9 Kalani Volunteer Benefits

Authored by:

Alexandra K. Ambrose

What are the benefits of volunteering at Kalani?

This might be your biggest question before filling out the volunteer application. Kalani offers volunteers a full schedule of classes and events (including lots of yoga); 3 healthy – and mostly organic – meals per day; and lodging in a tent or shared room. While all of this helps to make your extended stay in Hawaii’s Puna District comfortable and memorable, there is so much more to be found here:

Discover a simpler way of life.


Kalani life is a change from the routine. Before arriving here, many of us get caught up in chasing a standard of life that leaves us feeling stressed, tired, frustrated, or some combination of the three – but that certainly doesn’t make us happy.

All it takes is a tent or a simple room, letting go of excess stuff, and having all your basic needs met, to free up time and energy to discover what actually does make you happy. Even volunteers who have never lived so close to nature or never considered off-grid living, adjust easily to this simplified way of life.

Feel at home.

A week’s vacation goes by like nothing at all – usually leaving us feeling rushed and depleted when we have to go back to the regular 9 to 5. This is a different story when you stay for 3 months, which is our standard volunteer commitment. With the extra time, you can visit all the places on your list and maybe even discover one of the Big Island’s hidden gems!


img_20160530_120009 Not only does volunteering at Kalani take the rush out of traveling, but an extended stay also allows you to feel like more than just a tourist passing through. Whether you frequent Ecstatic Dance, Kehena Beach, or Uncle Robert’s night market, you’ll begin to feel a part of the sights and sounds of Puna. Before long, Kalani becomes home.

Make meaningful connections.

While there are many ways to connect with others, an intentional community offers the opportunity to create a unique bond. As we live, work, and share meals together, every day, this intimate setting embodies the Hawaiian tradition of ‘ohana, or extended family. This is why many volunteers leave Kalani with some of their closest, lifelong friendships – even if we only spent a few months getting to know each other!


Balance work and play.

Let’s face it, spending three months anywhere without structure would get monotonous. We all require a schedule of some kind in order to maintain focus and discipline. That’s how our 4 day a week volunteer requirement works: the short workweek allows for a balance of volunteering, exploring the island, meeting new people, and taking time for yourself.

In fact, balance is the intention set for Hawaii Yoga Festival – October 11 through 16. With a schedule of classes and events designed to help inspire balance, you’ll end the week ready to set your life on a renewed course. Get here soon and stay for this enriching event!


Get outside your comfort zone.

There are so many opportunities! Visit lava flowing from an active volcano. Snorkel with fish, turtles, and dolphins. Try yoga for the first time. Explore vulnerability with a new friend or in a group workshop. Live in a tent. Maybe just the act of coming to Hawaii on your own is a giant step outside your comfort zone.


Getting out of your comfort zone is an incredible learning experience. It teaches you more about your likes and dislikes, how to communicate effectively, and what you may be missing out on. Take a chance and see how you grow in the process!

Learn more about yourself.

This time is devoted to you – whether you decide to journal, meditate, practice yoga, or any other activity that helps you to look within. Volunteers can also join special one-day events, workshops, or retreats (for a reduced rate) to create community and discussion around the process of self-reflection. These activities and the community support help make Kalani such a transformative environment.

Find your bliss.

“I learned to have fun again” is a common quote we hear about Kalani’s Volunteer Program. There’s something to be said about the spirit of aloha on the Big Island – it’s a constant reminder to be kind, slow down, and practice gratitude.


Puna is also a place filled with opportunities for inspiration. These include the natural wonders of the lava landscape as well as the people culture made up of artists, healers, and yoga enthusiasts. You will find yourself immersed in ways to rediscover and rekindle your passions, with friends by your side.

Take part in social transformation.

In many ways, it is the estrangement of people that causes us to disconnect; we often forget that our actions can have far-reaching impacts on others. In the frequent interactions of a volunteer community, it’s easier to see your role in the collective and to work on ways to improve these interactions. It is also an opportunity to discuss and reflect, with like-minded people, about how to address conflicts amongst each other, in our culture, and in the world.


Embrace change.

There is a reason why so many of us are called to Kalani with a great desire to change our lives. Located next to one of the world’s most active volcanoes, Kilauea, the Big Island – and Puna in particular – is a living model of the constant nature of change. Here, we can literally witness new earth being born and, often, the birth of a new self as well.


There are so many benefits of volunteering at Kalani – this is just the beginning. Check out our Volunteer page to find out more and take advantage of our $300 off special!

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