Voluntourism Opportunities on Maui

Voluntourism Opportunities on Maui

From tree planting to dog walking, voluntourism is trending on Maui By: Marty Wentzel
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua is one of several Maui resorts with voluntourism programs for guests. // © The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua is one of several Maui resorts with voluntourism programs for guests. // © The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua

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Read about a Maui voluntourism opportunity offered through the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort.

Ready to volunteer during your vacation? A number of Maui resorts can help you do just that.

According to results from a 2012 survey by the research firm Mintel Group, 35 percent of adults said they would like to volunteer during their travels, and six percent said that they had already done so.

Maui guests seeking a deeper connection to the island can join like-minded travelers for philanthropic pastimes, whether accomplished through monetary donations or hands-on activities.

Following are a few inspiring hotel initiatives that allow travelers to exercise their social conscience and spread the aloha spirit on the Valley Isle.

Fairmont Kea Lani
Throughout the year, Kea Lani guests can join beach clean-ups, help restore habitats for native species or assist in maintaining a Hawaiian taro garden. In addition, they can volunteer for the Maui Humane Society by walking dogs, brushing cats and playing with puppies and kittens. And, when they order the Mauka Harvest salad at the resort’s Ko restaurant, a portion of the proceeds goes to the Maui County Farm Bureau’s Future Farmers program.

Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
The southwest Maui resort features several opportunities for guests to pay it forward, from helping Habitat for Humanity with home building and landscaping projects for the underprivileged, to serving free, hot meals and delivering food to the needy. Guests can also take part in the ongoing restoration of an ancient fishpond, or lend a hand weeding and planting at Maui Nui Botanical Gardens, which fosters appreciation and understanding of Maui’s indigenous plants.

Four Seasons Resorts Lanai
The luxury hotel offers Adopt-a-Monk-Seal, an education and conservation program benefiting the native Hawaiian monk seal. The program creates awareness, funding and protection for these critically endangered creatures, which frequent Lanai’s waters and rest on its shores. For $75, hotel guests can sponsor a seal and feel good knowing that they are supporting the foundation’s goal of preserving monk seals for generations to come.

The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua
Guests of the northwest Maui resort can support regional conservation efforts courtesy of Malama Ka Aina, a program led by experts that provides information about local flora, fauna and culture. Activities include helping to save the reefs of the Honolua Bay Marine Preserve by re-planting native species. All profits support the efforts of Malama Kahalawai, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of the West Maui Mountains’ pristine watershed areas.

Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas
This oceanfront resort provides several ways for guests to help preserve and protect the island. Options range from taking part in restorative efforts at an archeological site to using the on-property herb garden for in-villa cooking or barbecue grilling. In May 2013, the property earned the Hawaii Green Business Program award for its continued environmental practices and sustainability initiatives, making it a model example of how Maui resorts are helping guests give back.

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