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Trade Work for Room and Board at Finca Tatin

FINCA TATIN, jungle, Guatemala- At a cost of 0 dollars and 0 cents a day, my family now lives in a jungle paradise in the east of Guatemala. Chaya and I trade work for three solid meals a day and a good bed to sleep in. We now live very well in a truly beautiful [...]

FINCA TATIN, jungle, Guatemala- At a cost of 0 dollars and 0 cents a day, my family now lives in a jungle paradise in the east of Guatemala. Chaya and I trade work for three solid meals a day and a good bed to sleep in. We now live very well in a truly beautiful place for an exchange that does not include money. Our travel funds now sit dormant, as my belly is full and my mind and hands comfortably occupied.

A month and a half ago I traveled to the Finca Tatin off of the Rio Dulce in eastern Guatemala. We were invited to return at the end of May to work. My wife, Chaya, and I accepted the offer.

After a $15 bus ride from San Salvador, we have returned. We have been at the Finca Tatin for around 5 or 6 days, we were taught the ropes, we now earn our keep by trading work for food and a place to call home in the jungle.

Photos of Finca Tatin, new home of Vagabond Journey



Filed under: Central America, Guatemala

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 88 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3424 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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13 comments… add one

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  • Leslie June 2, 2010, 8:25 pm

    What kind of work are you doing? The place looks beautiful!

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  • craig | travelvice.com June 2, 2010, 9:02 pm

    Whatcha doin’ there?

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  • erik June 2, 2010, 11:30 pm

    Looks like some good fishing!!

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    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com June 3, 2010, 7:09 pm

      The jungle people fish the river all day long. They use nets so I doubt there would be much left for us. But if you want to come down, we can try it out!

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  • Andu June 3, 2010, 12:17 am

    Wade, if I may ask:

    1. What kind of work do you do?

    2. How do you connect to internet from there?

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    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com June 3, 2010, 7:06 pm

      I will write about what the work entails soon. I connect to the internet with a Verizon Blackberry with a Global Data Plan.

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  • Brian Spears August 21, 2011, 10:18 pm

    How do I get there?

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  • Brian Spears August 21, 2011, 10:19 pm

    how do I get there. What is the weather like when it is fall here? I’m in Washington state

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    • Wade Shepard August 22, 2011, 12:39 pm

      Go to Livingston, Guatemala then call them to pick you up. They do daily pickups. The weather is great in the autumn, highly recommend you to go at this time.

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  • teresa davis January 24, 2012, 1:00 am

    Found this web page and started to read. Am looking for anything to do. Am in good health, 58, divorced, single, no kids, no family, or pets. Would love to trade my work for room and board or a job.Am like a jill of all trades. Where do I go to contact someone?

    Ready to leave tomorrow. ty

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    • Wade Shepard January 24, 2012, 1:30 am

      Things are run pretty informally there. Volunteers generally need to go there first to be hired. Last I knew they didn’t really have any volunteers, so there is space. But you really need to go there first. Also, do you speak Spanish?

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  • Maureene February 9, 2012, 8:36 pm

    Wade,
    I am moving to Belize this June and am looking for places that I might work for room and board. Do you know of any programs like this or sites that I may look into for more information? Thank you
    Maureene

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    • Wade Shepard February 11, 2012, 11:27 am

      Often, the best way to trade work for room and board is to show up in person and visit hotels, schools, other organizations directly. There are far too many volunteer scams out there for me to advise any other way.

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