Great Drinks and Amazing Hangovers


The volunteer program at the Surf Shak and Canoa Thrills gives travelers the chance to trade their skills for a place to stay, or a tab at the restaurant and bar.  We are always looking for help, so if you are in the area stop in to see if we have any opportunities available.

Choose from the following

Bar Tending



Sea Kayak Instruction/Guide

Surfing Instruction

Volunteering is a great way to extend your vacation when the budget is getting low!

Example Interview at the Surf Shak

Hi Pete,
I just wanted to drop you a quick email to see if you are still looking for volunteers for this coming up season!  My husband and I spent 7 months in Montanita last year, and we are looking to return to the Ecuador coast for a few months in 2012. I’d like to have some things lined up before we head down there, so figured I’d see what positions you have available.

We were managing Casa del Sol last year while living in Montanita.  So, we helped train kitchen staff and cook in the kitchen (including breakfast and a gourmet set dinner for our surf class guests); managed and ran the beach bar; helped with reception (reservation systems, accounting systems, greeting/checking guests in); and lots more!  We also helped open and run a hotel/restaurant/bar in Honduras the year before, and we worked at restaurants and hostels in San Pedro, Guatemala too!

We’re still working on our leave date, but we are thinking probably January 2012. We haven’t been to Canoa, but figured it might be a nice change from Montanita.

Hope to hear from you!



Sounds pretty good.  It really all depends on what kind of gifts you plan on bringing us down.  Please send a list of potential gifts and presents you are willing to bring in advance and that will help us in the elimination process. As you can imagine, volunteering at the Surf Shak is a very highly sought after position and it is very competitive.  We also will need to know your shoe size, and how many push ups you can do, as I said; very competitive.

I also have to run all “important” decisions by our board of directors.  We meet tri-annually with our next meeting in Borneo for X-mas, so I will be sure to run your resume by them.  The diving is spectacular that time of year.

Keep in touch and let us know when you have booked your tickets.  Jan. is a very busy time for us and we can usually always use some help….and don’t forget the to send the list of extravagant gifts.  Thank you for your inquiry and we look forward to your response.


Hi Peter,
Thank you for your quick response.  After reading your qualifications, my husband and I spent the evening reviewing our packing list to ensure we had ample room to bring you and your staff gifts. We had to forgo a few of our personal items, such as an extra pair of shoes (size 8.5, by the way) and my hairbrush. However, we feel that this volunteer position is worth the sacrifice.

After much consideration, we are planning on bringing the following items for your board of directors:
• Q-tip brand q-tips
• Old Bay seasoning
• A large bottle of cheap rum
• drum kit from “Rock Band”

We also hope that our flight allows a bag to be checked at no charge. If this is the case, we are very excited to say that we will be packing air guitars for your entire staff!

Thanks again for your consideration. We look forward to the opportunity for a formal interview upon our arrival. I hope we have met (or exceeded) your expectations!

Kelly & Jason

They will probably make it at the Surf Shak

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