Furniture restorer or artisan carpenter invited to help in riverside artist retreat damaged by fires in Ponte da Mucela, a small riverside village in central Portugal



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 Min stay requested: 1 week or less

  • Description


    The project is a dream, an art school, and artist's retreat. In an overgrown parkland adjacent to the river Alva, Prof Kris and his South African colleague, Celia own a 1930s neoclassical villa, a stone-built farmhouse (1888), and a former automobile repair hall.

    In 2017 a fire disaster raged through three villages and a boreal forest. Apart from two lives, a large amount of possessions were lost when the automobile workshop burnt down. Join us in rebuilding a bigger and better dream on what was lost, and to finish the remaining renovations to the various buildings. We will host a contemporary art exhibition about the fires in a year's time.

    It aims to host expert knowledge exchanges of all kinds, outside the hectic rush of city life. It offers accommodation and meeting facilities for students, lecturers, artists and other creative spirits. It is a place where both artistic concept development and technical skills in different media share equal importance.

    Ponte da Mucela, a small riverside village in central Portugal, just 30 km from Coimbra, was named after the monumental stone bridge dating from 1295. The street in front of the residency was once a busy truck route between Portugal and Central Spain. In 2000, a new, faster route bypassed the village, leading to it being abandoned and forgotten by many. The project wants to bring the entire village to new life, with an annual music and public arts festival planned. Join a community of more and more people return to the countryside, even for a short time, to live a slower and more meaningful life.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    General Maintenance
    Help with Eco Projects
    Art Projects

  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Travellers will learn about a slower pace of life, and the benefit of living outside of the city. They can sample local foods and explore historic sites in the area. Unleash your creativity, meet other like minded artists, connect with nature.

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Help


    We would like to invite professionals in carpentry and furniture restoration. In future we may become ready to invite more participation in other skills.

    If you have your own tools, enjoy spending time in nature, can work independently and do not require intense supervision, you are very welcome.

  • Languages spoken

    Afrikaans: Fluent
    German: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent
    Dutch: Fluent
    Portuguese: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    Stay in basic student accommodation. Meals can be provided. A small contribution towards Wifi, electricity, gas and water costs may be expected. 15 mins drive to closest supermarket, 30 mins from the city of Coimbra. Open to discussion and negotiation of terms.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    This is an ideal place to break away from distractions and focus on completing a creative project. Within driving distance of numerous historical sites, tourist attractions and recreational opportunities in nature. Public transport is limited. The closest regional bus service stop is in Vila Nova de Poiares (15 mins drive), the closest train station in Coimbra (30 mins drive). Own motorised transport preferred, as necessary.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 142933115378