We are an English (Steve) / Colombian (Diana) couple in our 30s/40s. We are privileged to live in our own little slice of paradise, a 7-hectare farm, with spectacular canyon views to one side, and our own accessible patch of river on the other. We have our own waterfalls, and are within 10 minutes walk of a series of public waterfalls. We live about an hour's walk from town, taking in breathtaking valleys and small-scale coffee farms.
We are working towards achieving food self-sustainability, using the principles of Permaculture to try and reduce our impact on the environment as much as possible. We have taken local courses on organic farming, and are slowly working to improve the soil health. We are trying to adapt our diet to more traditional local foods, including 'Achira', manioc, Plantain/Banana, Sweet Potato, Wild rasberries/blackberries, sweet cucumber, Yota, etc. However, we are mostly dedicated to building at the moment so our garden has been neglected a little.
Our main house is available exclusively for volunteers while we live in a second cottage nearby. We are mostly vegan, though we do buy fresh eggs from our neighbour. Please don't bring meat/fish to the farm. Volunteers cook on a rota basis, and volunteers are also expected to help keep the house clean and tidy.
Steve has lived for 15 years in Colombia, first working as a teacher in Cali, then looking to find a more natural, less hectic life in San Agustin around 4 years ago. He enjoys playing the guitar, badminton (we have a net!), permaculture projects and writing. Diana is a biologist who is involved in local charity work with abandoned animals, and with other local projects. We both work full time bringing up our beautiful 2-year-old girl, who enjoys the company of people who like to make silly faces.
We ask for 12,000 pesos per day (3.8 US$) per person contribution to cover 3 meals, gas which is brought by motorcycle, electricity, water, and internet which needs to be faster with more people (and is therefore more expensive). Our income is extremely limited and sporadic, so sorry we have to ask for this. In exchange we can share our knowledge of permaculture and natural building, and you can experience a truly stunning setting with views over a canyon and nature reserve. We really need the help and would be thankful if you could come!
Babysitting / child care
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
We have made some lifelong volunteers friends in the past, and we are happy to share our experiences of living in Colombia / the Colombian countryside. We also have experience of building using bamboo / earth techniques. Though we are still in the learning stages in terms of organic agriculture, we've made some good progress, and have been studying with local experts. We are eager to share our knowledge and listen to suggestions.
We have various projects including: finishing a children's play area in bamboo; constructing compost toilets; building walls using adobe techniques; preparing and building a room using super adobe; making beds out of wood/bamboo; planting, fertilizing and weeding using organic techniques; fruit wine making; general maintenance. We don't expect you to have any skills, and you can choose the work that suits you best. We only ask that you have an open mind. We aren't interested in stressing people out or following them around to see what they are doing...
English and Spanish
At the moment we have 2 single rooms, and the possibility of a dormitory downstairs and potentially another one upstairs (when we finish that room...). We have 360 degree balconies with views over a canyon and forest to the other side. Though the 3rd floor does not have all its walls, the views from there are even more spectacular. This space is available for camping, and is the preferred option for many.
We use dry toilets, which are without water. Please Google this if you don't know what it is....
We are located behind the San Agustín archaeological park, in the Huila region of Colombia. We are 15 minutes from the town by motorbike, or an hour\'s walk through beautiful valleys. Motorbike taxi to town costs COP 6000 or COP25,000 by car taxi.
San Agustin has a temperate climate, neither hot nor cold. It has the highest concentration of national parks in Colombia, and has a variety of activities for tourists including: visiting archaeological sites (we are within walking distance of the UNESCO World Heritage SIte Archaeological Park and other statues); Horse riding (we can organise cheap tours from the farm); cycling tours; Jeep tours; coffee growing tours. We can rent our motorbike.
The town is steadily receiving more interest from foreign tourists, but is still relatively 'undiscovered' when compared to comparable sites in Colombia and South America. Our neighbours still live in a simple, traditional way. You can find locally-produced milk, cheese, eggs, and honey within a short walk from the farm.
Our ideology is based on the japanese Fukuoka, which involves learning to live with and observe nature. We are interested in people who want to participate in this project and go back to their roots, to the essence of free nature, less controlled by man.
Particularly welcome are badminton players, musicians and lovers of 90s rock, biologists, animal lovers, Vipassana meditators and yoga practicioners, and wanderers looking for an answer to life's contradictions... Also, if you have children you are more than welcome as we have a 2-year-old!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
The morning = 4-5 hours, 5 days a week
In developing countries (Where most hosts are involved in charity work or community development) some of our hosts may ask for a small donation to help the host family or charity (often less then 5 dollars per day) Workaway will allow this listing when the donation goes directly to the family or charity and is just to cover the cost of the volunteer‘s stay. (This will be clearly marked on the host listing).
We will strictly not allow listings posted by agents, “middle men” or projects who we feel are looking to profit from a volunteers stay.
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