We are homeopathic doctors in our 60s who live half in the U.S. (an island near Seattle, Washington) and half in Pucón, Chile. Ayun Mapu is a spectacular piece of land here that we have been nurturing for the past 12 years. We enjoy amazing views of the Volcano (Rukapillán or Villarrica) and Lake Villarrica. We have planted a wonderful, organic vegetable garden (with two small greenhouses), a beautifully-landscaped flower garden and fruit trees that are just now starting to mature. There are many maqui bushes (tiny purple berries that are the highest in antioxidants), native trees, and 360-degree views. Our caretaker, Nelson, needs volunteer help to take care of it all. We share our land with our two golden retrievers, a resident German shepherd, five rescue cats, sheep (including three milkers), chickens, ducks, bees, and worms. Our land is for our own production. Aside from our house and Nelson's family home, we have two vacation cabins and our volunteers' cabin. We are a one-hour (downhill) walk to Pucón, the popular adventure capital of Chile. It is very easy to hitchhike to and from town.
We need help starting in August through April. You will be working 25 hours a week and will have time, after that, to do whatever you would like. The jobs vary seasonally. Most of the help is in the veggie or flower gardens, but sometimes we need wood stacked, bushes cleared, or have other projects. These are some of the jobs you may be doing: planting, harvesting, cleaning or weeding the vegetable gardens and blueberry/raspberry bushes; helping our caretaker dig out blackberry, rose hip, or thistle bushes; harvest maqui berries; weeding the flower beds or driveway. We try to vary your work, but you need to be prepared (and hopefully enthusiastic) about whatever needs doing.
We accept only TWO volunteers who come together. YOU NEED TO SPEAK SPANISH because you are supervised by Nelson. NONSMOKERS only, please. PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE IN GARDENING AND WITH PLANTS, PLEASE. We want FRIENDLY, flexible, mature, curious, independent, communicative, willing workers. NO DRUGS, please, and minimal alcohol use, please. Volunteers with a natural lifestyle and interests are preferred. The weather is quite changeable in Southern Chile, so come prepared with warm clothes, rain clothes, and good shoes for all weather conditions. We are in the southern hemisphere, so expect the opposite seasons of the northern hemisphere.
Please LOOK AT OUR CALENDAR before replying, because we are often booked and receive MANY requests. Please apply only if we are open for your dates, if there are two of you, and if you fit our requirements.
English, Spanish, French
A new, homey volunteers' cabin in the woods 3 minutes from our house. It has a kitchen, bathroom, living/dining area, and a bedroom with twin beds for two. You will prepare your own meals. We provide basic staples (pasta, flour, oil, etc) and give you a stipend for some of your additional needs like eggs, dairy, produce. This is not a family or communal meal setting. You will be on your own for meals unless we invite you to a special gathering, popcorn and a movie, or an occasional pizza in our outdoor oven. We expect you to take good care of the cabin and to keep it clean and tidy.
Pucón is a popular international tourist destination. In your free time you can go into town (lots of restaurants and activities), hike, climb the volcano, river raft, kayak, go to a hot springs or waterfall. We are very active and take Pilates and Zumba classes in town. When you are not working, you can either hitchhike, get a ride with us, or rest/read/relax. This is our third year of having volunteers. We expect that you will enjoy working here, amidst the remarkable natural beauty, and take advantage of what we have to offer.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
We have traveled to 40+ countries and love to make friends from all over the world. If you are interested in natural medicine, lifestyle, meditation, etc, we are happy to be resources. You will learn a lot about Chilean language and daily life from Nelson and his wife, Ana María. We often invite our volunteers to join us for to cultural events in town, or to cook together a meal from your native country.
25 hours a week