2020 SUMMER UPDATE!

In light of COVID-19, VISIONS will run programs in one location for summer 2020. Learn more about the Montana Summer programs.

British Virgin Islands

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High School Service Program
Volunteer with Animals & Hurricane Relief
Ages 14 to 18

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS 1
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BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS 1
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BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS 2
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BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS 2
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Program Overview

Embrace a rare opportunity to engage in crucial hurricane relief work—animal welfare, cleanup, carpentry and rebuilding—on British Virgin Islands service trips. Learn tangible lessons about the social and environmental issues the islands face in the midst of increasingly destructive storms. And swim, snorkel, SCUBA dive and explore in one of the most beautiful and welcoming places on earth.

WE ARE MINDFUL

“I felt great about the projects I participated in this summer. It was fulfilling to watch the progress we made over the course of a month. From this trip I gained incredible fulfillment. Not only did the work projects make me feel immensely proud but also learning about the beautiful island around me was life-changing.”

 

Cecilia Boyers

Missouri

Embracing Projects That Matter

Communities in the British Virgin Islands have welcomed our summer service programs for 30 years, and in that time the greatest challenge to face our local partners has been the recent hurricane destruction. While issues facing the Caribbean are larger than any single group can address, VISIONS teen service trips are needed now more than ever. Guided by carpenters and local partners, students help on projects that address immediate needs and build heartfelt connections with a community grappling with increasingly severe storms. 

This summer our teen service trips will volunteer with animal shelters that have been stretched thin with limited resources since Hurricane Irma. We will construct dozens of dog houses that help pets get relief from the hot sun. Distributing these also provides an opportunity to let community members know about spay and neuter clinics and other resources. This is an opportunity to be an animal shelter volunteer as we’ll be taking care of plenty of young pups, cats and other delightful critters along the way! Other community service projects in the BVI include volunteering with the tourism board on rebuilding park and public facilities needed to revive the critical tourism industry, teaching swimming lessons to island kids and helping at an educational day camp.

WE ARE FAMILy

“I have done other summer programs, but VISIONS was so much better for me. I’ve never encountered the feeling… and working so closely with local people. I feel it caused a major change in my views.”

 

Kyle Edwin

New York

From the bouncing beat of steel drums to the sweet flavors of coconut bread to a warm and welcoming culture, our friends in the BVI make it easy to feel at home.

Making Meaningful Connections

Within its 8.5 square miles, the charming island of Virgin Gorda bounds with lively friends and vibrant landscapes. The proud Afro-Caribbean heritage energizes everyday of these teen summer programs. VISIONS has worked in the BVI since 1992, and first worked on Virgin Gorda in 1993. As one of our oldest international sites, we are deeply immersed in the island culture. You will be welcomed like an old friend— hanging with neighbors, shopping at local markets, learning recipes from our amazing dinner cook, and grooving to steel drum music in town. We host guest speakers who open up about the experience of living through a Category 5 hurricane and play with local kids at the beach. Your connections with the community will open your eyes to a special way of life.

Our
Home:
Virgin Gorda,
British Virgin Islands

WE ARE EXPLORERS

“By the end of the program, I felt at home in Tortola. This trip has helped me realize that the world is a massive place and there is so much to see and so much to learn out there from other people.”

 

Mimi Le

California

Dramatic volcanic islands rising from clear blue water and fringed with white sand, the BVI are breathtakingly beautiful and culturally rich. They also provide an important perspective on the forces of climate change.

SETTING OUT TO GO BEYOND

The service work will be demanding, but time off to explore will restore you and reinvigorate your purpose. We end work most days around 2 pm and head to the beach! We will swim and snorkel at Savannah Bay, Devil’s Bay and other exquisite beaches; hike up Gorda Peak, a high point from which you can see almost the entire length of the Virgin Islands archipelago; explore the small markets, music and traditional foods of the island’s main village known as Spanish Town. And our full-day excursions allow time to SCUBA dive at stellar coral reefs, participate in our own BVI Olympics, and swim at the island’s famous batholiths, which are giant boulders created by ancient volcanic eruptions and known as “The Baths.” Throw in a lovely sunset, and you’ll never take nature for granted again.

ACTIVITIES AND EXCURSIONS

  • One-day SCUBA dive at incredible reefs
  • Ferry to the island of Tortola to work on an organic farm (long program only)
  • Swim at the volcanic rock pools known as The Baths
  • Swim and snorkel at a wide variety of beaches
  • Listen to local friend’s stories about survivng Hurricane Irma
  • Hike to scenic island outlooks, including Gorda Peak
  • Take part in VISIONS traditional “Beach Olympics”

VISIONS REVIEWS

Read what others have said about their experience in this location. You also are welcome to contact the VISIONS office to request student and parent references.

NOT QUITE READY?

Feel free to contact us with any questions! We are happy to help find the best program to meet your goals for the summer.

BVI Blog Posts

Where We Live

Where We Live

While service work is at the root of each teen service program, it’s in equal measure with cultural immersion that transcends the experience of an average tourist. In all of our homes away from home, we live very much as local people do, and we are part of the fabric of daily life.

Celebrating 30 Years