Volunteering in Hawaii I probably had the best time of my life and I would always go back there in a second! When I first arrived at the Parque Hawaii on the pacific cost, I felt like stepping into paradise. There are palm trees everywhere, a beautiful little rancho, three dorm rooms and the best: caimans, parrots, turtles, dogs…. You basically work and live right on the beach with hammocks everywhere to relax during the sunny days. But it’s not just this paradise-feeling that made me happy, even more the persons working for ARCAS are amazing and help you to have a fantastic stay. First of all there is Lucía, the park’s director. She is a lovely young woman and a brilliant biologist and manages everything, no matter if an animal is sick or if a volunteer is not feeling well. Then, there is Doña Mayra. She is the best Guatemalan cook and with her warm heart she always gives you the feeling to have a mother around. Also Mario and Mariachi, the guards of the park, are wonderful persons. When I arrived, in June 2014, there were only two other volunteers because the turtle-season did not start until late July. So, in my first weeks we did a lot of hard work during the day. We planted trees nearby the mangroves; we prepared the dorm rooms for the volunteers arriving later that summer; we repaired the animals cages, etc.. Sometimes it was really exhausting, because during the day it was so hot and you were sweating all the time. In my first two weeks I often had headaches and the mosquitos were bothering me, because my body just wasn’t used to the climate. But I guess it was after three or four weeks that I was totally accustomed to the climate. In July and August a lot more volunteers were arriving and we started the night patrols and changed the working plans. Luckily, there was Jean, the best volunteer’s coordinator ever. Everyday she put our jobs on a whiteboard so that we would know right after breakfast at what time we have to work and at what time we can just relax in the hammock or go for a swim in the ocean. Those volunteers who speak a little bit of Spanish were not just doing the sea turtle work but also helping out in the communities nearby. In some schools we taught English and environmental education. That was another aspect why I loved volunteering with Arcas. In Hawaii you cannot only help the animals but also get in contact with the local communities. It was so much fun to go the schools, as the children always were happy to have us around. Sea turtle work is for night owls. You have to patrol one or two times per night. On a patrol shift you walk along the beach and watch out for turtles laying eggs. If you find your own turtle: congratulations! Most of the times the local men are faster than you, then you try to buy their nest. Doing that it is very helpful to speak a little bit of Spanish! But as you always patrol in teams, it’s very likely that one you speaks Spanish. Once you have a nest in your arms you go back to the park and bury the nest in one of the hatcheries. You will be taught how to bury the eggs properly before you go on patrols. The best moment is when you release the baby turtles. As you need to measure and weight them you can hold the babies in your hand for a little time and that is so damn cute . I could write ten more pages about work and life in the park, but the best is you experience it yourself! I cannot imagine that anyone feels lonely or sadly in Hawaii. Last but not least I want to say that I chose the homestay option. I lived with a local family in the village of Hawaii and would always go back there. Living with them was great. My host-mum taught me how to cook proper tortillas, I had a host-sister and there were always lots of children around to play with. It helped me a lot to improve my Spanish. I would always go back to Parque Hawaii and miss all the people I became friends with during my stay. It was more than a wonderful experience!