Help build a Cob, Earthen home in our community remote Colorado, USA


United States


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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    I'm a middle aged woman starting a new phase in life. I have done many things since 1966, when I first landed on the planet (was born).

    As a child growing up in the deep south (southern Louisiana), playing in the woods, climbing trees, reading, swimming in my backyard bayou, spending time with my pets, playing with friends, cooking, baking, and learning musical instruments were my favorite activities.

    In early adulthood (19 - 27), I moved from Louisiana (southern USA on the Gulf of Mexico coast) to Colorado (central mountain region of USA) where I went to university to become a visual artist. A few years later, I moved to Maryland (central Atlantic coast). In this time of life, I was a waitress, cashier for an auto repair shop, secretary, artist's model, real estate agent, baker, cake decorator, painted pewter sculptures, delivered pizza, and worked in a deli.

    In mid-adulthood (27 - 39), I had my one and only child, Luke. I was 31. At that time, I had a farm where we boarded horses. I took care of the grounds, horses and family. I also played in an internationally traveling fife and drum corp, taught gymnastics, studied law and nutrition, sold nutritional products, and became the caregiver for my elderly parents.

    In my 40s, caring for my parents and son were my primary occupations. However, I also volunteered extensively with boy scouts, led summer day camps, was a a graphic designer, researched real estate titles, had a photography business, and an Ebay business, then studied computer graphics and education, and became a public school art teacher.

    In 2018, I moved back to Colorado, where I'm building a cob house in the beautiful high desert mountains of southern Colorado! I moved back to build and open a cob constructed bed and breakfast retreat center where I planned to host art and spiritual workshops. Things didn't go according to plan, so I am instead building a house for me to live in after spending the past year living in my small RV with Indie the cat, and Nugget the puppy. The land was my parents'. It is rugged, remote and sacred, and I love it here. There are wildflowers, cacti, song birds, elk, deer, coyotes, wild turkeys and stunning mountain views.

    As you can probably see, I have always been adenturous and independent. I love people from all walks of life, and accept them as they are. Because of this, I have always had many friends, and friends are very important in my life. I also have a very strong spiritual life. I have studied Taoism, Buddhism, and Christianity. My beliefs are a combination of what makes sense to me taking into consideration all that I have learned from books and churches, what I intuitively know, and what I have learned from being on this land.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help with Eco project

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    There will be a variety of people from Chile, Brazil, and USA here working and teaching you how to build with the cob and finish with natural plaster.

    Our chef is a Colorado native, mom of five and homeschools the older four children. She lives about an hour away, but will commute daily to cook for us. She and her family are amazing people.

    I am an artist, teacher, musician, and energetic healer. I offer art classes in town and would be happy to give a lesson in camp or allow you to attend in town for no charge.

    My land is 40 acres or 16 hectares. The land is surrounded by hundreds of thousands of acres/ 1000s of hectares of undeveloped mountain forests and meadows. City and suburban dwellers won't believe how much open land there is! The air is so clear, and the altitude is so high that you can see the Milky Way on clear nights, and the moonlight is bright enough to walk around without a flashlight/torch!

  • Help


    You will be helping build a house made with cob, a sand/clay/straw mixture blended by hand and feet using the tarp method. You will be mixing the cob and forming walls and maybe bas relief sculpture, and natural plaster. It's a fairly easy method to learn, but takes stamina to create, especially at this altitude.

    I will be finishing some walls with tadelakt. I hope to learn the technique in August. If you know how to make tadelakt, I have a project ready for it and would pay for your help!

    Workaway in June and July will involve working around the land creating a hiking path, labyrinth and other outdoor areas, helping gather stones and some supplies for the cob build beginning in August.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, but Spanish and Portuguese speaking people will be on site for part of the time.

  • Accommodation


    You will be camping in a tent. We have portable toilet/outhouse for your use. I am working on getting hot running water for showers, but right now, it is only cold water that can be heated with a solar water bag.

    We are at a high altitude - 7200 feet almost 2,200 meters. The altitude makes the weather very wild and crazy. We have winds up to 50 mph or 80 kmh. Temperatures in the summer can be as hot as 100 F or 38 C, and night time temperatures as cold as 40 F or 6 C. The air is dry, usually about 25% humidity. When it rains, it's very cold! Summer storms can be very severe. You need to prepare by bringing clothing for hot, warm, cool and cold weather.

    Vegetarian food will be prepared by our cook for lunch and dinner. There will be meat options a few days each week. I have celiac disease, so there will be gluten-free foods as well. If you have other food allergies, please let me know. I will do everything possible to provide for your medical needs.

    Phone and Internet access is not good, and the more people accessing it at the same time, the slower it goes. There is no television or wifi. Even text messages can be slow!

    My 50 pound /23 kg dog Nugget lives here. He roams the land and protects us from bears and other large animals. He is young and very sweet. He has never met a stranger! My cat Indie lives with me in my RV, but it is unlikely that you will see her. She is ver skittish.

    At this time campfires are illegal because of many wildfires that have destroyed hundreds of thousands of acres of forest and grasslands in Colorado. This MIGHT change, but don't expect it!

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Trinidad is the closest town to my home and the worksite. It is about 45 minute drive away. There is no public transportation to town, and limited public transportation in town. There is a train (Amtrak) that runs to Denver several days a week, as well as a bus (Greyhound). The population is about 8,000.

    Trinidad has an interesting combination of cattle and horse agriculture, marijuana growth and sales, nature lovers and artist communities. The county fair is the last week of August. There is a live theater that performs weekly in July and August. There are historical and local artists museums. On Saturday mornings during the summer, there is a small farmer's market. Trinidad also has frequent fairs and parades during the summer. Trinidad has two community centers, one for sports and recreation with a skate park and a pool; the other more focused on health and wellness. There is a movie theater (cinema) that is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The restaurants in town are almost all small, mom and pop type establishments.

    Trinidad Lake State Park is a few miles closer and boasts hiking, boating, and fishing.

    Heading west from the land takes you deeper and higher into the mountains through Stonewall and LaVeta and past Monument Lake along the Highway of Legends (Colorado Hwy 12). The view are amazing and there are many hiking trails.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 274875755322