Affordable Volunteer Programs in Hawaii - $910 for 2 weeks

This program has been paused and is currently not being offered. View more programs from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ.

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Join IVHQ and volunteer abroad in Hawaii!

Hawaii is a popular destination for travelers with this 2 week volunteer program is based in and around the island of Oahu. The program allows IVHQ volunteers to join a unique Native Habitat Restoration project, where volunteers work on a range of different initiatives focused on conservation and environmental restoration. Programs begin on the 1st and 3rd of every month for 2 weeks.

COVID-19 Update: IVHQ Programs In 30+ Countries Now Open!

IVHQ's world-leading volunteer programs have reopened in more than 30+ countries with additional health and safety measures in place. Thanks to IVHQ's flexible booking policy, it's free to change your dates, volunteer program or destination if your plans change.

Questions & Answers

Hi Martina, Thanks for your question! Please note, the Hawaii program is currently closed for restructuring. However, on our other 40+ destinations around the world, we accept volunteers from all over the world and now offer a range of programs that 16 & 17-year-olds can travel to independently. Take a look at our website for further details - If you need some help selecting a...

I have been on 7 IVHQ trips andI have never met so many people who are SO friendly and understanding, from entire area managers to local managers and local staff! They are happy and accommodating, so very helpful in many ways. If you have any questions or concerns, they are ALL happy to respond and to help. They are, as well, FUN! There are a good number of IVHQ folks whom I will never forget. Ya...


9.67 Rating
based on 6 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 83.33%
  • 7-8 rating 16.67%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Impact 10
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 10
  • Value 9.8
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 6 of 6
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Yes, I recommend this program

Lifechanging experience

I decided to do this volunteer project when I felt I was too confortable with my current life, everything was going great, but I felt something was amiss. One of the best decisions I have ever taken.
Working along with Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii has been the perfect challenge to take me out of my confort zone but enjoying every minute of it. Working hard, getting to know local customs and people and helping them recover what Hawaii once was has been the best experience.
Katie is the best host you will ever find, she never hesitated to tell us everything she knew and helped us enjoy the island in the most real way. You can see how she enjoys what she does and how she encourages people and creates awareness.
I would definitely do it again. Absolutely recommendable.
Thank you very much for this amazing experience, I will never forget it and I'm sure I will go back one day.

1 person found this review helpful.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Kerstin, We are so happy to hear that you had an amazing experience in Hawaii. Thanks for your recommendation and your kind words – we would love to have you back one day!
Clover – IVHQ Hawaii Program Manager

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Aloha! Get involved and have fun with hawaiian sustainable lifestyle

Amazing experience during two weeks discovering hawaiian sustainable lifestyle and learining about pollution human mistakes. We had various ECO initiative about:
- Beach cleanups: We learned about plastic and marine debris, we did beach cleanups to remove all the plastic and other trash from these awesome beaches and landscapes.
- Farm work: Everything is posible with yout hand and good attitude. We worked doing lots of different activities (plant, harvest, remove weed, fix de plantations, etc) and everyday new things!
- Fishpond work: Also different things (build the path, remove seaweed, help interns).
- Cook "Poi" with the "Tero" plants we have planted. You can eat your own grown food.
- Enjoy the rain forest home next to amazing mountains and quiet local people.
- Join every local activity.

Katie did and awesome work showing us how to think ECOFRIENDLY and explaining to us all thats around pollution. She also took us to the best afternoon experiencies (surfing, kayaking, turtles watch, etc).

The best: Discovering hawaiian culture, enjoying real Hawaii (Honolulu it's not everything) and help them.
The worst: back come.


What would you improve about this program?
May be should be cheaper with a more simply home.
1 person found this review helpful.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Guillem, Thanks for sharing this great review! We are so glad to hear that you had an amazing experience in Hawaii participating in beach cleanups, farm work, fishpond work, and exploring Hawaii in your spare time. We wish you all the best and hope you will join us again!
Clover – IVHQ Hawaii Program Manager

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


My experience was amazing, I had a fun time volunteering in a new environment. The people were so nice and friendly. This was for sure a great experience. My favorite day was helping out at the 800 year old fish pond, it's so important to the community and it felt good being able to contribute. We picked out mangroves all day which was fun! The scenery everyday was incredible and I will never forget this trip. I would definitely sign up, it will change your life and make you think differently on many things!

