We are an ecologically minded mountain lodge located high in the mountains of Costa Rica's Talamanca range at the trail head to Mt. Chirripo and at the edge of the largest protected area of Central America. Owners, Jill and John, along with a team of local staff (2 full-time, 2 part-time), friends and help-exchange interns put a lot of care into creating a sanctuary that is conscious, welcoming, kind and peaceful. Work exchange positions are open to individuals who are glad to be responsible, contributing members of our group.
Many travelers come to the area to hike Chirripo Mountain, the highest mountain in Costa Rica and to enjoy the cool air, hiking to the waterfalls in the nature reserves , take in the rural activities of village life and beautiful high elevation forest. In addition to offering wonderful lodging to travelers, we are always working on interesting projects here, from organic gardening to alternative construction.
Days at the lodge are active, multi-lingual and multi-cultural. Our Family style guesthouse has a common kitchen for guest and helper use (no restaurant). We house up to 20 guests and are often busy during the high season.
Feel free to ask for more information!
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Helping with Tourists
Help with Computers / internet
Our lodge is always full of interesting people from all over the world and the learning possibilities are endless. Our bilingual local staff works closely with helpers and share local culture and language. Our alternative ecological building projects provide helpers the opportunity to learn both standard and alternative construction methods, such as building with bottles and cans, making 'eco-bricks", participating in the village recycling program. We encourage & facilitate helpers to become well-acquainted with the local people and rural activities: folk artists, cheese makers, botanical garden, sugar mill, trout farm restaurant, and village events and farmers' markets.
We invite outgoing, enthusiastic and responsible individuals to join our multi-cultural project. Our aim is to live gently on the earth and to provide warm, friendly, educational and peaceful lodging with the travelers who visit us. Personal accountability and a courageous, strait-forward approach to life, work and relationships is a priority here for our visitors as well as help exchange partners.
As a member of our household, you fill a scheduled position and provide reception and guest services to help to create a peaceful environment where people can explore and relax, connect to nature, prepare for mountain trekking, and meet other travelers. Basic duties include settling accounts, answering questions, maintaining the shared spaces, answering the phone. One requirement for the position is that you must explore the area so that you can offer visitors a deeper understanding of the area and of the local residents and delightful activities here.
We also are happy to include you in our organic garden project, alternative building projects, mosaic art, and we could use a couple of signs painted, if you are artistic!
In exchange for your contribution you have access to the same benefits as the guests at our cozy lodge, including cooking facilities, hot showers, free coffee, tea, cooking oil, spices. In addition, you receive free private accommodation/shared bath, use of laundry facilities, and the many other benefits of being a part of our family. Staple foods that you may prepare in our guest kitchen are provided as well as fresh fruits & veggies from the garden when available. We include you on regular trips to the Farmers' Market. There is a reasonably priced Spanish teacher in the area if you wish to further your language skills.
Skills and Qualifications
Basic English & Spanish is required as duties include answering the phone, welcoming and orienting international guests, arranging tours/taxis, outfitting people for the mountain hike, etc. This position is 'people intensive" as our goal is to help visitors get the most out of their stay in our area.
Eagerness to assist people from all backgrounds and cultures. Willingness to ask and answer lots of questions.
Consideration in sharing common space with others is a must here: cleaning up after yourself, keeping personal items in your private space, using bath and kitchen efficiently so that others have access, not creating work for staff, guests, or other helpers.
Willingness to observe the house rules (quiet hours, no smoking or illegal drug use on our property)
We provide training, structure, support and a detailed 'checklist' outlining specific duties and responsibilities for each position. The ability to help independently is highly valued here.
Everyone in our household helps with community recycling and environmental efforts.
Love of walking: We are situated in a area of steep terrain. Most transportation in the local area is by foot. Hikes in the area are from moderate to difficult and you will want to be familiar with the area in order to be a source of good information for the guests.
Basic maths and ability to accurately settle accounts is a requirement of this position.
Must be cat and dog and forest-creature friendly. The hostel is non-toxic and we do not use synthetic pesticides. We appreciate and re-locate wayward forest creatures.
No Couch potatoes or IM addicts please. Computer use is limited to your rest hours. There is no smoking allowed in our lodge or on our property. Illegal drug use on the property is not permitted.
A simple private space with queen bed and shared bath in the guest house (for helpers staying 3 weeks +)
Dorm bed for short-term helpers.
partial board and garden harvest
transport to farmers' market
What can I do with my free-time?
Hike cloud forests reserves, waterfalls, swim in the Chirripo river, visit local thermal springs, climb the highest mountain of Costa Rica, Chirripo (3 820 m, 12 532 ft).
There is also trout fishing, a botanical garden, local folk artist galleries, sugar mills, artisan cheese farm, chocolate maker, a local brew pub, artisan bakery, a natural soap maker, 2 farmers' markets, and an excellent local Spanish teacher who is very affordable. The beach (Dominical) is a 2 1/2 hour bus ride away and within reach for your days off.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week