Come to the heart of Indian Country in New Mexico, USA


United States

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  • Description


    We are a couple living on 5 acres in New Mexico, not far from the town of Gallup. We have three friendly dogs and a flock of poultry (chickens, geese, turkeys, and Guinea fowl).

    In the summer, there are nightly Indian Dances in downtown Gallup, and there are various festivals, parades, and other events throughout the year. Gallup has a monthly Arts Crawl, a thriving arts scene, and some of the local restaurants have live bands fairly often. Otherwise, it is a small town and has small town amenities, and our place can seem pretty remote. (No street lights around us, but the stars shine brightly at night!)

    When we have the time, we do enjoy showing volunteers the local sights, and have taken helpers to such places as the Grand Canyon, Petrified National Forest, Monument Valley, etc. If you have your own vehicle, there are many beautiful places to explore and hike within a few hours' drive.

    I am American and my husband is originally from West Africa. We are omnivores at the house, but we can and have hosted vegetarians and vegans, although volunteers who have required strictly non-GMO and organic food have had to make shopping trips to Albuquerque on their own.

    We don't smoke but do enjoy the occasional alcoholic beverage. No smoking is allowed in the house, but out of doors is okay. The dogs live inside but are quite friendly and love company.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    General Maintenance
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    Animal Care
    Art Projects
    Help with Computers/ Internet

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

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

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We are a multicultural couple ourselves, and cook food from both America and West Africa.

    This area of the US is unique in that it is called 'Indian Country.' The Navajo tribal lands are very close to us, as are the Hopi and Zuni lands. The population of Gallup is also diverse, having large percentages of Hispanic and Indian members. There is also a small Arab community and a local mosque.

  • Help


    In the summer, most of the work here involves increasing the size and depth of garden beds, and planting, weeding, and harvesting them at growing time. In the spring, we start many of our seeds before planting time. We heat the house with firewood, so in winter we spend lots of time gathering and chopping wood (there are many dead pine trees in the area due to years of drought). Of course, the poultry need to be fed and watered year-round, and the chicken coop needs the occasional cleaning, and there is always general maintenance and cleaning around the house.

    My husband and I both work full-time apart from whatever progress we make around the property, so there is always much to be done. We are hoping to organize and convert a couple sheds for better garden productivity (one old horse barn has been partly refurbished as a green house) , and I would love to get some of the general clutter better organized as well.

    We will be installing a greywater system at some point, and are building an addition to the house that will include a larger pantry area and a steam shower.

    When I have the time, I enjoy preserving some of our food by canning and freezing, and can use help with that. I also make lotions, soaps and small bath luxuries like scented salts, and working on those together can be a fun project - but usually after the other chores and tasks are done!

    Our internet access is perfectly fine for e-mail and general web surfing, but we can't support any streaming because of limited bandwidth on our satellite connection. But we do have DirecTV and can watch local and movie channels.

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    French: Intermediate

    This host offers a language exchange
    This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
    You can contact them directly for more information.

  • Accommodation


    We recently purchased an 18' travel trailer that will be your home while you stay with us. It is fully self-contained - has its own kitchen and bathroom. My husband and I both work from home sometimes, and the trailer allows a bit more space and privacy for everyone.

    However, we often will cook together and get to know each other over shared meals.

    We have plenty of room for tent camping or for parking large vehicles, RVs, campers, etc.

    We have satellite internet access, but cellphone reception can be spotty. We also have satellite television, DVDs, a large library of fiction and non-fiction books, and several video game consoles.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We are located several miles south of Gallup, New Mexico, in the heart of Indian Country. The Navajo and Zuni Reservations are nearby, and the area is rich in culture and history. During the summer months, there are nightly Indian dances in Gallup, and a Saturday flea market operates all year. Gallup is on historic Route 66 and just off Interstate 40. The Amtrak train stops in town, as does the Greyhound bus.

    Within four hours of here are national parks (the Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest), national forests, and other scenic wonders. Several Indian pueblos (and casinos!) are also in this area.

  • 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

    We can accommodate any size of van since we have plenty of space. The only issue is accessibility, since our driveway can be nearly impassible when there is mud from a lot of rain or snow.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    We have hosted a lot of volunteers with dogs and there has never been an issue between our dogs and theirs. However, our dogs chase cats, so if you have a cat it has to be kept indoors at all times.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    3-4 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 255356137519