St Lucia Guest houses: Balenbouche Mission

 

For over 30 years, we have maintained and developed Balenbouche Estate by reinvesting and gradually improving our property, always seeking to remain in balance with nature and the surrounding community. We believe in providing a great eco product at a fair price, and we trust that our hard work and generosity will be rewarded one way or another – and it always is! :-)

Community

Balenbouche Estate was one of the first St lucia guesthouses to offer farm holidays, eco retreats and volunteering. We are part of the Heritage Tourism Association of St. Lucia (HERITAS) which promotes ecotourism on the island. We have special arrangements with community members to plant gardens, graze cattle, produce charcoal, and harvest crops on our property at little or no cost. We support sharecropping, buy local, participate in community service, and host charitable events, st lucia retreats, sustainability workshops and field schools.

Organic Farming

Since 1987, no chemical fertilizers or pesticides have been used on any of our st lucia guest houses or plantation. A local farmer’s co-op grows organic lettuce on our property, and we keep cattle and maintain tree crops on the estate, such as star fruit, mango, breadfruit, coconut, papayas, avocados, plantains and bananas. Everything grown is largely for our own consumption, enabling us to provide a special St Lucia dining experience with some of the tastiest, freshest and healthiest food on the island!

Energy and Waste

We seek to minimize our consumption and buy eco friendly products. Waste is composted, reused or recycled whenever possible. Water is used sparingly, and complemented with rainwater and river water. All of our eco friendly st lucia guest houses are cooled through natural ventilation, and hot water is heated with solar. Laundry is line dried. Most of our transportation needs are met by bus and car pooling. In the future, we hope to be able to become more sustainable and self-sufficient and further reduce the impact of our st lucia guest houses on the ecology and environment.

Conservation and Wildlife

Balenbouche is home to numerous plants, food crops and St Lucia wildlife, including many bird species. The 19th century St Lucia Plantation House and other structures require constant repairs. The 200 year-old water way is painstakingly maintained to supply water to the farm, as well as for its historic significance. Several archeological projects have taken place at Balenbouche. We hope to one day restore one of the historic buildings to house an interpretation center which would further enhance our st lucia guest houses and st lucia history tour.

Volunteering, Research and Training

Balenbouche has hosted numerous field schools, community service activities, eco retreats and seminars. We also offer St Lucia volunteering and internship opportunities to qualified students and professionals, who have a background in areas such as carpentry, construction, general maintenance, farming, eco  tourism or culinary arts. Our st lucia guest houses can sleep up to 16 people and many more with our st lucia camping option.