1 person found this review helpful.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Maria, Thanks so much for sharing a little about your time in Hawaii. We are happy to hear that it felt good to contribute to the community you were working with. We look forward to seeing where you will volunteer next!
Clover – IVHQ Hawaii Program Manager

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


The Hawai’i volunteer program in which my grandson (age 17) and I (age 71) participated is THE TRUE RARE GEM of all the 7 fabulous IVHQ and 5 other volunteer programs I’ve done. IVHQ and Sustainable Coastlines have done an outstanding job.

All IVHQ volunteer work across the world is meaningful and important, but in the Hawaii program you are IN Hawaiian history; you are helping re-create authentic ancient Hawaiian conditions, structures, and environments, and each day we were all amazed (and proud) at what we had accomplished! You work as the native people worked, do as they do, see what they saw. You learn so much about Hawaii and it’s history. It’s an incredible adventure.

Local program coordinator Katie picks us up at the airport in The Van. The House is at the base of gorgeous steep tall mountains, which, after a rain, run with waterfalls. Your room is in a large modern house with all conveniences in a lovely safe neighborhood, and the rooms have REAL BEDS with comfortable mattresses and box springs! There are only 2 to 4 people in a room instead of the more common 8 to 10.

Waking in the morning to the sweet sound of cooing doves, we drag ourselves out to the great room/kitchen to the sound of happy contemporary island music and Katie’s cheerful greetings and help ourselves to breakfasts of all sorts of cereals, breads, eggs, fruits, tea, coffee, etc.

The first morning is orientation, by Katie, our leader, historian, driver, cheerleader, cook, guide, travel agent, fellow laborer, and house mum. She is always available and is extraordinarily positive, hard working, and helpful. We learned of the Great Pacific Gyre dumping millions of tons of plastic and trash on the beaches of the world and of the ghastly damage to fish, sea birds, turtles, and other sea life caused by plastic and trash.

We all piled into The Van and drove to a perfect tropical beach—littered with trash. A few hours of sifting sand and cleaning the beach (with an hour’s break for body surfing and swimming) gave us hundreds of pounds of icky stuff, which we hauled back to the van. Great exercise, not for the last time! Then off to a recycle station, the nearby supermarket to get food for dinner, and home to shower.

The indigenous people of Oahu lived in 28 separate areas called ahupua’a , each extending from the top of the highest mountains where the most rain fell, down through the tropical rain forest, then through broad green valleys watered by streams and springs, continuing to the flatter wetlands, and finally to the ancient rock-walled fish ponds and the sea.

You work in each of these sections of one of these ahupua’a, called He’eia Ahupua’a, in the long exhausting quest to restore it to its original condition. It is one of the only ahupua’a to have avoided urbanization and destruction. You are participating in a unique mission.

At the highest elevation, up a steep and rugged path through lush jungle at the headwaters, we worked building a trail to restore access to the various parts of the mountain--more great exercise! After climbing back down you can refresh yourself with a cold drink from a pure spring flowing from the rock. The mountain is Mauna O’loleka’a (Tumbling Rat Mountain), which I demonstrated to be aptly named by taking an accidental flying dive and skid—good sympathy points! The non-profit organization, Papahana Kuaola, also operates an organic native plant nursery and seed bank.

Finishing the day’s work around 1:00 P.M. as we did each day, we were presented, courtesy of Katie, with a luau of authentic Hawaiian foods—delicious! Great leftovers too! Lunch is provided daily and is really excellent. Katie may pick up and bring it to us, we might eat at a restaurant, and once we packed our own lunches of sandwiches, fruit, snacks, etc.

Each evening Katie lets you know where you will be and what you will do the next days on the project so you can make plans for the afternoon. You can go fishing, kayaking, snorkeling, swimming, surfing, bagging rays at the beach, sight-seeing, shopping all over the island, swimming and snorkeling with sharks, hiking on trails, walking jungle streams, hitting Waikiki and Honolulu: anything you can think of. Katie helps you plan so she can take you where you want to go, or you can always catch a bus or call Uber or Lyft.

One day a week, work is at Kako’o Owii, an organic farm with stunning views of mountains and green valleys. The farm and the original wetlands of the area are part of the restoration project. Native crops are grown, and taro, or kalo, used in making poi, is primary. After an interesting educational lesson, you may spend a truly unique morning thigh-deep in a taro patch, cutting and pulling up the large plants by the root. You may then “stomp” a taro patch, up to your heiney in marvelous muck using your feet (and hands) to submerge weeds. There are showers. More great exercise!

