Come grow organic food, learn to make pepper sauce and more on the southern coast of Trinidad & Tobago

Availability

  2024 

 Min stay requested: at least 3 weeks

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Details

  • Description

    Description

    Our farm is a cooperative organic farm led by a loving Trinidadian family. The farm includes a food-preserving project, producing local fruit preserves, seasonings and hot pepper sauce. Volunteer activities include: working on the farm, selling at the market, making food preserves, baking in our clay ovens, clearing the pond & river, helping out at the local school, cleaning elderly people's yards, working in Giselle's home garden, and helping community members learn to plant. In your spare time, you will take a dip in the ocean, sway in a hammock, and dance with family and friends.

    Nestled in the coastal range of southern Trinidad, the farm is the work of a small cooperative of local farmers. It is run by the most positive and supportive families, led by Noriga, his daughter Giselle, Giselle's husband, Ottis, and their son Jahshel. Crops under cultivation include banana, plantain, papaya, hot peppers, pimento peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, okra, rice, herbs, breadfruit, coconut, yams, casava, and eggplant. Plum, mangos, and pomme cythere are also sourced from the village and forest.

    The warm and loving extended family of this farm is what renders this project an exceptional cultural, as well as agricultural, experience. Since few tourists or outsiders come to this community it is important to be both flexible and respectful of the family and local culture. Volunteers should also be flexible in terms of amenities, considering local conditions. The family believes in self-sufficiency and upliftment for their community. The experience of authentic immersion in a different culture is what makes this volunteer opportunity unique.

    There are two farms, one off the main road and the other in the rolling hills of southern Trinidad. From the hillsides under cultivation, there is a view of the sea and, on a clear day, the Orinoco delta of Venezuela.

    The local cuisine consists of yam, dasheen, breadfruit, fresh vegetables and fresh fish. Accommodation and food provided in return for 5 hours of daily work. Volunteers eat some meals with the family, but are also expected to make some of their own meals (there is a kitchen just for the volunteers in the volunteer house). Accommodation is provided in a two bedroom house just for volunteers on the main road next to one of the farms. The house has electricity. Running water is sometimes unavailable here, but bottled water (you would purchase) and rainwater are readily available. The farm is a short walk to a river and to the ocean. You may also opt to stay at the family house.

    We require a 3 week minimum stay and extended stays are preferred. Most volunteers end up loving the farm and community so much that they extend their stay or return.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Charity Work
    Art Projects
    Teaching
    Gardening
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    Babysitting and creative play
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
  • UN sustainability goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainability 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

    The warm and loving extended family of this farm is what renders this project an exceptional cultural, as well as agricultural, experience. You may find yourself dancing to reggae in the kitchen or reasoning on politics and philosophy in the garden. The family believes in self-sufficiency and upliftment for their community.

    There are abundant opportunities for socializing with the local community and experiencing Trinidadian culture. The Trinidad English Creole is a rich and diverse language incorporating French, West and Central African languages, South Asian languages (primarily Bhojpuri). and Venezuelan Spanish into the Island's English. A good book to introduce you to Trinidad's English Creole is Cote Ci Cote La.

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

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

  • Help

    Help

    Projects include, but are not limited to: organic farming, making preserves and sauces, baking bread, clearing the pond & river, running daily operations, selling at the market, helping out at the local school, cleaning elderly people's yards, working in Giselle's home garden, helping community members learn to plant. and working the shop.

    We ask for 5 hrs. a day, but everything is flexible depending on the project and the weather and also if you choose to go to weekend markets. Typically, you rise early (around 6am) and do house chores or garden tasks (house chores switch off between volunteers and just make it fair so that everyone keeps the house tidy and clean), then a break in the afternoon when the sun is hottest (great time for a beach dip), then early evening in the garden or helping Giselle with preserves. The activities on the farm depend on the season and projects that are most urgent.
    There are many things other than basic farming that need attention, for example improving the compost, adding water filtration system, etc.

    Noriga, Jahshel, and/or Giselle will let you know all the things going on and you can typically choose the ones that fit your skill level and desires most. Please let One Family know ahead of time if you have any specific talents or skills.

    On Fridays, you have the option to help out at cousin Angelyn’s preschool. Activities include playing music, reading, painting etc. Francis (a One Family member) has 3 daughters that often need help with homework and always appreciate volunteers who are interested. The family has started a community program for kids in the village twice a month on Sundays from 4-6pm. They offer games, crafting, dance classes etc. We ask that our volunteers participate in whatever ways they can.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    There is a house on one of the gardens that is just for volunteers. It consists of 2 bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, a shower, and a bathroom. There are 3 full size beds and 2 twin size beds. Once a week, you can wash your clothes and bedding at Giselle's house. You can also hand wash your clothes anytime at the volunteer house.

