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Volunteering in Paradise

When an email comes in offering you three free nights on a private island in the Maldives, you’d be forgiven for assuming it’s cruel spam. This is the real deal, though: volunteer on one of of three very cool projects and you’ll be repaid in luxury.

Ever since our safari planner Greg returned from Soneva Fushi, proclaiming it the happiest place on earth (sorry Disneyland), we’ve been dying to get our flippers on at the private island resort where dreams become reality. One of the coolest things about this tiny utopia is the subtance behind its surface beauty. Soneva Fushi is heavily involved in environmental conservation and sustainability: glass recycling is done right on the island, organic produce is grown on site, and 90% of the staff employed are Maldivian.

Tying into their overall mandate of social and environmental responsibility, Soneva Fushi is currently offering a “Behind the Scenes Voluntourism” package in June, July and September 2012. Pay for three nights and stay for an additional three free, in exchange for four hours per day of volunteer work (on the first three days only). Volunteer themes include permaculture activites, marine conservation, or community awareness. There’s no better place to give back in a meaningful way, and you’ll be handsomely rewarded for your contribution. Now if we could all just figure out how to get the airlines in on a similar program…

Amy Smithers dreams of white sand beaches by night and edits The Sounder by day.

We've been dying to get our flippers on.

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