Hello, my name is Jem Winston, born & raised in south east England. I built, and now own and manage, 3 Rivers & Rosalie Forest Eco Lodge. I first discovered Dominica in 1990, during my nearly 6 years of backpacking, in my early 20’s, and fell in love with the place instantly. That love has never faded, and I am proud now to also be a Dominican.
After my backpacking days were over, I returned to England to save to buy land in Dominica, to fulfil my dream of living in The Nature Island of The Caribbean, Dominica. I drove a taxi for a little over 5 years, doing several other little jobs on the side, saving and saving. During this time my brother expressed an interest in joining the project, making it a real possibility.
So it began, on an overgrown banana plantation, in a remote part, of a remote island in the Caribbean; now my home, The Commonwealth of Dominica.
IN THE BEGINNING
Finally we moved to Dominica at the end of 2001, and work began on clearing the land, in preparation for building. By the end of that year, 3 Rivers Eco Lodge opened with one cottage, Rose, and a small restaurant/bar, as well as the foundations for 4 more lodges
Soon after opening my brother left the business to pursue his teaching career and I stayed to run the Lodge.
In 2004, some of the forest at the back of 3 Rivers went up for sale. In order to prevent the area from continued logging (which had begun), and for the feeling, the honour, and the responsibility of owning some real rainforest, I decided to buy a piece of the jungle at the back of 3 Rivers Eco Lodge. Thus establishing Rosalie Forest Eco Lodge in harmony with the original 3 Rivers, providing bamboo tree houses and Carib Indian Thatch Cabins in the rainforest.
Myself and my most excellent team of local staff are proud to say that today, Our Eco Lodge, the original 3 Rivers, together with the forest portion of land, is a true back to nature experience: Offering a range of activities for all, and a variety of cool and sustainable accommodations, in incredible natural surroundings, safe and secluded in the jungle.
From the beginning, the idea was to create the ideal getaway, respecting the environment and working closely with the locals to create an ambience that is a mixture of cultures, where people on any budget can enjoy the natural wonders of Dominica, whilst minimizing the environmental impact and aiding the sustainable development of the local community. The project is a mix of ideas I saw in my travelling days, my own initiatives, and the thoughts and ideas of our staff and visitors over the years.
Together with an excellent team of local workers, 3 Rivers & Rosalie Forest Eco Lodge has received a steady flow of guests and eco awards for our environmental work.
I hope that you will enjoy 3 Rivers & Rosalie Forest Eco Lodge, and all the wondrous beauty that this incredible island has to offer.
When I first began 3 Rivers eco lodge, teaching renewable energy and being a sustainable visitors education centre was not in the plan.
The use of renewable energy was new to Dominica, and as we had set up the solar panels word got round, and people from all corners of the island began visiting to see solar power running a whole hotel for the very first time in Dominica’s history.
Then people began to ask me to show them how it works, and I did so with pleasure, and found I enjoyed it. Next a teacher asked if she could bring her school class here, and the visit was a great success. And that is how the eco education at 3 Rivers really began. These days we welcome schools from across the island and around the globe throughout the year, as well as hosting interns from the Dominica state College, and various other international education establishments..
Today I run workshops teaching about most forms of renewable energy, in a practical hands on way for the local community, through our registered NGO The Sustainable Living Initiative (SLIC), and for private individuals wishing to learn about these subjects, in a place where they can see it all in action. Combine education with a holiday in one of the most unspoilt countries on earth.