Going beyond the modern-day schism of preserving nature in isolation from people, yet destroying wilderness in the name of urban progress, our project asks, “how can the act of living be an offering?” We want to understand how dwelling can become a space for inner and outer transformation, where humans thrive as part of nature, in synergy with her blossoming.
As we transition from a background in the UK, where we practiced architecture in both corporate and academic contexts, we are on a journey to embody our passions in alignment with deep purpose. Our investigation is located where the Andean mountain geography dissolves into the ecology of the tropical planes in Colombia. At the time of writing this, we are stewards to a hundred hectares of highly biodiverse re-wilding rainforest, about 100 kilometres from Medellin.
This region has experienced drastic transitions, starting as a territory of untouched wilderness and moving through cattle farming, war, abandonment, and with that, re-wilding. Now there is peace and it is safe to return. The prevalent local response has been to cut down trees and bring in cows. In contrast, our view is that the decades of re-wilding are a gift of healing and ultimately can bring a new perspective to humanity’s actions in the world.
What is fundamental to celebrate life on Earth? The vitality and magic of the forest inspire our creations on the abandoned farmland. Here we embark on the adventure of joining nature’s process of re-wilding. In tandem with honouring the vitality of outer nature, re-wilding the inner nature of the human being is essential. Through connection with an inner morality and embracing the fullness of creative collaboration, we are exploring bamboo architecture and imagining afresh the richness of simplicity in life. This process involves collaboration with others, both local and international. The mid-term vision is to facilitate an immersive space for deeply creative insight and investigation in the form of a Rainforest Incubator which we are aiming to launch in early 2021 (message us if you would like to know more about our Incubator Programme). In the long-term, we envision a Rainforest Village, where family domains are nestled within thick rainforest, shared and protected by villagers, incubatees and volunteers.
A symbiotic flourishing of the place and the human is ready to be the next chapter for this biome, allowing the wholeness of nature to reach its full potential. We are guests to the Rainforest; it is our home and our dreamspace.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Rainforest living is the primary experience within which all our activities are based. Many aspects of our lifestyle facilitate learning about ways of nourishing the self and nourishing the land through everyday actions, such as plant-based foods, composting, movement/yoga (mostly self-practice, shared as part of a group dynamic), craftmanship, organic growing of fruit/veg, and at a fundamental level, living in the outdoors. Our visitors have expressed gratitude for having experienced a heart-felt respect for nature, awareness of our impact on surrounding ecologies and connection with the rainforest's abundant resources in ways that they hadn't felt before.
The creation of a bamboo architecture that is deeply rooted in a sense of place brings about an embodied experience of the organic qualities of building. The hands-on bamboo construction experience includes development of construction skills, learning about the building process and connecting with the poetics of a space that is integrated into the landscape. There is a real joy in the cultural exchange that takes place in our team when local rural Colombian culture comes together with our backgrounds of architectural practice in the UK and with the backgrounds of visitors from overseas.
You are invited to be part of the wholeness of life in the rainforest! Bamboo construction is a big part of what we do here. As part of everyday life, there are several other activities which are much closer to the soil, such as landscape works, reforestation and growing of organic produce. As part of a weekly flow, we also need help for the general maintenance of our rainforest haven. As a volunteer, you will get to experience many of these aspects of rainforest living.
Skills that are valuable for this experience include creativity, stamina, resourcefulness, a sense of adventure, thriving as part of a team, physical craftsmanship, being proactive, having a self-driven attitude and a love for the outdoors. We welcome all levels of experience with an enthusiasm for learning and adaptability. Be prepared for hot and hilly conditions, and a lot of walking through paths in nature.
If you are interested specifically in volunteering for a bamboo construction project, please let us know because they do not necessarily take place all year round.
This host offers a language exchange
This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
Please contact them directly for more information.
At this stage in the project, tree-tents facilitate our dwelling. They provided shelter and enable an enlivening period of sleep amongst the rainforest canopies.
Plant-based food fuels us and nourishes our action-based lifestyle. We are in the early stages of creating a rainforest garden and sometimes have the pleasure of eating home-grown vegetables and fruits. Preparing and eating these delicious foods takes place in our bamboo kitchen, which is set up for raw-vegan food prep. The kitchen is also a place for social spontaneity and hanging-out. We provide the facilities and the raw ingredients for our visitors to prepare their own meals. Depending on the group dynamic (and the number of volunteers at any given moment) there is often a shared preparation of foods. We are happy for volunteers who wish to cook their meals to do so, by lighting up a fire (firewood is available), and if you wish to complement your diet with other vegetarian foods brought from town, we are happy for that to be the case. We ask our visitors to please refrain from bringing meat, cigarettes, alcohol and drugs into our rainforest haven.
Other bamboo structures which are part of our everyday life include a composting toilet and a rainforest studio which has a satellite internet connection and a collection of books about rainforest living, bamboo architecture and other forms of bio-construction, spirituality and well-being.
As part of a fairly physical lifestyle, rest days are very important to us. Our week has a rhythm of 1-2-1-2-1 (one day of rest followed by two days of action, such that we develop projects on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays). The main volunteering for projects takes place on action days only, but on rest days, food prep continues to be a space of contribution for/from the volunteering group.
There are many restorative spaces and activities to enjoy here, including rainforest walks, bathing in the streams, catching the sunshine, and getting into a creative flow through bamboo craft, journaling, writing, photography or any other artistic interest of your own.
The lively nearby towns of San Carlos and San Rafael can be reached by tuk-tuks, moto-taxis or chivas (forms of local transport) for some immersion in local culture and visiting other popular sights, for hiking and bathing.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Our studio space is located at the top of a hill with inspiring views. There are many interesting books and the environment is very peaceful. We have a satellite internet connection, which isn't the fastest (!) and has its highest speed in the early morning.
This host has said they are willing to accept those travelling with a pet.
More than two
Max 25 hours a week with 3 days off
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