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I just recently completed my first work exchange from Staydu.com on the Rio Dulce River in Guatemala. My experience working in a remote Eco Lodge on this idyllic river can easily be my favorite memory of my 5 1/2 month journey traveling through Mexico and Central America.

My boyfriend and I spent 5 weeks running and managing a small, rustic 4 bungalow facility while the owner was out of town tending to other business. Our responsibilities included: caring for the property, attending to guests, reservations, organizing tours, cleaning, cooking, inventory, general maintenance, supervising staff, billing, carpentry, and house and pet sitting.

In exchange we received full room and board – private accommodation in the owners home and incredible home cooked meals every day. We spent less than $50 during this time which was a huge bonus for our budget.

Some days were busier than others so we made the most of our down time. We spent our free time kayaking, reading, writing, and lazying around on a hammock. In addition, we had a chance to interact with the locals on a more personal level and learned more about the Q’ekchi’ life and traditions from the close knit staff members.

I can’t imagine working in a more perfect place. The location was phenomenal, the people lovely, and the benefits were beyond my expectations. I learned so much about myself and gained new life experiences that will stay with me always.

We’re now continent hopping over to Asia and look forward to using Staydu to obtain more job opportunities and consequently more lasting memories such as this. Participating in a work exchange is an incredibly rewarding and cost-effective way to travel.

A Staydu paid membership (for contacting hosts) is 19 EUR for 2 years but you can save money by using the coupon code 192WT and pay only 15 EUR πŸ™‚