    If you arrive late at night, you will stay at Giselle's house.
    There are additional rooms at the family's house if preferred.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    LIST OF WHAT TO BRING
    • Sneakers or boots for the garden
    • Flip flop/sandals
    • Swimsuit/trunks
    • Towel
    • Sheets & Pillow
    • Sunscreen & bug spray
    • Extra t-shirts (it’s hot!)
    • Garden gloves
    • Soap
    • Mosquito net for bed or money to purchase a fan
    • Extra clips for drying clothes
    • Long sleeves and light weight pants (to protect from mosquitos)
    • Separate work clothes from play clothes
    • Hat
    • Hori hori knife (sheathed in check-in luggage)

    Note: sunscreen, mosquito spray and soap can be bought in Trinidad (but, if you prefer all natural, organic products you will need to bring your own). If you wish to have chicken and fish that is not offered, but you may buy it. You may purchase yourself snacks, bags of rice, coffee, and alcohol. These items can be bought from the shop or from the grocery

    OPTIONAL ITEMS TO BRING
    *None of the following items are expected, we get asked all the time and thought it best to make a proper list
    • Extra laundry clips
    • Kitchen knives
    • Tupperware
    • 8 x 10 frames for photos
    • Games for kids
    • Zip lock bags
    • Kitchen towels (not white)
    • Painting tools
    • Garden hand tools
    • Garden gloves
    • Hammock
    • Items for preschool
    • Quality blenders (for making preserves and hot sauce)
    • A small flag from your country

    HOUSE RULES
    • No muddy shoes inside the house
    • No dogs inside the house
    • Clean all tools after using
    • No wares and utensils outside the house or used to feed the dogs
    • Do your dishes
    • Communicate with your housemates and the family
    • Conserve water
    • Keep the house tidy and clean
    • Do not turn off the living room light
    • No liming after 9pm on weekdays

    LIMING
    Liming is the term for hanging out. Casual liming at the volunteer house or family house must finish by 9om during the week so everyone gets proper rest. Weekends are 10pm. Parties, birthdays, and farewells have no set end time. Please be thoughtful of your housemates and the family.

    PHONE/INTERNET
    There is free wifi at the airport. You can buy a sim card while in Trinidad (cards at the airport will be more expensive). B-mobile is the recommended brand. Sometimes a previous volunteer will leave their sim cards. Ask Giselle if you are interested. There is also a community center with several computer labs that is air conditioned and free. It is a 5 min ($1 US) taxi drive or a 20 minute walk from La Lune. If you have a smart phone, you can use it with cellular data and wherever there is wifi.

    IMMIGRATION
    Please have a round trip ticket-this is VERY important. Print the immigration letter I send you so you can present it to the immigration officer as needed. Additional information will be shared with you upon acceptance to our farm.

    TRAVEL TO/FROM THE AIRPORT
    Option 1: We can arrange a car to pick you up at the airport. It is a 2.5 hour trip to Moruga. A One Family Farm member will greet you. Please text Giselle a photo of yourself before you travel so we can identify you. The car costs 600TT each way. It is 700TT each way if you arrive early in the day or late at night.

    Option 2: You can travel by public transport, but we only recommend this between 5am-2pm. It will cost @100TT from the airport. Please let Giselle know in advance so she can guide you

    Travel Smart: You will be well taken care of and looked after by the family and friends, but as a foreigner you should always use good travel judgement, watch your things, be respectful, and have boundaries. We ask volunteers to add to the good vibes of the community.

    RECOMMENDED READING: Dragon Can't Dance or The Wine of Astonishment by Earl Lovelace (novels), Miguel Street by V.S. Naipaul, Cote ci Cote La: Trinidad and Tobago Dictionary, "Don't Study People" by Brent Crosson (nonfiction, member of One Family).

    FREE TIME:
    Aside from beach limes, you can hire the cab driver/friend of family to take you on day trips (Giselle has arranged this in the past for those who wanted to see more of the island). We also recommend taking a break at the very end of your time to spend 3-4 days in Tobago for beach & relaxation time (we highly recommend Castara Bay-it is the best spot and less touristy). Also a good idea to see sea turtles if that is around the season you will be there.

    GENERAL NOTES:
    Trinis speak fast, respectfully ask them to slow down.
    There will be days where you will be working independently.
    You must be capable of cooking and cleaning.
    A letter for immigration will be provided for you, but you must have a return ticket to enter Trinidad

  • 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

  • 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

    Minimum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 242928867199

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