British Virgin Islands

25 & 17 Days

High School Service Program
Hurricane Relief in the Caribbean

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS 1
JUNE 26 to JULY 20  |  25 DAYS
80 HRS SERVICE  |  TUITION $5650

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS 1
JUNE 26 to JULY 20
25 DAYS
80 HRS SERVICE
TUITION
$5650

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS 2
JULY 25 to AUGUST 10  |  17 DAYS
55 HRS SERVICE  |  TUITION $4150

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS 2
JULY 25 to AUGUST 10
17 DAYS
55 HRS SERVICE
TUITION
$4150

Program Overview

Embrace a rare opportunity to engage in crucial hurricane relief work—cleanup, carpentry and rebuilding—in the British Virgin Islands. Learn tangible lessons about the social and environmental issues the islands face in the midst of increasingly destructive storms. And swim, snorkel, sail 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

In the aftermath of one of the most destructive hurricane seasons in recent history, residents of the British Virgin Islands face a long and daunting relief and rebuilding effort. The situation in our homebase island of Tortola is especially desperate. After 27 years working in the territory, VISIONS teen volunteers are needed more than ever. Guided by experienced carpenters, you’ll be directly involved in rehabilitating homes and community buildings. You will learn skills necessary for construction projects, as well as how to safely use power tools.

Over the years, VISIONS has worked with many local nonprofits and grassroots organizations. One of our primary partners for summer 2018 will be the BVI Red Cross, which has been instrumental in organizing housing relief and other aid after the hurricanes. The program promises to be a rare experience in cooperative service, as the entire BVI community has come together to work toward a common and urgent goal.

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

We live and work on Tortola, the commercial center, capital and largest island of the BVI. Here, a proud Afro-Caribbean heritage, dating back to the Atlantic slave trade of the 1500s, infuses everyday life. VISIONS has worked in BVI since 1992. As one of our oldest international sites, we are deeply immersed in the island culture. You will be welcomed like an old friend—to play pickup basketball with local kids; to hang out with neighbors; or to go lobstering with a fisherman friend, who has been working to repair boats damaged in the hurricane so that he and others can get back to the sea. In addition to the cultural experience that comes naturally by being grounded in the community, you’ll have a chance to learn about Rastafarian traditions, groove to steel drum music performed on the beach and watch carnival favorite moko jumbies dance on stilts.

Our
Home:
Tortola,
BVI

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 work of helping to rebuild Tortola will be demanding, but time off to explore will restore you and reinvigorate your purpose. Afternoons are for beach time, swimming and snorkeling at Brewer’s Bay and Smugglers Cove; hiking up Sage Mountain, a high point from which, if the day is clear, you can see almost the entire length of the Virgin Islands archipelago; exploring the markets, music and traditional foods of Road Town; and kayaking among mangroves that help protect parts of the island from ever stronger storms. Weekends are all about adventure and exploration. Exciting full-day excursions take advantage of our amazing Caribbean surroundings. We’ll SCUBA dive at stellar coral reefs, snorkel around an old shipwreck and pool hop Virgin Gorda’s picture-perfect grottoes. Throw in a lovely sunset, and you’ll never take nature for granted again.

ACTIVITIES AND EXCURSIONS

  • Earn a one-day resort certification in SCUBA and dive incredible reefs
  • Ferry to the island of Virgin Gorda to explore the volcanic rock pools known as the Baths
  • Kayak through mangroves
  • Swim and snorkel at a wide variety of beaches
  • Go lobstering with VISIONS pal Zack, followed by a cookout
  • Hike to scenic island outlooks, including Sage Mountain
  • Snorkel an undersea shipwreck

LOCAL SPOTLIGHT

ZACK STOUTT

Fisherman and Diver

During our many years in the British Virgin Islands, VISIONS has developed close ties and made many close friends. For example, Miss Carol, has been our dinner cook since the first summer. Warm and cheerful, she takes us in like family. And there’s Khoy, a farmer on the island who teaches us about organic farming and raising livestock, and tells great stories during cookouts.

Zack Stoutt is a more recent friend and someone we love to be around—full of life and fun. At 27, he’s accumulated the capabilities and life skills of a man twice his age. A professional fisherman and lobsterman, Zack can handle himself safely on the seas and knows how to provide for his fellow islanders, especially during these times of greater need. He’s now working with island friends to rebuild boats damaged by recent hurricanes, so they can return to fishing and providing food for the community.

Many of Zack’s family members (there are 15, including brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews) shared a home that was destroyed by Hurricane Maria. After the storm, Zack took refuge for many weeks under a boat that landed on the roof of a building. Some of his relatives moved into island shelters.

During the VISIONS program, Zack takes us fishing and teaches us about lobstering and local ecology. He lets students take turns catching and releasing lobsters and shows them how to fillet and grill fish. (Sampling the results is the best part!) Zack often brings relatives with him to get to know our group, and the Stoutts are a blast to hang out with at the house, around a bonfire, or playing games like bowling. It all starts to feel like one big, happy family.

BVI Blog Posts

British Virgin Islands Service Projects

British Virgin Islands Service Projects

Wide Variety of BMI Service Projects VISIONS participants have completed some fantastic service projects over the years in the BVI. See a few highlights below and read more about the program here. Playground with Seating Area = Fun Service Project VISIONS teens built...

Welcome back, Katie!

Welcome back, Katie!

We are thrilled to welcome Katie Mayernik back to VISIONS, where she will direct the British Virgin Islands program! Katie has stretched the divides of rural and urban, American and international. Born and raised in a small town in Montana, she developed a love of...

VISIONS REVIEWS

Read what others have said about their VISIONS BVI experience. 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.

ZACK STOUTT

Fisherman and Diver

During our many years in the British Virgin Islands, VISIONS has developed close ties and made many close friends. For example, Miss Carol, has been our dinner cook since the first summer. Warm and cheerful, she takes us in like family. And there’s Khoy, a farmer on the island who teaches us about organic farming and raising livestock, and tells great stories during cookouts.

Zack Stoutt is a more recent friend and someone we love to be around—full of life and fun. At 27, he’s accumulated the capabilities and life skills of a man twice his age. A professional fisherman and lobsterman, Zack can handle himself safely on the seas and knows how to provide for his fellow islanders, especially during these times of greater need. He’s now working with island friends to rebuild boats damaged by recent hurricanes, so they can return to fishing and providing food for the community.

Many of Zack’s family members (there are 15, including brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews) shared a home that was destroyed by Hurricane Maria. After the storm, Zack took refuge for many weeks under a boat that landed on the roof of a building. Some of his relatives moved into island shelters.

During the VISIONS program, Zack takes us fishing and teaches us about lobstering and local ecology. He lets students take turns catching and releasing lobsters and shows them how to fillet and grill fish. (Sampling the results is the best part!) Zack often brings relatives with him to get to know our group, and the Stoutts are a blast to hang out with at the house, around a bonfire, or playing games like bowling. It all starts to feel like one big, happy family.

BVI Blog Posts

British Virgin Islands Service Projects

British Virgin Islands Service Projects

Wide Variety of BMI Service Projects VISIONS participants have completed some fantastic service projects over the years in the BVI. See a few highlights below and read more about the program here. Playground with Seating Area = Fun Service Project VISIONS teens built...

Welcome back, Katie!

Welcome back, Katie!

We are thrilled to welcome Katie Mayernik back to VISIONS, where she will direct the British Virgin Islands program! Katie has stretched the divides of rural and urban, American and international. Born and raised in a small town in Montana, she developed a love of...

Celebrating 30 Years