Reviving an abandoned Mennonite farm in Upper Barton Creek, Belize.



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  • Description


    The project is in a remote area of Belize that is is very close to the Barton Creek Cave (5min) walk. The plan is to progressively make it into a fully functioning farm, that is as self sufficient as possible.

    This means there is a lot of projects to work on. Currently working on a barn that will serve as the main hub of the farm. Housing all the necessary infrastructure for solar power and water needs.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Farmstay help
    Help around the house

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    I have developed relationships with many in the nearby old order Mennonite community, and depending on the time your here you may meet some to many of them.

    The property is located close to the mountain pine ridge area of Belize which has Mayan history as also many activities and different scenery from rain forest, to pine forest, creeks and waterfalls.

  • Help


    The help I need initially is with some building infrastructure projects that I have going on right now. As I work on these mainly by myself it would be great to have extra hands to help me along.

    This involves both some light and heavy lifting, some ladder climbing, some trench digging, some pvc pipe plumbing work, some concrete mixing and setting of concrete blocks, and gardening. All the time I will actively involved working on each project.

    In the next three to six months, I would like to work on the following projects:
    - install solar panels on top of the barn and connect the components so there is power.
    - relocate and rewire the solar well pump panels and lay new pvc pipe to centralize its storage and disbursement.
    - spend some time doing general maintenance on the main house and possibly repaint.
    - layout and start to build some raised beds for gardening. In this area, also plant some test crops to see what will do well in the local soil and climate.
    - continue with the current work on the new barn. Framing and setting a hip roof.

    If you can create a garden and save seeds, ... or
    If you can dig with a shovel, ... or
    If you can lift 40-70lbs with another person, ... or
    If you can provide an extra set of hands to help build stuff, ... or
    If your willing to clean, and cook, ... or
    If your good at writing details about the help we'll need on the farm, please help me

    I am also looking for ideas and experience from people on how to make this into a functioning farm that will support traveling workers and its-self better.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    The main house is an old Mennonite house, it is sturdy but still in need of some maintenance and repair. The maintenance is not a priority. I like to keep it tidy but rustic. The house is two stories with a basement that has three separate rooms upstairs. The basement is pretty much unused right now, and the main floor has a kitchen/pantry area and there is a small 4 person dining table and some chairs. Lots of windows that have screen to keep good airflow through and most bugs out. It is a very simple space. I don’t even have a couch yet, but you can’t beat a hammock on the porch in the afternoon.

    At the moment I have one queen size bed and six twin size foam mattresses out there. With all bed I have pillows, warm sheets and blankets for the cold nights. Right now the temp at night has been in the 60’s. During the simmer it gets warmer in the day and at night but usually around 8-9:00 at night you can always feel it cool of more.

    Water on the property comes from a rainwater cistern and a well with a solar pump that was put in about two years ago. The water from the well is clean and drinkable, but tastes a bit earthy. I also carry in 5gallon bottles of purified water for cooking and drinking also. In the basement are a couple of water cisterns that I fill every now and then. This is pumped up to a small barrel that gravity feeds a small sink that is used for washing dishes and a shower. It’s a bit weird but was the quickest and simplest to put in while working on other projects. If you want of need hot water it needs to be boiled on the stove.

    There is a small room attached to the house for washing in. I have added gravity fed water for a hand held shower head. It’s cool and refreshing in the evening. If you prefer hot water at the moment it needs to be warmed on the stove and then take a bucket bath. Typical old order Mennonite washing up. Can definitely be improved.

    At the moment there is no refrigeration at the farm. I do have a couple coolers and carry in ice to keep some things cold when necessary. Figure that all food will need to be brought in upon arrival and as necessary throughout the stay. Cooking is on a small two burner gas stove. While it may be small there have been some fantastic meals that have come off of it. I also have a small grill that can be used outside. Plenty of plates, cups and utensils, but if there is something necessary that is missing to make life better well get it. I can cook well enough to keep myself alive, but have a poor sense of taste and smell. So I’m not good at cooking for many. I am better at building kitchens that at using them…
    I don't expect you to bring your own food in, but this has to be a collaborative process since a store is a good 45min drive away.

    At the moment, the only power in the house is provided by a small 60w solar panel and a 12v battery. This runs one light upstairs, one in the kitchen, two in the main area, and one out on a back porch. There is also two car cigarette receptacle charger that I use for phone charging and a cell phone single booster. So anything that fits into that type of receptacle can be used.
    This will change over the next month as I have all the components for a 4kw solar system out there now. It will take some time for me to get it installed in place, but this is what I am focused on right now.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Do you also like scuba diving? I'm an owner in a dive center in San Pedro where I can provide you with free diving or snorkeling given there is space available. Unfortunately I cannot provide housing out there, but there is a hostel located minutes away from my diveshop that i can provide you with more information about.

  • 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

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    This host has indicated that they love having digital nomads stay.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    This host can provide space for campervans.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Varies by project, but no more than 4-5 hours per day.

Host ref number: 195257891448