What it's like
See Photos! And read Newsletters! about our past projects.
Quote From a 2012 CVE Volunteer
"My CVE experience on St. John was fantastic! We had a good little group of six people. We stayed at the NPS interns' campsite within the Cinnamon Bay campground, part of the Virgin Islands National Park. The campsite was very comfortable and just moments from one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen! The interns were very friendly and showed us the ropes of both camping life and our archaeology work, which was very rewarding. We worked four days- two on Hassel Island, one at the campground, and one at a very remote site called Beaverhoutsberg, where three very large feral pigs paid us a visit! Evenings were spent over leisurely dinners and relaxing in camp.
Other than the noseeums that bit my feet many times, it was a perfect week! I look forward to participating in more CVE trips in the future."
View past trips to learn more about the types of trips we've led.
Most of our trips are from five days to one week long. We have from two to twelve participants.
Our projects are run by a CVE "group leader", who is experienced in leading this type of project.
We work with a local agency such as the National Park Service, or the Historical Society or National Trust of a particular island. Participants get to meet local island people who are involved with preservation and cultural resources.
Costs depend on the site and island. Check with the individual project for the fees.
On Road Scholar trips, participants pay a fee to Road Scholar. This includes all expenses during the week: lodging, food, local transportation, group leader fees . Airfare and transfers to the hotel are not included.
On CVE trips, there is often a general fee to cover the CVE group leader, and participants pay for their own lodging, food and share of the local transportation Again, airfare is not included.
Generally we work Monday through Friday- starting the work project around 9:00AM.
We usually work from 3 to 5 hours, often with a picnic lunch in the field. During the afternoon, we arrange field trips to historic sites, or tours of the island. We try to give our participants a good idea of the highlights of the island. On many islands participants can enjoy water sports, swimming and hiking.
On our week long projects, Saturdays are generally a "free day" where volunteers can participate in swimming, islands tours, or visits to historic sites.
Type of Work
The work is often outside.; the weather varies depending on the island- but is generally in the 80"s and can be humid- but generally with a breeze.
Some projects require physical effort- such as walking 30 minutes to a work site, clearing vegetation from ruins, painting or plastering.
To give you an idea of some of the work – read our newsletters and list of past projects.
Work has included:
Building and cemetery surveys: Photography, and filling out forms, mapping
Drawing and Mapping: Measuring, drawing, photography
Construction: Painting, light carpentry
Stabilization: Clearing vegetation from ruins, masonry repair
Archeology: Digging, sifting, sorting
It is not necessary to have any previous experience and we train people in the field any necessary skills. We try to utilize skills (like photography, drawing, carpentry, computer skills etc.) of volunteers to enhance our projects.
Lodging and Food
CVE arranges the lodging place. This can be a hotel, or guest house, as well as upscale camping, or a rental villa. If possible we try to prepare our own breakfast, and lunches are generally a picnic in the field. Dinners are held in local restaurants and we like to sample the local cuisine.
Participate in a project involving history.
The Caribbean has a rich and fascinating history- involving a diversity of peoples- the original native Americans, settlers from all parts of Europe, the Africans and East Indians. Our projects give you a deeper look at a facet of this culture.
Meet local people who are involved with history and preservation in the Caribbean.
Learn about an island's history and culture from local sources.
Contribute your time and skills to help with preservation in the Caribbean.
We need volunteers who are interested in history , architecture, geneaology and want to make a difference.
We leave time every day for relaxation, and enjoying the island we are visiting.
We visit the islands highlights as well as beaches and other outstanding natural features.