Join us for at least two weeks on this service-focused program at our Rustic Pathways Eco-Lodge base where you’ll work on environmental and needs-based service projects with the local community. After service, relax, have fun and take advantage of island living. This popular program will give you insight into the Fijian way of life and introduce you to the natural island beauty of this nation. The Eco-Lodge is surrounded by the diverse mix of cultures that makes the hills south of Nadi unique. Work with individuals in your small group each day on a variety of education and infrastructure projects designed in partnership with the community.
Students love immersing themselves in the beautiful and diverse cultural landscape of Fiji!
Departure Dates for 2021 Coming Soon!
Established in 2004, the Rustic Pathways Eco-Lodge continues to positively integrate itself into the local community and environment. The main lodge was constructed using locally grown timber. The ground level features a kitchen, large dining area, office, and game room with billiards. The house also has a large deck leading to an infinity-edge swimming pool. The grounds have extensive gardens, sports fields, and meditation decks tucked among fruit trees and swaying palms. The Eco-Lodge base is a favorite location for students traveling in Fiji. Rooms are divided between dormitory-style bedrooms and several authentic bures, or cabins, spread throughout the property. Bathrooms are modern, with solar-powered hot-water showers and flushing toilets. Our base is located between two Fijian villages and surrounded by a number of local farms that are generally owned by families of Indian decent, which make up close to 40 percent of Fiji’s population. The mixture of Fijian and Indian neighbors creates a unique and vibrant atmosphere from which to explore and learn about Fiji and its interesting mix of cultures.
Weekend Side Trips
Students staying at the base for two or more weeks have the option of a weekend side trip after their first full week of service. Please note that students participating in Weekend Side Trips will lose 9 community service hours.
3 days, 2 nights | $295
Journey into the rural interior of Fiji and experience local life in a way few visitors ever have. Enjoy swimming beneath a towering waterfall and hiking along ancient trails. Race bamboo rafts, tell stories under the stars, and sleep in Fijian thatched-roof bures. The Highlands Discovery will immerse you in the traditions of the “real” Fiji.
Tropical Island Interlude
3 days, 2 nights | $355
Our Tropical Island Interlude is a chance to recharge between your service projects by escaping to a beautiful island retreat. Take a dip in the warm Pacific waters, play beach soccer or volleyball, or enjoy your getaway by just napping on the sands. Accommodations are dormitory-style and include a variety of snorkeling, kayaking and nature-based activities!
Coral Coast Cruiser
3 days, 2 nights | $395
Add some additional excitement to your weekend with the chance to experience Fiji’s Coral Coast. Relax at a local backpacker resort, zip line across the tropical rainforest, challenge yourself on a high-ropes course, and explore Suva, the country’s capital, with dinner and a movie. Between activities, relax while paddling in warm waves or lounge on the beach.
Service Projects at the Eco-Lodge
After School Education Programs
Create and deliver after-school Kids Clubs that promote cross-cultural exchange with local students. Help the youth of Fiji develop leadership, teamwork, and communication skills through activities that focus on language, arts and crafts, and physical education. Learn about the education system in Fiji and build programs around topics and themes outlined by our partner schools. Please note that these sessions will not be facilitated after school so as not to disrupt regular school hours.
Environmental Service and Sustainability
The daily life of most Fijians is still closely tied to the natural world, but increasing urban development, pollution, and other environmental challenges are a growing concern. Learn more about these issues as you help protect Fiji’s magnificent natural environment through beach cleanups and reforestation projects with park rangers who are working to reduce pollution and prevent erosion along the coast. Explore Fiji’s amazing island eco-system as you support local environmental conservation efforts.
Village Infrastructure Project
Rural villages in Fiji often have limited access to the basic infrastructure that is essential for healthy, productive, and sustainable communities. Join our ongoing work to build toilets and footpaths in a Fijian village to improve health and sanitation. You will be amazed at the warm welcome you receive as you work with villagers to mix cement, lay pipes, and make a positive impact. Lead health awareness activities for village children and get a real taste of what life is like in a traditional Fijian village.
Make much-needed improvements to school and kindergarten facilities and paint colorful murals alongside village students. We work with a group of rural schools around our Eco-Lodge Base that operate on very limited budgets yet continuously strive to improve their facilities to provide a better education for their students. Join forces with local children, parents, and teachers, and share in lots of laughs and fun as you work on building projects to improve school facilities and make new friends in Fiji.
For Fijians living near the poverty line, the high cost of food in the country can be a major concern. You may spend a morning or afternoon in the home of a village family preparing healthy meals and then head out to deliver them in partnership with social service agencies. Or, you may work on our chicken coop project, which works with local families to develop both a source of food and income so they can better meet basic needs. Learn best practices of sustainability through this popular initiative.