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We are a couple running an inspiring vacation & retreat center overlooking the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains in the wonderful countryside of the Cathar Region, in the South of France.
This is a domain at the edge of the forest hosting a small campsite, eco-lodges and rental cottages. We have a beautiful swimming pool and a wooden sauna next to it. Some cats and free-roaming chickens will to greet you regularly (no dog). In spring time, even horses roam our fields (and they're never far away in Summer :-)
We often have weekend visitors, and occasionally we host an entire group. In Summer, the place is bustling with people.
On site, our non-profit association provides educational & therapeutic vacations healing broken bonds within couples and families and coaching people into making new choices for a more meaningful life. We also provide time-outs for people in difficulties.
The surrounding area is great for nature lovers, it has an abundance of medicinal and edible herbs. There are many exciting walks awaiting you: through the local natural labyrinth, to the lakes, to the Cathar castles and into the Pyrenees mountains. On your way, you'll easily stumble over lively markets and beautifully flowered medieval towns all around you. It's a mysterious land of old legends speaking of hidden treasures that are waiting to be discovered.
During your stay you'll have plenty of good conversations, you'll make new friends from all over the world, you may pick up on healthy cooking skills, get to know more about healthy food and herbalism and maybe pick some herbs with Katrin. As a herbalist Katrin creates natural cosmetics, herbal remedies, teas and non-toxic cleaning products.
There is a lot of hard work to do, but we will help you find a balance. E.g. cleaning, to make all things shiny, can be a meditation at the same time ;-) (And it gets you a practical training that will serve you the rest of your life)!
If you like to be in the outdoors, we have a lot of garden maintanance to do like grass mowing with our sit-mower.
When all the guests are gone, we have bush mowing, carpentry work like eco-toilet building, fence building & mending...
If you get your energy from being surrounded with plentyfull of people, we recommend you to come and help out during the busy and lively summer time. If you recover from being alone and enjoy the calmness, come enjoy the quitness during spring and after summer. We'll have more time for personal contact and Kim can give you a free life-coaching session if you want one.
We're looking forward to getting to know you, and to be able to show you this magnificent place!
very warm greetings!
Kim & Katrin
*️️️ Minimum stay 28 days - maximum stay: 6 months
*️️️ We are looking for non-smokers and non-drinkers.
*️️️ Bringing your kids or pets is not possible, sorry!
*️️️ Volunteering hours expected: min. 25 hours a week
+ the daily shared household tasks amongst volunteers (min.10 hours a week)
*️️️ Basic healthy food is included, we buy locally cultivated food from the region.
Not included: personal snacks, sweets and (soft) drinks
*️️️ The daily language in use is English – no opportunity to learn French on the domain unfortunately
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Helping with Tourists
Help with Computers / internet
You'll come in touch with a different way of working together, as equals, being part of a team caring together for the wellbeing of all involved.
You'll learn to observe yourself better, learn to know what kind of work you really like and work from the heart for the benefit of the whole.
You'll learn to communicate your needs and ideally to match them with the needs of others.
You'll learn to give and receive feed-back when you're ready for it.
You'll get to know the 'French way' of how to handle things, allowing yourself to take a good rest or siësta when needed, and catching up by working really hard when multiple guests arrive.
Currently in our vacation paradise, we are looking for helpers in different area's:
- cleaning helpers
- communally cooking together for the group of volunteers
- garden maintanance: bush mowing, grass cutting (sitmower),
cleaning the chicken run, emptying the eco-toilets, putting manure around the fruit trees, watering plants & fruit trees,
- swimming pool maintenance
For more experienced volunteers:
- wood construction work (eco-toilets), natural fence building
- masonry work,
- electricity repairs
main language = English
Normally you stay in a sturdy storm-resistant 'Canadian type' sleeping tent placed on a wooden base. If you're staying longer, and the season gets a bit colder, a caravan (limited heating) may be provided depending on the availability. In the cold months, you get a room (that you might share with one other workawayer).
What have we to offer volunteers?
during high season (june-september):
- Stay in a sturdy Canadian sleeping tent with wooden floor (or caravan, depending on availability)
- Cozy French dining, Tasty and varied healthy eating
- regularly enjoying the campfire in the evening together
- Inspiring exchanges and encounters with others
- Quality time for yourself and / or each other if you come here toghether
- Nice opportunities for recreation in nature: swimming, sunbathing, sauna, hiking, mountaineering, horseback riding, biking, ...
- Being surrounded by the Cathar history: castles, medieval towns, legends ...
Outside the high season: spring and late summer
- Stay in a moderately heated caravan, (or a room depending on personal requirements and our availabilities)
- Fully equipped kitchen to prepare meals in turns
- High quality 'me time'
- Lots of rest, in an inspiring environment
- Still many possibilities for recreation in nature: hiking, mountaineering, horseback riding, biking, sauna
- People-centered volunteer-work supervision so that you as a person get the best personal experience out of it
(Includes minimum 1 personal life coaching session if you want it)
- Opportunities to recharge your batteries and relax in a beautiful landscape where silence is real silence, the air pure and the sky shows so many stars :-)
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
25 hours a week