Visitors Volunteer To Aid Aruba Charities
As more British travellers discover the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba, they are also being lured by a growing phenomenon on the island – voluntourism.
By: Aruba Tourism Authotiry
For those who want to take a break from the sun lounger, there are many opportunities to put something back into the life of Aruba.
The Aruba Reef Care Project is the best-known and largest volunteer environmental initiative on the island. Launched in 1994, it now attracts more than 1,000 participants who every September scour the beaches and dive and snorkel various sites in a massive clean-up effort.
Supported by public and private sector businesses, the Reef Care Project raises awareness of the importance of preserving the marine environment and volunteers gladly give up a few hours of their day to pick up any debris. Anyone interested in helping can contact Castro Perez by email on castroperez@
Similarly, an annual National Coastal Clean-Up Day is held every November, when Aruba’s beaches and coastline are filled with volunteers making a clean sweep.
Aruba’s shores have become a favourite nesting place for the endangered leatherback, hawksbill, green, and loggerhead turtle. Fundashon Turtugaruba, established in 2003 and a member of the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network, is the local foundation that protects them.
These turtles invariably return to their natal beach to lay their eggs, and Turtugaruba volunteers know where to patrol to spot, monitor, and protect turtle nests on the Island, primarily at Eagle Beach, Boca Grandi, and Arikok National Park.
Sea turtles begin their nesting season on Aruba in April, and hatching can continue until December. Volunteers comb the beach during the season looking for nesting turtles so the area can be cordoned off and protected.
For information on how to assist the organisation, email enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:info@
Sponsor a Mile is a monthly initiative held during the third and fourth weeks of every month. Spearheaded by the Aruba Hotel & Tourism Association (AHATA), its members, including island hotels and activity companies, adopt a designated mile of beach, roadsides, and countryside to scour for debris. Staff volunteer their time to keep their island clean, and are often joined by eco-minded tourists.
Since many major resorts and hotels participate, visitors can contact their hotel directly for information and dates or contact Vanessa Rasmussen at AHATA by email at Vanessa@ahata.com (mailto:Vanessa@
Donations and the work of volunteers are vital to the Aruba Animal Shelter, which aims to improve the lives of dogs and cats on the island. Would-be volunteers, interested in donating or just cuddling some puppies and kittens can contact the centre or just call in between 8am and noon. Go to www.arubaanimalshelter.com for more information.
Staying with four-legged friends, the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary is supported entirely by donations and volunteer workers. Donkeys were first brought to Aruba by the Spanish about 500 years ago and there are still around 200 on the island today. New volunteers are welcome to help with the daily chores of feeding and cleaning or assisting with general maintenance and repairs.
Aruba’s foundation for the visually impaired, FAVI, offers a variety of services with the purpose of contributing to the happiness and wellbeing of those with visual impairment or blindness. FAVI addresses physical needs like examinations and rehabilitation as well as sensory stimulation and fellowship with activities ranging from cooking classes and gymnastics to talk groups and weekly handicraft classes. FAVI welcomes volunteers to help with craft classes and the outings. Contact FAVI director, Cetty Baarah, at +297-582-5222 for more information.
For more information about Aruba, go to www.aruba.com