Please read first: During summer months the environment here is ideal for naturist/nudist living (when not working) so to promote this as an option here on Workaway, from June to September I am only seeking volunteers who have experience in and are comfortable with this as a way of life, or who have a strong wish to try it. Please mention this in your request. Places are currently available from 7th July.
I am Ian and the mountains south of Granada become my home early in 2018. I spent the first of many visits to this area around 30 years ago, so after retiring early from a career as a psychologist in London, it was great to come back to a place which has become home for many alternative settlers who have moved into this area since that time. With the help of another resident living in a self-built cabin on the land here, and from a series of volunteers over the past 12 months, we have created a new garden area with plunge pool, been restoring the terraces and stone walls, and establishing organic vegetable areas. The 3-room stone house which provides living and sleeping space for volunteers is set in two hectares of shaded olive and almond trees on the side of a valley, leading down to a small river where for part of the year it is possible to bathe. The oldest olive trees on the land were probably planted by the Moorish (Islamic) population who settled here in these valleys for centuries, up until the final ‘reconquista’ of Spain by the Christians in the 16th century. Their ancient ‘acequia’ watering system still works here, making it possible to grow vegetables and fruit trees as well as olives and almonds. The views of the valley and the distant mountains are beautiful, and there is an atmosphere of complete peace and tranquility in the natural surroundings, with wild animals also inhabiting the land. The traditional white villages, established by the Moors throughout the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada (the area known as 'Las Alpujarras') can be seen on the distant hills. The local market town can be reached in 15-20 mins, walking down the river valley, so visitors are able to be very independent without a car here. There are buses from there to the local mountain villages and to the coast, and to Granada city which can be visited by bus for the day.
Please note that many of the work tasks here are fairly physically demanding, so volunteers need to be fit, and in summer it is only really possible to work in the earlier part of the morning and in the evening. I am unable to accept volunteers who are prepared only for light tasks around the house or garden. The minimum stay to be helpful is two weeks, with five working days of five hours (timings can be flexible), and normally there are between two and six volunteers here at any time.
Thanks, and look forward to hearing from you.
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
This is a fascinating area, both historically and geographically, and the main benefit of a stay here is to get to know the region, and experience living in one of the most beautiful and relatively unspoiled parts of Europe. Those with an interest in gardening and simple sustainable living will find much of interest, and opportunities to develop skills here too. At the moment there is no wifi (although 4g coverage is good) so it's an opportunity to break free from internet addiction for a while. Here is an open-minded and respectful environment, and whilst a cultural mix and range of views is a positive aspect of the Workaday experience, those with a very right wing and/or homophobic political outlook are unlikely to fit in easily.
Looking for help according to skills and ability on a variety of projects around the land. The focus so far has been on developing a new garden area and maintaining the olive terraces, including restoring irrigation channels and stone walls.
The land is spread over seven terraces of olive and almond trees, with rough and sometimes steep tracks in between, so visitors need to be fit and in a good state of physical health.
Visitors will have their own bed and possibly own room too, but depending on guests at any time, may be expected to share a twin bedroom with one other volunteer. There are two twin rooms currently available for volunteers. There is also a large tent on the land which can accommodate two. The cottage is reasonably comfortable and has all basic amenities (including shared bathroom and a shower room in one of the bedrooms), although it is quite small and open-plan in the arrangement of rooms, so personal space and privacy are extremely limited.
Meals and meal preparation are shared, with food provided as part of the exchange, and housework in the cortijo is also shared (and not included in working hours). Vegetarian/vegan diets can be easily accommodated although we occasionally eat meat or fish.
The Alpujarras is a popular area for visitors throughout the year, and there are many interesting sights in the various white mountain villages and possibilities for hiking or outdoor activities, such as horse-riding. With a car, several great beaches (including three nudist) can be reached in under an hour, and a bus to Granada city takes about 75 mins. Malaga is a 3 hour direct bus trip away, although can be reached by car in about 90 mins.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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