Hawaii Volunteer Guidelines
For volunteers who want to improve their Spanish and have a more typical Guatemalan experience, ARCAS can arrange home stays with local families at roughly the same cost as staying at the Parque.
We encourage volunteers both in Petén and at the Hawaii project to make the effort to learn as much Spanish as possible before coming to volunteer. Unlike the Rescue Center in Petén, the Parque Hawaii receives many local visitors and there are plenty of chances to interact with locals during daily volleyball and football games, fishing, etc.
For those interested in participating in environmental education, the Guatemalan school year runs from January to November. We also conduct permanent scientific monitoring of the local mangrove ecosystem and volunteers can participate in that. Local community development activities are carried out year-around.
Getting to Hawaii
When you have made your travel plans, please send us a short e-mail letting us know your itinerary.
If you are on a tight budget or want the “chicken bus” experience, take the “Cubanita” bus from the La Terminal de la Zona 4 bus station and market in Guatemala City to Taxisco-Chiquimulilla. Get off in Taxisco and transfer to the La Avellana bus. In La Avellana, take the public ferry across the Chiquimulilla Canal to Monterrico. From Monterrico, take the public bus the 8kms or 20 minutes to Parque Hawaii, which is about one kilometer before the village of Hawaii.
There are also public buses that run from Guatemala City to Antigua to Puerto Itzapa and then Monterrico. The entire trip from Guatemala City to Hawaii via chicken bus takes at least 4 hours and costs about Q40. Most buses leave in the morning. Don´t start your trip after midday.
Apart from the chicken bus, we recommend taking a tourist shuttle van to Monterrico. Daily shuttles leave Antigua, Quetzaltenango and Panajachel @8AM arriving in Monterrico @10.30 for $10. They will pick you up at your hotel. Return shuttles from Monterrico to Antigua leave at 3PM. To make a reservation, call STA at 7832-8581 o Don Quijote travel at 5659-8397.
If you are planning on coming to Hawaii to volunteer, think about fundraising among your friends and family before you come to raise money for the Sponsor-a-Nest program. Under this program, donations are used to buy whole sea turtle nests on the beach.
Typically, $25 can buy a whole nest of roughly 100 eggs. ARCAS staff and volunteers wait until the price for sea turtle nests drops (usually during the height of the nesting season, August-November) and then go out onto the beach and buy whole nests from local collectors. These eggs are then buried in the Hawaii or El Rosario and 50 days later, the hatchlings are released into the sea.
Take part in this direct conservation effort. Hit the Donate Now button on our main page or contact us at [email protected] about making a donation. You can also buy a nest as a gift for a friend or family. Help us to save these beautiful but threatened creatures!