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Volunteering in beautiful St Maarten

Volunteering in beautiful St Maarten
 

With boating and sailing events held all year round, St. Maarten is abuzz with activity.  One of the island’s best events is the Caribbean’s most celebrated regatta, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, which takes place every March.  The regatta features international match racing at the highest level and includes a day of racing dedicated to spinnaker class boats in the lead up to the main event, which spans three days.  This spectacular yachting festival is completed by a series of free parties, many of which feature world-class entertainment.  The regatta offers opportunities for participation in a variety of roles, and many locals as well as visitors come to St. Maarten especially to volunteer for this event.

About St. Maarten

As yachting destinations go, St. Maarten is an exceptionally attractive island of 37 square miles.  It is located at the northern end of the Lesser Antilles and roughly 180 miles east of Puerto Rico.  St. Maarten is a dual tropical island, having both Dutch and French territories, and is also known as the “Culinary Capital of the Caribbean,” as there are more than 365 different restaurants offering a wide spectrum of international cuisine.  It’s easy to get cheap flight tickets to St. Maarten, as there are 12 major airlines serving Princess Juliana Airport (SXM), as well as several seasonal charters flights from the U.S. and Canada.

Regatta volunteers

In 1980, a few pals got together to race around the island for a of couple days.  There were just 12 boats involved in that first ever regatta.  Over the years, it has grown to accommodate more than 200 boats, making it the largest regatta in the whole of the Caribbean. 

A band of volunteers is gathered together every year – some are regulars, some are vacationers and some are first-timers.  The only requirement is to be motivated and enthusiastic.  There are lots of ways in which volunteers can assist, depending on their level of experience, skills and interests.  For example, drivers and helpers are needed for the water taxi service, while administrators are placed in the media booth to assist with press registration.  There are even roles for volunteers to care for other volunteers.  Other work involves general preparations, such as checking equipment and marks prior to racing events, while some volunteer posts require specialist knowledge of sailing and the island.

Other volunteering jobs

Volunteering is a great way to meet people, learn new skills and get to know a new environment.  Some volunteer roles on St. Maarten are available all year round.  For example, volunteers at the voluntary foundation, the St Maarten Sea Rescue, go out day or night to help sailors in need.  There are also additional volunteering opportunities that residents and visitors can take advantage of, including those at the St. Maarten library, where extra help is needed for the summer reading program, computer classes and children’s book week.

Bonuses of volunteering

One major benefit of volunteering on St. Maarten is the chance to enjoy so much of what the island has to offer – breathtaking beaches with spectacular views and clean white sand.  Activities include boating, deep-sea fishing and hiking.  There is also some great duty free shopping to be found, as well as a superb nightlife.  Truly, this is an experience not to be missed.

 

Research

Heineken Regatta http://www.heinekenregatta.com

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