Thursday, November 10, 2016

WORKAWAY - Not So Ethical?

Since I have recommended many times in the past to an unknown number of people, I feel it appropriate to follow up. Knowing what I now know about the organization, I recant my recommendations and provide disclosure of disappointing practices.

A reminder to my ever faithful family and my new readers – as I know I am welcoming a few here…..I did not join workaway due to wanderlust or a passion for travel. It was to assist me on my quest to finding my place as you can read, or refresh your memory, in Baring My Soul and Planting A Dream.

Initially discovering this travel trade website in 2014, I was so excited and promptly shelled out the money for my membership. What I learned along the way is:
·        Hosts pay no membership….just the volunteers.
·        A greater percentage of hosts I personally contacted don’t respond.
·        Less than stellar feedback (by paying volunteers) is removed – basically false advertising. Obviously this site is geared toward accommodating hosts so workaway will have a product, albeit not always honestly portrayed, to sell volunteers.
·       Workaway implies situations have, for the most part, 5 hours work, 5 days per week in exchange for food and accommodations. That scenario is actually pretty rare at least with the hundreds of profiles I looked into (unless you also include a space to set up your own tent or paying extra for meals or having a space to prepare your meals).
·        Workaway monitors private messages too in spite of their denial….I have correspondence to back that up but don’t wish to spend any more energy there.

Here is the feedback that I gave for the first place, and ONLY place via workaway, I experienced.
(See: If I'd Have KnownReally......the Desert?!) Through the grapevine I heard that even the owner agreed it was truthful. This feedback was subsequently removed by workaway. It makes reference to the description of the place that was posted at the time and what I actually encountered. Note: I was being kind.


I spent almost a month here. Just a heads up that it isn’t quite a Hotel/Resort and Restaurant in the usual sense. It is more of a backpacker’s hostel. There is a dining hall and kitchen to prepare your own food but not a restaurant that has food and you can get meals prepared for you. A group of young people live there and like to chill. They are great about cutting down coconuts, when available. Nothing like drinking fresh coconut water right out of the coconut! So if you are looking for something more laid back, this might be the place for you. You need to be prepared for all situations like often no water much less hot. You also must like the company of a pack of untrained dogs following you wherever you go….yes, that includes the kitchen. There is much that needs to be done around so you will have no trouble finding ways to help out and can probably choose the jobs you prefer. The facility sits on a beautiful beach backed by desert-like terrain. The beach is constantly littered with trash so Mother Nature would love it if you assisted in the trash collection helping uplift the Planet. It is about an hour drive south of the city of Manta and about ½ hour north of Puerto Lopez. You can easily catch an inexpensive bus right on the road to either location and more if you’d like to do a little sightseeing or shopping.

I must add that I stayed in Nov 2014 and haven't had a chance to post this earlier so things appear to have changed. I know they changed their description after I left a review on another site back in Dec.
Left by Workawayer for host


Knowing everything happens for a positive reason, I thankfully see many gifts resulting from being involved with workaway. If I hadn’t joined, I wouldn’t have met a number of wonderful folks – many of whom have since become dear friends.
Mary was one of the first that I made a magical connection with… surprise….on the beach! She shares an inspiring blog about her adventures and life as an expat in Ecuador. Mary, in turn, assisted me in making the synchronistic partnership with Hosteria Nantu including Andrea, Mauritz and what quickly became my Nantu Family.  At that time I assisted in getting Hosteria Nantu listed on workaway. Here are the reviews we posted for each other:


Words aren’t adequate to express my gratitude and happiness regarding my 2 month stay. Andrea and Mauritz were gracious hosts indeed. They and the staff quickly felt like family to me as we worked together….sometimes a little humorously due to my limited Spanish skills. It was an honor leading so many guests in daily morning yoga too. Between my hosts, the staff and a number of special guests, dozens more have been added to my heart for life. It was a real treat living and working right across from the beach. I got a chance to see all the different rooms in the hosteria. The reason this is significant as they are all artfully designed and decorated in their own unique manner. If you get a chance to volunteer here, between the hosts and the tranquil area, it will be an opportunity you remember fondly on for a long time to come!

Left by Workawayer for host


We still miss this lady. She changes our life and the way to see things around. We really appreciate all she did around our hosteria, we still have people coming to look for our yoga classes and massages, I highly recommend Michelle as a worker, friend and person. Thanks a lot for all you did for Us. Everyone here keep talking about how great you were. You will always be part of our family, doors will always be open for you Michelle.
Left by host for Workawayer

Tessa and Alie frequented my poolside yoga class. Thanks to fb and their blog Happy Goats, we are able to stay in touch. Manuela from Italy, another beautiful yoga regular, co-owned restaurant Paella Mar in Puerto Lopez with her partner Toni from Spain. Loved their crème brulee! One more of my yogini friends is sweet Nadia. She shared my gypsy spirit and was on her own quest. Her time to move on came before mine and she gifted me with a beautiful handbag that she lovingly made for me herself. It was perfect for my needs (ok wants) at the time. Of course, I must express immense gratitude for my experiences with my furry, feathered and water friends - dogs, seals, seabirds, turtles and seahorses! 

During my research I came across a significant number of others who had similar, unsatisfactory findings and less desirable encounters through workaway. Will not go into any more detail so as not to immerse in the negative. Just backing up my own findings to save others unpleasant situations in the future.

Bringing the focus back to the bright side…..I am still open to that magical tropical location being shown to me in my night dreams and day visions. In the meantime, I continue Putting It Out To The Universe.... Please share ANY and ALL leads that may come to you regarding where on earth this Paradise might be or ways that I may discover such! Perhaps YOU would like to Personally participate with me in finding this Tropical Retreat?! It would be a powerful way of being the change we wish to see in this world…….Just Sayin’ ;-)

Thank you all for being such Bright Lights in my life!

P.S. If you'd like to read my description for workaway, sans the fill in boxes, email me at and let me know.