Volunteer Project in Caribbean Island Paradise for Animal Welfare | St. Vincent & the Grenadines

A Caribbean island beach with palm trees and a boat docked in the water.
 

You arrived in the Caribbean after sailing the Atlantic and are now looking for the next sailboat ride or mission on your adventure. Here’s a volunteer opportunity in the Caribbean for you to give back, contribute, and be able to stay in paradise, and without breaking the budget. Also, if you are a sailboat owner or captain and sailing to the Grenadines, check out this volunteer program in the Caribbean, and support where you can.

A volunteer group standing on a Caribbean Island Paradise beach, with a dog promoting Animal Welfare.
A volunteer group standing on a Caribbean Island Paradise beach, with a dog promoting Animal Welfare.

Mayreau Island in St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Have you ever heard of an island called Mayreau? If you are a sailor or Caribbean local, you may know about this gem. 
Mayreau is the smallest island in the Grenadines where people are living. And perhaps even the smallest inhabited island of the Caribbean? About 270 people live on this island. Mayreau has one paved road. You can count the number of cars on two hands. The island is only reachable by boat. There’s an occasional provision vessel for food, post and a school boat. 
 
There are dozens of sailboats sailing in and out to enjoy this paradise island. Salt Whistle bay anchorage is a highlight for those sailing the Grenadines islands and possibly the most photographed and scenic anchorage in the Caribbean. The island is also home to about 120 dogs, cats, goats, sheep, and wildlife. The island has numerous paradise white sand beaches. It is also a legendary kitesurf spot. And lots of snorkeling to be done as well.
 

About 6 years ago we sailed in here for the first time and learned about the Animal Welfare Organisation.  This time after our recent Atlantic Crossing with Ocean Nomads some of us set up basecamp here to help out hands-on with animal care, and to connect with the land, and Caribbean Vincy culture.

A man is walking his dogs on the Caribbean Island Paradise beach.
A man is walking his dogs on the Caribbean Island Paradise beach.

About Mayreau Animal Welfare

The Animal Welfare Organisation, a small non profit, lead by Gillian and powered by volunteers dedicates its mission to improving the lives of neglected, mistreated and abandoned animals, and wildlife in trouble. Many of the dogs are tied 24/7 on small chains. Supported by the volunteer project, they rescue, rehabilitate, facilitate sterilzation, and provide necessary healthcare and medic, faciliate sterilization. Through education, example, and action the health and wellbeing of the animals is promoted.

A brown dog sits peacefully in front of a wooden shack, providing an adorable glimpse into the serene animal welfare efforts on a Caribbean island paradise.

How can you support as a volunteer and sailor?

Especially as sailors we have some unique possibilities to contribute as well as a responsibility to give back to the islands we’re visiting. How can you as a sailor give back by supporting the Animal Welfare organisation?


Sail in goodies

What kind of goods are welcomed? Dogbowls, leashes, Vet medicine like dewormer, flea and tick meds , and old towels, blankets, sheets, cushions to give comfort. Dog and catfood. Dog toys, collars, leads, harnesses. Cotton wool and bandages. A dog crate for emergencies.

A couple with a dog enjoying the scenic beauty of a grassy hill on a Caribbean island paradise.
A couple with a dog enjoying the scenic beauty of a grassy hill on a Caribbean island paradise.


 

Come and volunteer in the Caribbean

Whether you’re a vet or animal lover, there are lots of volunteer work activities and project opportunities they could use your help with. Volunteer work includes dogwalking, treating animals, feeding them, and general animal care. Also hands-on skills for fixing doghouses and maintaining the volunteer accomodation and garden are welcome. Anyone with skills and interest in dog training would be an asset too. Accommodation can be provided.

An aerial view of a Caribbean island beach with trees and water.
An aerial view of a Caribbean island beach with trees and water.

Just passing by and would like to support the animals on this small Caribbean island?

Untangle and give water to any goats they see in trouble. Take the opportunity to talk to local people about how important it is to most visitors to see places where animals are treated well, which encourages us to return instead of putting us off.
 
Or maybe you have some of the following interests: 
    • Support with community development: Give a talk to the local school children on animal welfare. Or if you have a farming background, you could give a talk on goat husbandry.
    • Transport an animal to another Vincy island to visit Clinic
    • Adopt an island dog

Others ways to support

Every donation is welcome and goes to animal food, transport, and care.

 
Last but not least, spread the word! 
 

Share this blog post with someone you may think is interested or is sailing the area and may be able to help out.

How to travel to the Caribbean and get to and from the island of Mayreau?

The best way: to sail in! And that’s when we come in with Ocean Nomads. Connect with captains and vessels in the Ocean Nomads network (Try 14 days for free) and check out the resources we created on sailboat volunteer crewing.

New to sailing life? Here’s a free intro to sailboat travel mini-course.

Other ways to get to Mayreau:

You can fly or sail into the main island of St. Vincent or Bequia and take the ferry from there (Gemstar or Bequia Express). A few times per week there’s a ferry.

If you’re in Grenada and looking to reach Mayreau you could take a boat taxi from Carriacou to Union Island (for custom clearance) and then take the schoolboat or other boat taxi to Mayreau (about 200 Caribbean EC).

You could also fly into Union Island and take a boat taxi from there.

Learn more

  • Learn more about Mayreau Animal Welfare on their website and facebook.
  • Find personalized support, tips, and stories on the ocean nomads network. We can help you plan your trip. We have sailed criss cross the Caribbean and Atlantic many times and happy to share our knowledge. We have space dedicated to the Caribbean.

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