Internship Programs

Imagine exploring permaculture, sustainability & intentional community in Hawai’i!

Watch our videos of former interns sharing their experiences

and an introduction to our permaculture classes,

and read the Live and Learn Here page for our introductory information.

La’akea Community is a cooperatively-owned intentional community on the big island of Hawai’i. Our farm practices tropical permaculture and devotes special attention to the oft-neglected social dimension of sustainability:  how to live together.

Our internship program increases the focus on learning beyond what you would get as a farm supporter.  Participants will enjoy workshops on permaculture and on communication, interpersonal and community living skills. This is in addition to your daily participation in community life and hands-on immersion in permaculture modalities.

Interns will be given tasks related to sustainable food/fiber production (tropical fruit orchards, vegetable gardens, greenhouses, animal systems, coconut tree climbing and harvesting, bamboo and other timber crops, and local food preparation).

We have classes in non-violent communication, co-counseling and other modalities that increase emotional awareness and provide tools for relationships and community living. We are interested in sharing what we know – helping to educate through experiential learning.

Our internships run several times a year.  See dates below:

Summer 2015:  June 1-June 29

Winter 2016:  Jan. 27th – Feb. 24th

Adventure to nearby beaches, snorkel among coral reefs, explore geothermal steam vents and caves, and visit other permaculture farms. There will be two organized field trips in addition to self-initiated explorations.

The fee is $750, which includes all classes and supplies all the delicious food, mostly organic and from the land.

Housing: Tarp covered camping (byo tent and sleeping bag/pad) or shared accommodation in one of our screen-sided, tarp-roofed Quonset huts (byo linens/bedding). Sometimes cabins are available for an extra fee.

Contribution: Plan on participating approximately twenty hours a week in life on the farm. This includes hands-on-the-land learning, meal preparation and keeping our common spaces clean.  We love people who love to contribute!  We work together for maximum fun and learning.


We have wireless internet at La’akea.  If you bring your own laptop and want to hook into our wireless system, there is a $10/month fee payable at the beginning of your stay. (We are on a satellite with limited bandwith, so no large uploading please!).

Airport Shuttle: If you are arriving and departing from Hilo airport, we are happy to arrange a shuttle for you. The fee is $30 for each one way trip to cover costs.  This fee can be shared with other arriving guests.


The program is limited to ten individuals.  We receive more applications than we have space.  There is a $25 processing fee due with your application. This may be paid using Paypal, send money to If you are accepted, the fee is deducted from your balance due.  If you are not accepted the fee will be reimbursed.  The fee is kept by us if we accept you and then you choose to cancel.

See an Internship sample calendar to get an idea of our typical internship schedule of activities.

Past interns share their experiences:

“Great experience! The most valuable thing I took away was all the positive additions to my healthy communication toolbox and the month long community experience!” -Nicole, Winter 2012

“Staying at La’akea for the one month has had so much impact on how I live, my levels of stress, what i find important in life, on so many other things. Most significantly I now feel so free, I don’t know how i lived life any other way, i wasn’t living life. By free I mean free of so many unnecessary social boundaries I chained myself down with. I am not living in fear anymore. I am no longer afraid to share, to be open and be vulnerable, I am not sure if i even knew how to be those things before. I can dance now I can be silly in front of people, I can be myself and I can connect with people at a level previously not possible. I think your beautiful community played a huge part in my mental shift, through your openness, not holding anything back, trust, constant encouragement to share whats inside, and love. Thank you for having me in your community.” – Devin, Summer 2012

“I have grown personally as much or more in my one month at La’akea as I did in my 4 1/2 years of college.”  Kayla Hulsey, Summer 2011

“My experience at La’akea taught me not only how to survive off the grid, but how to engage more with my peers for truly meaningful relationships. I found it fascinating, enlightening, and very magical. What a beautiful place and amazing group of people to have worked with. I can’t wait to come back.”  Allie Hubert, Summer 2011

“Please know that my experience with you all has been a great point of reflection and continual transformation…Mahalo again for everything…”  Kevin, 2010

“I came here to learn about growing things, and what I really learned about was growing people.” – Emily ’09

“I’d recommend it to a million and a half people.” – Lee, summer ’08

The program was a “conscious learning environment” – Roberto, summer ’08

“This is more than I ever dreamed of….” – Ann, fall ’08

If you are ready to apply, go to our Internship application.

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