Volunteer work with SECAR was really fun, I learned a lot and the weather was always nice and warm. I was instructed to do everything that was related to archeaology. I really liked the parts of mapping and excavating (finding cool artifacts!), but they will also teach you how to catalog and analyse the artifacts and sites. They have a nice collection of artifacts and books, so you can refer to those artifacts and books for further explanation of the stuff you find in the field. That way you can learn as much as you want. If you are ready for it, they will give you a choice and responsibility of the work too. Besides the archaeology, I also learned to dive on Statia and saw many cool things below the water (barracudas, sharks, schools of fish, big turtles). I went island hopping with other volunteers from SECAR and STENAPA (St. Eustatius National Parks), so I have seen bits of Saba, St. Kitts and St. Maarten as well. I liked the overall experience of tasting the Caribbean lifestyle (food, dancing and taking it easy), doing interesting excavating projects and learning a lot.

David Swinkels, The Netherlands


My field school experience at SECAR was a very rewarding mix between physical labor, intellectual growth and complete relaxation. During my time on the island, I was surrounded by the most enthusiastic, fun loving and diverse group imaginable, each with their own archaeological talents. The SECAR staff went to great lengths to walk me through the basics of field work: identifying pottery, troweling, profiling and so on. But, what I will really remember for the rest of my life was the very thoughtful and organic way that SECAR trained me to see the world through the eyes of an archaeologist. Beyond their merit as really amazing archaeologists, the SECAR staff members are also extremely generous and hard working teachers. I cannot imagine a more versatile, creative and thorough field school education.

St. Eustatius is quite distinctive in almost every way I can think of and provides the perfect environment for cutting edge archaeological research. Although it is a relatively small island, it is absolutely chocked full of artifacts. This tiny, forgotten paradise is also surrounded by some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving sites in the entire Caribbean. Right off of the historic Old Town beach, you can go swimming with green sea turtles and sunken cannons any day of the year. SECAR is also a great place to go to field school for the comfort driven, homebody like myself because all of the students stay in an awesome villa, complete with a huge terrace overlooking the ocean and lots of books to read.

SECAR is the perfect archaeological field school for anyone who wants to be trained by world class archaeologists on a small, serene island that has a lot of historical and archaeological importance in the region as well as worldwide. I booked my ticket to Statia on an impulse, not really knowing what I was getting myself into. As soon as I saw the green rocky emerald in the middle of the bright blue sea, I knew at once how incredibly lucky I had been to have stumbled across the ‘’Golden Rock.’’

Sienna Córdoba, History Ph.D. student,
University of California - Santa Barbara