To some travelers, Bonaire is a fun cruise destination, known for its incredible diving spots and charming hotels and restaurants. To others, it is the elusive B in the ABC Islands, a place we’d love to check off our travel lists whenever we finally have the time. But what it should be known as is a trendsetter, the world’s first “Blue Destination” and a small piece of paradise with massive ambition when it comes to preserving its natural beauty.
With that goal in mind, the island recently launched a campaign to not only reward some lucky wanderers with the chance to visit Bonaire, but also convince some of the world’s most influential explorers to think twice about where they’re putting their resources. For starters, five “Earthonauts” will be selected to enjoy a vacation experience unlike any other in the Caribbean, as they will participate in a variety of eco-awareness efforts, including teaming with the Mangrove Maniacs to open the mangrove channels in Lac Bay and maintaining the Bonaire Donkey Sanctuary, which is home to more than 700 donkeys, as well as flamingos, iguanas, and tortoises.
The deadline to hopefully become an Earthonaut is right around the corner. Entrants have until October 1 to submit a video or text explaining why they want this opportunity. The five applicants (18 years and older with a valid U.S. passport) who are chosen will embark on a five-day, all-expenses-paid trip, during which they’ll spend approximately six hours per day working with the island’s various organizations. And while diving is obviously a huge draw for Bonaire, certification is not required.
At the same time, this new advertising campaign will take a direct, clever approach in asking notable space-focused billionaires to remember that there are still places on Earth worth exploring. Billboard will be erected outside of the private launch sites of Blue Origin (Jeff Bezos), SpaceX (Elon Musk), and Virgin Galactic (Richard Branson) with the goal of convincing these men to “join the mission” of preserving Bonaire.
“We know that our planet still has things to teach us, secrets to share, and new wonders for us to behold,” Miles B. M. Mercera, Tourism Corporation Bonaire CEO, explained. “That’s why we’re launching the Earthonauts program and sending eco-conscious travelers to the island. We want to create awareness of the natural beauty that is in everyone’s ‘backyard’ and encourage more travelers to be part of responsibly exploring and enjoying it.”