Work and Travel in Bahamas
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN BAHAMAS FOR TRAVELLERS
The Bahamas is a Caribbean country just off the cost of Florida. Following its independence from Britain, it was known as a way for Americans to circumvent the ban on gambling. Today, it’s a country filled with luxury resorts, stunning nature, and is right on the doorstep of Miami.
But work and travel in the Bahamas is so much more than that. Get away from the resorts and closer to the local people on your next trip to the Caribbean by taking advantage of the volunteering opportunities in the Bahamas.
Here’s your travel guide to the Bahamas.
1. Marine Conservation in the Bahamas
One of the drawbacks of the mass tourism economy is the impact on the environment. One of the best opportunities to work in the Bahamas is in marine conservation.
You have a range of different fields to choose from. Some focus on the marine life surrounding the country and others concentrate on the flora and fauna.
It’s rare that you will need prior experience to volunteer with these programmes.
2. Help the Disabled in the Bahamas
Despite being a thriving nation, the Bahamas continues to experience problems supporting the most vulnerable in society.
Charities are available in Nassau to help the disabled. Travellers with care qualifications are in high demand, but extra hands are always required by the professionals.
It’s a great way to give back and add something of real value to your CV, in exchange for food and accommodation.
3. Provide an Education to Children in the Bahamas
The Bahamas has a high level of poverty amongst the general population. This has led to many deprived communities that don’t have access to basic education, especially in the rural areas.
If you want to travel in the Bahamas and see a different side of the country, providing education within the rural areas is a great way to do it.
As long as you have a solid level of English, you can teach children how to read and write. There’s nothing more rewarding.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR BAHAMAS
The Bahamas is like most Caribbean nations in that it has an extremely liberal visa policy. Practically the whole world is eligible to enter the country for 90 days without a visa. The only exceptions to this are certain African and central Asian nations who must apply for a visa in advance.
There are some exceptions to the three-month rule, however. Citizens of the following nations are able to travel in the Bahamas for eight months without a visa: United States, the UK, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, Greece, Belgium, and Denmark. For more info click here.
On a side note, the eight-month entry for US citizens only applies to those living in mainland US. Citizens who live in any of the US territories are only entitled to three months.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN BAHAMAS
The spring season is the back end of the high season. Anyone who decides to work in the Bahamas will discover that it rarely gets cold and spring can be one of the best times of year for securing volunteer roles.
Although spring is the time when the high season hasn’t yet ended, until the end of April, it’s best to focus on conservation roles at this time of year. Marine conservation in many areas begins just before the Atlantic hurricane season begins.
Summer in the Bahamas is the worst time to visit because this falls right in the middle of the hurricane season, which lasts from June until November.
Luckily, even if you do decide to take advantage of volunteer opportunities in the Bahamas at this time of year, hurricanes rarely hit the Bahamas as hard as other Caribbean countries. But you should still watch the weather forecast, just in case.
The hurricane season does have a number of general volunteering opportunities still available, but there are no specific skills as the majority of projects close until the autumn/winter.
Technically, autumn still resides within the hurricane season. On the other hand, it’s often safe enough for most major projects to resume.
Consider heading to the cities, especially Nassau, before the start of the main tourist season. Spending your time in community development projects and education is highly recommended.
In the event of a bad hurricane season, you may also have the opportunity to work in the Bahamas by helping local people clean up and rebuild.
For this, you only need a strong work ethic, but any construction skills you possess will stand you in good stead.
Winter is the high season and the ideal time to work and travel in the Bahamas. There are a range of positions you can find yourself in from December until February.
Most of these are in the tourism industry. You won’t find more than a few hostels to volunteer in here. However, this gives you the chance to get some experience working in hotels and resorts.
Even if you lack experience, you can usually still find jobs as a cleaner or helping guests.
More experienced backpackers in the Bahamas may be able to find jobs teaching guests snorkelling and how to dive. It all depends on the skills you bring to the table.
We recommend that you begin applying for positions in resorts a few months in advance. Most hotels and luxury resorts prefer to have a full staff contingent well in advance of the high season. Don’t wait until winter because you’ll be too late.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN BAHAMAS
The Bahamas welcomes hundreds of thousands of international tourists every year. This is a country built on the concept of receiving foreigners from around the globe.
Whilst it’s true that the Bahamas does experience poverty, you’re not going to be in danger as long as you use common sense.
But as a result of the name value of this country, any experience you get through volunteer opportunities in the Bahamas will serve you well in the future.
Do you want to work and travel in paradise on your next trip?