Volunteer Life at Kalani

Community Life

Volunteer in HawaiiKalani's vibrant community is comprised of guests, staff, and volunteers from all corners of the world! We form a group of like-minded individuals who value interdependence, mutual respect, integrity, and responsibility while living together on 120-acres of preserved land on Hawaii Island.

Although community living is becoming more common in western culture, it may take some getting used to. Volunteers often report that it takes about two weeks to settle in and ground into the powerful Hawaii Island energy. Living in close proximity may also test your personal boundaries, so we recommend patience and tolerance as daily ingredients. When living with others, resolving conflict is an art that we can all learn and practice.

Most volunteers also report that living with and providing service to the community was the most powerful and rewarding aspect of their Kalani experience. Allow yourself to be amazed by the pace at which you grow and evolve in our dynamic environment! Please note: We require all volunteers to be 21 years old or older.        

Volunteer Benefits

In exchange for providing service to your department, you will receive a wide range of benefits, including, and in no way limited to:

  • Three delicious chef-created meals each day
  • Your choice of more than 50-60 Kalani classes and activities each week (including yoga, dance, and Hawaiian culture)
  • Discounted massages and bodywork; Discounted or free participation in some guest workshops
  • Pool, Spa, and Sauna (clothing optional)
  • Gym with free weights and resistance-bearing machines
  • Ceremonial Lodge (Hale Pohai)
  • Visits to Hilo or the local farmers’ market on weekly van runs 
  • Monthly volunteer adventures (e.g. Volcanoes National Park, Akaka Waterfalls) 
  • A variety of special gatherings, listening to talks, dancing at DJ’d events, open mic, etc.
  • Weekly `ohana night activities, such as movies, costume parties, bonfires 
  • Reduced rates on excursions
  • A journal to help you to reflect and document your Kalani experience 
  • Living less than a mile from beautiful, black sand Kehena beach
  • Networking with a diverse community of individuals from all over the world
  • An affordable way to spend an extensive period of time in Hawaii
  • Live near an active volcano!
  • Reduced rate for returning volunteers


Many volunteers ask us to describe in more detail the things that happen aside from the responsibilities associated with your volunteer service. Every individual's experience at Kalani is unique, so we recommend reading the our blog for personal descriptions of what life at Kalani can be like. 

Volunteers come to Kalani for many reasons, such as:

  • Exploring a service-oriented role
  • Learning a new skill or receiving a certification
  • Enjoying a retreat from work/study/city life/stress
  • Experiencing nature
  • Working on self, mind and body
  • Becoming part of a community
  • Healing, transformation, and letting go!

Community Guidelines

As with any shared living situation, there are set boundaries that volunteers, as well as guests and staff, are expected to follow. These boundaries, while broad enough to allow for personal expression, are important to respect.

We expect all participants to demonstrate a positive attitude and to act with integrity and honesty. In addition, we ask all volunteers to follow these rules:

  • Quiet hours are dailey from 10 pm - 7 am; no amplified music or sound of any kind is allowed during this time.
  • No smoking on campus except in designated areas
  • Punctuality for service shift
  • No music or movie watching without headphones
  • No large internet downloads during business hours

Volunteer Program Options Volunteer Life at Kalani Online Application Packing Information Frequently Asked Questions for Volunteers