late our dreams into reality. Three cheers for Stanley
Selengut and his colleagues, whose dream of an ecological
community in the National Park became reality in 1977.
Maho was designed to balance a closeness to nature with a
sense of community camping. Building this without upset-
ting the fragile environment created problems over and
above the norm. The entire community is linked by a net-
work of raised wooden boardwalks and stairways. Water
pipes and electrical lines are attached to the bottom of these
walks, eliminating the need to dig up the ground cover.
Maho's 114 canvas tent-cottages are perched on decks set
into hillsides overlooking a curved strip of beach. The 16 x 16
Tree Houses have only one room, but the Sleeping Nook can
be closed off by a screen. A convertible sofa in the living room
sleeps two more. The kitchen niche has a two-burner stove,
ice cooler and cooking and eating utensils. You can eat at a
table on your patio. Tents are equipped with electric lights,
bed linen which is changed weekly, towels and blankets.
There is no running water.
Centrally located bath houses have low-flush toilets and au-
tomatic turn-offs on the showers and sinks to conserve wa-
ter. Human waste is converted into fertilizer used to irrigate
the garden. One group of bathrooms has composting toilets
that use no water at all.
But the finest ingredient in Maho is the people who've
stayed here. They have added to the sense of community and
the spirit of cooperation that exists. One shining example is
the help yourself center , where groceries, books and toys
are left for new comers by departing guests.
There is a commissary with staples, frozen foods and fresh
fruits and vegetables. Wine and beer are sold but no liquor.
Prices are high but consider the costs involved in bringing
the things here. You can stock up in St. Thomas or in Cruz
There are barbecue areas where guests swap food and yarns
about the day's adventures. You can enjoy the company of
other guests at the communal restaurant for breakfast and