work. It might not seem as fun and sexy (or full of awesome Instagram posts) as going there to do the work yourself, but if you’re measuring impact, your dollars will likely go a lot further than your time. This isn’t always true, but especially in the immediate aftermath of disaster, financial barriers can be considerable.
At this time, consider donating your money instead of your time.
Other Ways to Volunteer in St. Bart’s
If a considerable amount of time has passed since September 2017 and you’re still curious about volunteer opportunities in St. Bart’s, consider these popular projects outside of emergency response work.
Marine conservation. Water sports are no stranger to the coastlines of St. Bart’s, and any volunteer here who prefers flippers to slippers will find plenty of projects to support. Scuba dive to better understand the island’s endemic species, or go support sustainable local fisheries in their efforts to meet tourism demands.
Language teaching. The children of St. Bart’s are exposed to French, English, AND Creole throughout their early schooling. To expose them to a native English speaking accent, try on the hat of a volunteer English teacher in St. Bart’s. The kids will love your new take on ESL games and activities!
That’s a Wrap!
You don’t need Dior to fit into this French island paradise. You just need a good heart, the time to give back, and the skills that match their needs. Volunteer in St. Barts today!