Help at our small farm and stay at a watermill in Ponte de Lima, Portugal



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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    Rula and I spent 10 years working for the Red Cross in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa. Our boy is now 3 years old and happy to help in any gardening task. We are currently taking a break from the humanitarian work and embracing nature on our small farm in Ponte de Lima. Our dream is to create all the conditions to be able to host Syrian children for summer camps. We plan to grow a forest garden according to permaculture principles and build small bungalows and tree houses. Help is welcome :-)

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    Babysitting and creative play
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    General Maintenance
    Farmstay help
    Help with Eco Projects
    Help around the house
    Animal Care

  • 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

    During the last 10 years we lived in 3 different continents and experienced different cultures. Between us we speak 7 languages fluently and like to cook different dishes and share meals.
    Mario has an engineering background with computer networks and telecommunications and is currently playing with sensors and microcontrollers, designing and building irrigation systems and automated chicken coops. He has experience in off-grid systems and construction. For most technical activities Mario will provide all the information for volunteers interested in diy/maker scene.
    Rula is an agronomist and loves board games. She will introduce you to Syrian food.
    Filipe likes singing, dancing, playing with sticks and is learning the guitar. He speaks Portuguese and used to speak French.
    Jesse is a young Labrador retriever who prefers going on the kayak to swimming in the cold water and is always ready to play. Filipe and Jesse believe they are brothers and act like so.

  • Help


    Looking for volunteers with good physical condition, able to carry loaded wheelbarrows and moving rocks for example.
    Wood splitting, electrical, construction skills or carpentry experience is highly appreciated.
    We also accept someone with child care experience to spend time of our 3 year old son and take care of the house while we work outside.

    Here are some tasks we always need help with:
    - Cutting grass and clearing brush
    - Cutting old trees and firewood
    - a lot of digging and moving dirt
    - Fixing stone walls
    - Shopping, cooking and cleaning the house
    - Taking care of the vegetable garden and feeding animals (chicken, goats, ducks, pigs)

    In 2020 we started a few bigger projects:
    - Building a big treehouse for the kids!
    - Building a new chicken coop - BEFORE THE WINTER
    - Building an outdoor kitchen area with wood-fired oven - DONE! We're now having sourdough bread and roasted meals all the time!
    - building bunk beds and compost toilet for the new volunteer accommodation (in the old mill) - ALMOST DONE!
    - transform a shipping container into a comfortable guest room - STARTED
    - Building a garden shed to store firewood, tools, kayaks and bikes - DONE
    - Installing outdoor lighting and sensors - ONGOING
    - Putting up fences and building stone walls
    - Rebuilding an old stone dam that used to divert part of the stream to the mill (postponed for August 2021)
    - Rebuilding water wheel and mill mechanisms (once we find someone who can actually do it)

  • Languages spoken

    Arabic: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Fluent
    Portuguese: Fluent
    German: Intermediate
    French: Intermediate

  • Accommodation


    Private bedroom with two single beds. You can also camp in our tent in a private area of our garden. We provide three meals if you work 5 hours a day.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    You should bring working shoes and clothes. We provide gloves and gum boots if needed.
    Laundry is done once a week.
    Our farm is mostly woodland and is a 4 minute drive or 20 minute walk from the historical town of Ponte de Lima where you can find many facilities, including library, big supermarkets and a lot of restaurants and cafes and a canoeing club.
    You can swim in the river that runs just in front of the house (it's a clean mountain river, quite cold though). A kayak is available too.
    Twice a month there is a huge open air market in Ponte de Lima.
    During the summer there are music festivals in Paredes de Coura and other nearby towns.

    We are 1 hour drive away from Porto. There are regular bus connections to the airport and to Viana do Castelo, Porto, Braga.

    One bicycle is available for guests. On days off, we sometimes go hiking, rock climbing, canoeing, mountain biking or canyoning around the area. If you have experience and insurance you are welcome to join!
    High speed fiber internet is now available in the evenings! (Although we encourage digital detox, it's useful for watching gardening and construction tutorials during rainy days)

    We prefer vegetarian meals, but do eat meat or fish often and raise free range animals for eggs and meat.
    Smoking is not allowed inside and near the house. Wine or beer is ok in moderation.

  • 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

    There is unlimited fiber connection with 100Mbps. We don't really have an office, we work on our laptops in the living room or on the terrace

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    We can provide a nice parking spot with electricity and access to a water tap and Wi-Fi !

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours a day (max 25 hours/week)

Climbing in Serra da Arga
Our new outdoor kitchen, all built with recycled materials
Pigs and chicken looking for things to destroy
Kayaking in the back yard
Moving rocks and wood is part of the daily tasks
the house is surrounded by woods, but still close enough to the village

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Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (5.0)

Communication: (5.0)

Host ref number: 253452573236