Voluntourism?

Make your Maui visit a ‘volunteer vacation

Visitors can photograph the turtles. Or they can have a richer experience: While on the island, they can volunteer as turtle monitors with Bernard’s group, helping to educate others about these endangered sea creatures the locals call “honu.”

Helping the honu means spending a few hours on the beach, hardly a painful commitment. It’s just one way to turn your island vacation into “voluntourism” — giving back some of the spirit of aloha.

Sidebar:

To learn about volunteer opportunities including the Honu Watch Project, protecting green sea turtles at Maui’s Hookipa Beach, or helping to restore a traditional Maui taro farm and develop fish farming in Kahakuloa Valley, contact Hawaii Wildlife Fund, 808-280-8124 or email wild@aloha.net. Weeklong group visits including the taro farm, with lodging and food: $1,400/person. More details: wildhawaii.org.

Volunteer to help restore natural landscapes at Maui’sWaihee Coastal Dunes & Wetlands Refuge, a property of Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, most Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon. More information (and directions): James Crowe, james@hilt.org. Or learn about other volunteer opportunities: volunteer@hilt.org. Details: hilt.org/protected-lands/maui/waihee-refuge

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