Dean’s Story: Siglufjordur, Iceland

dean-1smApogee’s Dean Hinds and his wife, Julie, took advantage of Apogee’s Volunteer Program and made the trip to Siglufjordur, Iceland where they spent two weeks volunteering in what Dean calls “one of the most fabulous and gorgeous places,” he had ever been.

Siglufjordur, a small fishing town on the Northern coast of Iceland, was once one of the most renowned towns in the country particularly due to its booming herring industry in the 1940s and 1950s.


Today, Siglufjordur suffers from the results of massive over fishing. Dean explains that, “the little town extorted the ocean to the point where it could no longer sustain the level of economic satisfaction that had at one point given the Island great success.” As a result there are no longer any herring in Siglufjordur’s waters, however, the town remains dependent on fishing industries.

Dean and Julie decided to work for the organization Volunteers For Peace on what Dean explains was a program designed to, “help the town of Siglufjordur find economic growth in activities other than those that take advantage of the environment.

“Everything we did was oriented towards
encouraging tourist growth.”

dean-3sm“Everything we did was oriented towards encouraging tourist growth.” Dean and Julie worked on renovating a museum, fixing broken ski lifts, cleaning up a park and planting trees to restore a local forest.

“The best part,” Dean says, “was spending two and a half weeks without a computer backpacking and realizing how much more emphasis there is on spending time with people in a small town and close community.”

dean-15smIt makes sense that Dean, coming from the endless activity and sometimes draining city of Los Angeles, would enjoy the slower pace of life he and his wife found in Siglufjordur with its lush rolling hills of flat grass and breathtaking views.

Dean says he came home with a good perspective and notes, “it was nice to have the opportunity to help people and preserve a resource that I found amazing.”

To learn more about Volunteers For Peace and its programs, visit:

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