At the huge Paepae O He’eia fishpond, learning the fascinating history and operation of the pond, you then help to recreate the original conditions: hauling and burning cut mangrove branches, working with school kids carrying rocks, building rock walls by hand—REALLY great exercise!

There is so much more I could say about this remarkable Hawaii program! It is perfect for one’s first trip (or last); during my trip there were 10 first timers aged 17 through 20, including my grandson, plus my ancient self on my 12th volunteer trip, and we all had a truly wondrous adventure that none of us will ever forget.

After our return, my daughter said, of my grandson, “You went to Hawaii a boy, and you came back a man.”


What would you improve about this program?
Can't really think of anything.
1 person found this review helpful.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Russ, Thanks so much for sharing this awesome review! We are thrilled that you and your grandson joined the program in Hawaii and “had a truly wondrous adventure”. We love having you volunteer with IVHQ and look forward to seeing where you head to next!
Clover – IVHQ Hawaii Program Manager

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


This was the most amazing experience and I think if anyone feels uncertain about taking the plunge, just do it with IVHQ! It really is worth it!
First, of all when I was researching my options for volunteer opportunities which took several weeks. I noticed IVHQ no matter what website I went to the reviews were positive along with most affordable in a practical way. As a professional accountant, I appreciated the business being very responsible in its conduct as a result it has an excellent standing with the country of origin's business bureau. These items really encouraged me to apply. However, now after my trip, I count myself as lucky, blessed and fortune to have had this experience of working in a Paepae O' Heeia, Loi Farm and of course cleaning Beaches. This trip took me out of comfort zone personally as introvert and of course of the beaten path of tourism. Hawaii is beautiful no doubt but I am leaving until the next time with an enriched by a sense of who Hawaii is and of course more about what I can do for oceans every day.

1 person found this review helpful.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Rajei, Thanks for sharing! It is great to hear about the reasons you chose to volunteer through IVHQ and we are so glad that you volunteered with us in Hawaii. It is awesome that you have left Hawaii with a “enriched sense of who Hawaii is” and are inspired to continue advocating for our oceans. We wish you all the best and hope you will join us again in the future!
Clover – IVHQ Hawaii Program Manager

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


Where to start? The minute I saw Hawaii as a destination offered by IVHQ, I knew I had to prioritize this trip and even though I had high hopes, it exceeded my expectations in every regard!

IVHQ was always available to me, provided me with all the necessary information, was organized and on the ball with getting me set up upon arrival and was accessible at all times during my stay. Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii - the group you actually volunteer with - was really great and they do awesome work! You actually live and work with a member of Sus Coastlines Hawaii so she's always there if you need anything.

Food was all really great and restaurants/a grocery store aren't far for meals that aren't covered. Transportation for work is covered and otherwise there's the bus or rideshares or taxis which are all simple to figure out. The house is seriously great - lots of space, amenities, etc. The location is a little far from the main city/downtown Honolulu but there are so many beautiful beaches and hikes and towns and activities all around that it's impossible to get bored. There is a lot of free time and weekends so you can do any number of touristy things nearby, elsewhere on Oahu or on the other islands.

As for work, be prepared to WORK HARD. However, your help really does have a huge impact so even the less glamorous work is really rewarding. I was impressed to see how much our team accomplished each day and it was really touching to see how sincerely all of the locals really appreciated everything we did.

My main tips are just to choose to be positive even if you feel out of your element, to have an open mind and to respect others, the customs and the land to the fullest.

Overall, I had an amazing experience. I got to do so many new things, try great food, meet amazing people, do meaningful work for different efforts in need, experience a rich culture and do all of the above completely facilitated and supported by a reliable team at IVHQ and Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii. Thank you so much!

What would you improve about this program?
Additional staff would be necessary if groups exceed 10ish people moving forward.
1 person found this review helpful.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Annie, Wow! Thanks for your awesome review! We are stoked to hear that the program in Hawaii exceeded your expectations – this is one of our newer programs so this feedback from a past IVHQ is really encouraging. From your photos it looks like you explored some beautiful locations too. Thanks for being an IVHQer and would love to have you join us again!
Clover – IVHQ Hawaii Program Manager